Number 159. Petersburg Campaign Report of Colonel J. Warren Keifer, One Hundred and Tenth Ohio Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations June 12-July 6

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

No. 159. Report of Colonel J. Warren Keifer, One hundred and tenth Ohio Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations June 12-July 6.1

HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, THIRD DIV., SIXTH ARMY CORPS, Camp near Cedar Creek, Va., November 1, 1864.

CAPTAIN: *

FIFTH EPOCH.

The brigade remained in the last-named position until 10.30 p.m. June 12, when it was withdrawn, and immediately commenced the march, with the division and corps, by the way of Hopkins’ Mill, Moody’s farm, and Emmaus Church, to Jones’ Bridge, across the Chickahominy River; thence by way of the Charles City Court-House road to James River near Wilcox’s Landing, arriving June 14. On the afternoon of the 15th brigade, with the corps, formed lines and entrenched. On the 16th the troops were moved to the left and toward the river a short distance, and again entrenched. At 5 p.m. colored

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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.730.

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troops from the Ninth Corps relieved the brigade, and, with the division, it was marched to Wilcox’s Landing and embarked on transports at 8 p.m. The main portion of the brigade [disembarked at about 1 a.m. June 17 at Point of Rocks. The One hundred and twenty-second Ohio disembarked on the north bank of the Appomattox at the confluence of that river with the James. Marched and joined the brigade at Bermuda Hundred at 10 a.m. Nothing of importance transpired while at Bermuda Hundred. The division was relieved at 3 p.m. June 19, and marched and joined the corps in front of Petersburg. At 3 p.m. on the 21st the corps moved to the extreme left of the army. The Sixth Maryland and One hundred and tenth Ohio, under command of Colonel Horn, relieved the cavalry, who were then engaged with the enemy. The brigade was formed in two lines of battle and entrenched. The 22nd of June, about 7 a.m., an advance was made of half a mile, heavy skirmishing ensuing, in consequence of which the lines were halted and entrenched. At 2 p.m. the troops were withdrawn to the position last vacated. A charge was made by the division at 7 p.m.,causing the enemy to give way precipitately. After advancing two miles the troops halted and again entrenched.

Orders were received from Brigadier-General Ricketts June 23, at 6 p.m., to send three regiments to report to Brigadier-General Wheaton, commanding Second Division, Sixth Army Corps. Accordingly, the One hundred and tenth and One hundred and twenty-second Ohio and Sixth Maryland Regiments were sent. The remainder of the brigade was withdrawn, and formed in rear of and as support for the Second Division, Sixth Army Corps. The brigade was withdrawn about 8.30 p.m. to the position occupied on the evening of the 21st.

The works were strengthened on the 24th, and the troops were ordered to rest for the first time on the campaign; headquarters and regimental wagons were also ordered up to the troops for the first time. The remainder of the Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania, commanded by Colonel John F. Staunton, joined the brigade June 28.

The 29th the brigade, with the corps, marched to Reams’ Station, on the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad, and formed in position and entrenched. A detail of 600 men from the brigade aided in tearing up the railroad on the 30th of June. At 6 p.m. the troops marched, by the way of the Jerusalem plank road, toward a point near the Williams house, and arrived the same night.

July 2, the brigade went into intrenchments at the Williams house, about five miles south of Petersburg.

Colonel Staunton took command of the brigade on the morning of the 6th of July. Orders were received at 3 p.m. July 6 to march to City Point, embark for Baltimore, and from thence proceed to the vicinity of Harper’s Ferry, Va.

Many officers who fell in this long and memorable campaign should be favorable mentioned, but the already great length of this report forbids my doing it. I would do injustice to brave and valuable officers if I did not make mention of Cols. William H. Ball, John W. Horn, Matthew R. McClennan, and Lieutenant Cols. A. W. Ebright, Otho H. Binkley, and Moses M. Granger. These officers endured the dangers and hardships of the entire campaign, and by their personal daring and good example did much to secure the results attained. It should not be forgotten that many of the affairs mentioned in this report as skirmishes rise to the dignity of battles, compared with many of the so reported battles of this and former wars. In justice to line officers it

should not be forgotten that they were the principal actors in managing the skirmishers, and were, often for many hours and even days, under the fire of the enemy’s sharpshooters. The men on the campaign, in addition to the many hard days’ fighting, suffered uncomplainingly the severe marched in the heat of summer and often without a proper supply of water, &c.

This long campaign, more than all others, illustrates the endurance, valor, and patriotism of the true American soldier.*

I am, captain, truly, your obedient and humble servant,

J. WARREN KEIFER,

Colonel 110th Ohio Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.

Captain ANDREW J. SMITH,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Third Div., Sixth Army Corps.

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*For continuation of report, see Vol. XXXVII, Part I, p.206.

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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 505-507

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