Number 90. Petersburg Campaign Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Casper W. Tyler, One Hundred and Forty-First Pennsylvania Infantry

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

Numbers 90. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Casper W. Tyler, One hundred and forty-first Pennsylvania Infantry.1

HDQRS. 141ST REGIMENT PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS, August 27, 1864.

SIR: *

On the night of the 12th day of June the One hundred and forty-first Regiment left the front line of works at or near Cold Harbor, acting as rear guard for the division. Marched during the 13th, 14th, and 15th, arriving near Petersburg, Va., south of the James River, on the night of the 15th.

During the 16th and 17th we frequently changed position and were under fire. Colonel Madill took command of the brigade on the morning of the 16th, the command of the regiment again falling upon Lieutenant Colonel G. H. Watkins.

Early on the morning of the 18th the One hundred and forty-first advanced in line of battle (the Ninety-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers on our right and One hundred and twenty-fourth New York on our left), Captain B. M. Peck having been sent out with two companies as skirmishers. Advanced over the enemy’s works, finding that he had abandoned them during the night. Advanced through a strip of woods until we emerged into an open field, when we encountered the enemy’s sharpshooters. Here received orders to build works. Soon after completing the line of works moved by the right flank a short distance, massing with the brigade, the One hundred and forty-first in the rear

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*For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 4 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p. 476.

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line on the left of what is known as the Hare house, for the purpose of charging the enemy’s works. In this charge, which failed, Lieutenant Colonel Guy H. Watkins was mortally wounded while nobly encouraging his men forward. During the long and arduous campaign, Colonel Watkins had been continually with his command, sharing its dangers and fatigues with that patience and forgetfulness of self which patriotism inspires, and which he possessed in an eminent degree. He was a brave, good officer, and I would most respectfully request that he receive such honorable mention as unswerving fidelity and spotless integrity deserve.

During the remainder of the fifth epoch I had command of the regiment. It was frequently in exposed and trying places, though at no time engaged with the enemy.

During the fifth epoch the loss of my command was 1 commissioned officer and 3 men killed, 1 officer and 14 men wounded, and 1 man missing. Total loss during the five epochs: 1 commissioned officer killed and 5 wounded, 15 enlisted men killed and 124 wounded, and 16 men missing.

Respectfully submitting the above report of the operations of the One hundred and forty-first Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, though imperfect as regards detail,

I have the honor to remain, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. W. TYLER,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding 141st Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Captain MARBLE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.

HDQRS. 141ST REGIMENT PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS, September 28, 1864.

SIR: In compliance with circular from brigade headquarters dated September –, 1864, I have the honor to make the following report:

On the 26th, July, A. D. 1864, I was second in command, Colonel H. J. Madill being then in command of the regiment. We broke camp about 1 p. m. and marched rapidly to the James River, crossing about daylight on the morning of the 27th; massed with the brigade in rear of some woods in two lines, the One hundred and forty-first being on the right of the second line. Colonel Madill was ordered, soon after halting, to take this regiment on picket some 1,000 yards to the right of the woods, to a house and out-buildings. Arriving at the house, the enemy were seen advancing a skirmish line, supported by a line of battle, some 1,200 yards away. I was ordered to deploy a portion of the regiment and advance skirmishers toward the enemy. I directed four companies to be deployed and advanced them about 100 yards into an intervening corn-field, where we began to exchange shots with the enemy. Brigadier-General De Trobriand being apprised of the enemy’s advance, directed us to maintain our position. I posted several men as sharpshooters in some of the out-buildings to watch and annoy the enemy should he attempt an advance through the corn-field, behind which he was now posted. As soon as the firing commenced on our left, the enemy moved in that direction by the flank, exchanging shots with us as he took his departure. We remained here until about 2 p. m., when we were ordered to rejoin the brigade. We then moved about one mile toward the left, where we remained during the night as a support to the picket-line. About noon of the next day (July 28) Colonel Madill was ordered to the command of the Second Brigade, and the One hundred

and forty-first Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers transferred, by order of Brigadier-General Mott, commanding Third Division, Second Army Corps. After joining the Second Brigade nothing worthy of mention occurred. With the brigade recrossed the James River after dark of the same day, and arrived near Petersburg at daylight on the morning of the 29th of July, A. D. 1864, where the brigade was massed. Remained here during the day, and after dark relieved a portion of the Eighteenth Corps in the first line of works. Remained in these works during the 30th, and after dark returned to camp formerly occupied by the Second Brigade, in the rear of the Deserted House.

I would respectfully submit the above report of the operations of the One hundred and forty-first Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, during five days ending July 30, A. D. 1864.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. W. TYLER,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding 141st Regiment Pennsylvania Vols.

Captain J. B. TEN EYCK,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brigadier, 3rd Div., 2nd Army Corps.

Source:

  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), pages 408-410

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