Number 256. Report of Colonel John L. Otis, Tenth Connecticut Infantry, of operations July 26-27

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

Numbers 256. Report of Colonel John L. Otis, Tenth Connecticut Infantry, of operations July 26-27.1

HDQRS. TENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS,
Deep Bottom, Va. July 28, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to forward the following report of the part taken by the Tenth Regiment in the affair of the 26th and 27th instant at this place:

At 7 a.m. on the 26th I received orders from General Foster to move my command to the east side of Four-Mile Creek and assist the Eleventh Maine Volunteers in forcing the enemy from a piece of woods, out of which they had driven two regiments of the Nineteenth Corps the day previous, and retake, if possible, an important position covering the road from Richmond to Malvern Hill. Having to cross the James River twice before reaching the position, considerable time elapsed, and on our arrival we found a portion of the Eleventh Maine already

engaged. I immediately sent our sharpshooters, under Lieutenant Linsley, to re-enforce the skirmishers, with four companies of the line, under Captain Greaves, to support them. Major Greeley was ordered, with four companies more, to support a section each of the First Connecticut and Third U. S. Batteries in the redans. Heavy skirmishing continued all the afternoon. Lieutenant Linsley was wounded early in the action and Lieutenant Peck placed in command of the sharpshooters. The enemy’s skirmishers, having the advantage of position and being several times re-enforced, contested the ground obstinately, but were steadily forced back until they reached a strong rifle-pit, from which they had driven a regiment of the Nineteenth Corps the day previous. Here they made a determined stand, but were driven out by the skirmishers of the two regiments at the point of the bayonet. Before night we had forced our picket-line to within fifty yards of the enemy’s works. At sunset the Eleventh Maine was withdrawn, with the exception of three companies held in reserve, the Tenth Regiment holding the picket-line alone. We maintained the position during the night, the enemy erecting works and mounting guns so near us that our officers could tell just how many guns they had in position. Captain Goodyear and Engles both informed me at midnight that the enemy had placed four guns in battery. Our men could plainly overhear the conversation of the rebel soldiers in the trenches, and heard their arrangements for attacking us in force at daylight in the morning; but during the night the infantry of the Second Corps crossed the river and at daylight attacked the enemy’s position. A portion of my own line became engaged and assisted materially in driving the enemy from his works and capturing his guns, our position being such as to cover the Richmond road and effectually prevent the enemy from taking away the guns after withdrawing them from the battery. The action being over at 8 a.m., I was ordered to march my command back to the west side of the creek. Our entire loss, 1 commissioned officer and 8 men.

An official list of casualties has already been forwarded.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. L. OTIS,

Colonel, Commanding the Regiment.

Brigadier General E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General U. S. Army.

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 693-694

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