Number 50. Reports of Captain Joseph W. Spaulding, Nineteenth Maine Infantry, of operations August 12-25

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

No. 50. Reports of Captain Joseph W. Spaulding, Nineteenth Maine Infantry, of operations August 12-25.1

HEADQUARTERS NINETEENTH MAINE VOLUNTEERS, August 22, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this regimental in the late movement:

This regiment moved out of its camp near Petersburg at 4 p.m. August 12, and marched with the division to City Point, Va., where it bivouacked for the night. On the afternoon of the 13th embarked on U. S.transport and sailed down the river about five miles and anchored. At 10 o’clock in the evening up and sailed up the James River for Deep Botton, which was reached at daybreak of the 14th instant.

The regiment immediately disembarked, and with the brigade advanced about two miles from landing and formed line of battle, where it lay till 2 p.m. It then moved to the right with the brigade to near the center of the First Division line and formed for charge in rear of First Division skirmish line, this regiment being the second from the right in the front line. It immediately moved forward with the brigade upon the enemy’s works. It was a most exciting charge. A very deep ravine intervened between ours and the lines of the enemy. At the bottom of the ravine were two ditches rods apart. This regiment with First Minnesota Volunteers crossed the first ditch and moved forward to the second, which was from two to four from the enemy’s works, the ground intervening ascending with an angle of more than 45 degrees. We lay here during the remainder of the day, having frequent communication with the rest of the brigade. After dark Captain Parsons was sent to see if the rest of the brigade were still lying in the first ditch and found that all the other regiments had moved back without giving any notice or orders to this regiment. The regiment then, with First Minnesota, moved back and rejoined the brigade at 1 a.m. 15th instant. Lay in line until 20th instant, a part of which time was under severe artillery fire but was not engaged. At 8 p.m. 20th instant recrossed the river, marched all night, and reached its old camp in front of Petersburg at 6 a.m. 21st instant.

I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. W. SPAULDING,

Captain, Commanding.

Captain J. E. CURTISS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS NINETEENTH MAINE VOLUNTEERS, August 23, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that this regiment landed at Deep Bottom, Va., on the morning of the 14th instant, advanced with the brigade about two miles, and formed line of battle. It participated in the charge of the brigade in the afternoon of this day, its position being second from the right in the front line, and lost 12 men in killed and wounded. The conduct of the officers and men in this charge was all that could be expected, and I think it would be doing injustice to none to particularly mention the bravery and noble daring of Sergt. C. W. Gray, color-sergeant of the regiment. The regiment did not again meet the enemy, but lay under arms in line of battle till the evening of the 20th instant, when it recrossed the river.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. SPAULDING,

Captain, Commanding.

Captain J. E. CURTISS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS NINETEENTH MAINE VOLUNTEERS, August 30, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that this regiment reached Reams’ Station on the morning of the 24th instant and was engaged in the forenoon of this day in destroying the railroad.

On the morning of the 25th instant the regiment advanced with the brigade down the railroad about one mile from the station, and formed line on the east side and nearly at right angles with the railroad. In the afternoon marched back and lay in support of the First Division during the first two attacks of the enemy upon that line. The regiment, together with the Nineteenth Massachusetts, was then marched to the left and took position, making connection between the Second and Third Brigades, the part of the line occupied by this regiment running nearly at right angles with the railroad. It was exposed to a most terrific enfilading fire of artillery. It participated in the charge led by Colonel Smith upon the enemy that occupied the works taken from the First Division. This charge proving unsuccessful, the regiment fell back to the works it had left and formed line upon the front side of the works facing the enemy, who were now in the rear of this line. While in this position the enemy advanced up in our old front and both flanks, when the regiment again changed front and engaged the enemy. It held its position here until the troops fell back upon both its right and left, when it was obliged to fall back to the woods, where it again formed line and remained until about 10 p.m., when it marched with the brigade back to this place.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. W. SPAULDING,

Captain, Commanding.

Captain J. E. CURTISS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.

Source:

  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 304-306

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