Number 102. Petersburg Campaign Report of Captain J. Henry Sleeper, Tenth Massachusetts Battery

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

Numbers 102. Report of Captain J. Henry Sleeper, Tenth Massachusetts Battery.*1

FIFTH EPOCH.

The march across the Chickahominy and the James, and the operations in front of Petersburg up to the assault on the enemy’s position, July 30, 1864.

June 13, halted, watered and fed near Whitehall, New Kent County, and at 10 a. m. resumed the march, crossed the Chickahominy at Long Bridge, and at dark arrived at Wilcox’s farm on the James River; here

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*For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 3 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p. 516.

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we remained during the next day. Crossed the river by transport on the 15th, and on the morning of the 16th resumed the march to Petersburg, arriving a little before dark, and relieved Battery C, Fifth U. S. Artillery, at 3,000 yards’ distance from the city.

June 17, being relieved by Battery C, Fifth U. S. Artillery, moved into the main works, and by command of Major-General Birney shelled Petersburg at intervals. On the 18th advanced to the left, being in position all day, engaged most of the time, and on the 19th at 8 a. m. advanced 300 yards, engaged during the day, and after dark moved up into the first line.

June 20, firing at intervals during the day; enemy’s works less than 200 yards in front. At 11 p. m. was relieved; moved to the rear and parked for the night.

June 21, moved still farther to the rear, but shortly after moved to Williams’ house, halted and massed, and a few hours after moved back on the Jerusalem road; camped for the night near Jones’ house.

At 4 p. m. of the 22nd went into position on the left of the road, where we remained till 2 p. m. of the 24th, when we moved to the left and went into position near Williams’ house.

June 27, marched with Second Division six miles to the left to guard against cavalry raids; camped near Prince George Court-House.

June 29, returned to Williams’ house and went into position at 5 p. m. on the right of the house.

July 1, were relieved at 10 a. m. and moved farther to the right, where we remained without any engagement till midnight of the 11th, when we were relieved, and hauled out, remaining in park during the 12th till 5 p. m., when we marched to Reams’ Station; thence ordered back at 12 o’clock to our former park.

July 12, moved down to the right in rear of Sixth Corps, arriving there about 10 a. m.

July 25, at dark received orders to be in readiness to march, and at 4 p. m. of the 26th started, marched all night, crossed the Appomattox about 10 p. m. and the James at Deep Bottom about 3 a. m. of the 27th. After halting a short time for rest and feed moved out a quarter of a mile to the front, and shortly after engaged the enemy’s batteries. By order of General Hancock drew over across the river four guns captured from the enemy that morning.

July 28, in the morning moved about 100 yards to the left, where the battery remained till dark on the 29th, when we recrossed the James and took up the line of march back, crossing the Appomattox at day-break of the 30th.

J. HENRY SLEEPER,

Captain, Commanding Tenth Massachusetts Battery.

[Lieutenant U. D. EDDY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.]

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 428-429

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