Number 1. Report of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding Armies of the United States

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

No. 1. Report of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding Armies of the United States.*1

CITY POINT, VA., August 9, 1864-11.45 a. m.

Five minutes ago an ordnance boat exploded, carrying lumber, grape, canister, and all kinds of shot over this point. Every part of the yard used as my headquarters is filled with splinters and fragments of shell. I do not know yet what the casualties are beyond my own headquarters. Colonel Babcock is slightly wounded in hand and 1 mounted orderly is killed and 2 or 3 wounded and several horses killed. The damage at the wharf must be considerable both in life and property. As soon as the smoke clears away I will ascertain and telegraph you.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., August 11, 1864.

The following is a list of casualties from the explosion of the ammunition barge on the 9th instant: Killed, 12 enlisted men, 2 citizen employed, 1 citizen not employed by Government, 28 colored laborers; wounded, 3 commissioned officers, 4 enlisted men, 15 citizen employed, 86 colored laborers. Besides these there were 18 others wounded, soldiers and citizens not belonging about the wharf. The damage to property was large, but I have not the means of reporting it.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

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* For Grant’s reference in his general report to operations of

this period, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, pp. 31-33.

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CITY POINT, VA., August 16, 1864.

(Received 8 p. m. 18th.)

The fighting north of the river to-day has resulted favorably for us so far as it has gone, but there have been no decisive results. The enemy have been driven back somewhat from their position of this morning, with a considerable loss in killed and wounded and about 400 prisoners left in our hands. Two brigadier-generals (Chambliss and Girardey) were killed, and their bodies left in our hands. We also have quite a number of wounded prisoners. I have relieved the Fifth Corps from the trenches, and have it ready to march around Petersburg if the enemy can be induced to throw troops enough north of the James to justify it. Since moving north of the river, our losses will probably reach near 1,000 in killed and wounded, very many, however, only slightly wounded, owing to so much of the fighting taking place in thick woods. The enemy have lost about as many that have fallen into our hands.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., August 18, 1864-8 p. m.

General Warren moved with his corps this morning to and across the Weldon road about one mile worth of the lead-works. To that point he met nothing but the enemy’s pickets. he advanced from there toward Petersburg, meeting the enemy early in his advance. He had considerable fighting during the day, suffering some loss and inflicting loss upon the enemy. I have no report showing the extent of our losses, but judge them to be light, from the dispatches. Some of the enemy’s wounded fell into our hands and a few into our hands and a few other prisoners.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., August 21, 1864-11 a. m.

Taking possession of the Weldon road has made the enemy apparently very nervous. They have been constantly attacking to regain possession. I cannot report accurately the result, but apparently our losses have been light in killed and wounded, whilst the enemy’s loss in that respect must have been heavy, from the fact of his being repulsed so often. The second day, however, we lost heavily in captured, from the fact that the enemy enveloped Warren’s right before he was aware of it. I withdrew the troops from north of the James River last night, and now the Second Corps must be nearly in supporting distance of Warren.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., August 21, 1864-1.30 p. m.

The enemy came out and attacked Warren between 10 and 11 a. m., but were repulsed with great ease. No loss reported on our side except General Culter, slightly wounded, and Colonel Dushane, killed. General Warren reports 400 prisoners captured that he knows of; there may be more. I am expecting a heavy attack this afternoon, and preparing for it.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., August 22, 1864-10 p. m.

Everything quiet to-day. There were indications all day of the enemy collecting his strength to attempt to drive our forces from the railroad. The effort may be made to-morrow. I suspended about 2 a. m. to-day the order for an attack which had been prepared and was to have been made at daylight. Yesterday’s operations cost the enemy very dearly in killed, wounded, and captured, whilst our loss was very small.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., August 23, 1864-6 p. m.

Our position on the weldon railroad now seems entirely secure. One division of infantry and the cavalry have been working worth, destroying the road as they go. They met some opposition to-day from the enemy’s cavalry and were consequently further re-enforced. Prisoners taken since the last repulse of the enemy repeat the report of W. H. F. Lee being mortally wounded, General Clingman losing a leg, and General Sanders killed. These reports, however, may not be reliable.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., August 24, 1864.

Yesterday evening the enemy engaged our cavalry which was protecting the party destroying railroad near Reams’ Station. General Gregg was about one mile and a half west from the station and maintained his position, the fight lasting from 4.30 p. m. till 9 p. m. He reports his loss at 75. Earlier in the afternoon colonel Spear, commanding brigade of Kautz’s cavalry, had a sharp engagement with the enemy’s cavalry on the Vaughan road near Reams’ Station, and, nortwith-standing largely superior forces against him, maintained his ground, inflicting heavy loss on the enemy. He reports over 180 of the enemy’s dead left upon the field. The road is now thoroughly destroyed to

Reams’ Station; the force on the road was largely re-enforced last night, and will push on the work. I send to-day a Richmond paper of the 23d, directed to the Secretary of War. You will see from that great despondency was caused by the last affair on the Weldon road. In Richmond they have reports of 5 generals being killed in that action, but the death of but 2 of them (Sanders and Lamar) is positively confirmed.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., August 26, 1864.

I have no report of casualties yet from operations yesterday near Reams’ Station. Orders were given during the day for General Hancock to return, but being pressed by the enemy, he could not do so until night. Frequent assaults were repulsed, but just before night the enemy carried one point of the line and captured eight pieces of artillery. The staff officer, who gives the only report I have, thinks the enemy were very severely punished, and that our loss in prisoners will be small. During the night General Hancock returned to his place in line without opposition. Yesterday morning the enemy drove in General Butler’s picket-line. The picket guard soon rallied, however, drove the enemy back and re-established their lines. The result was 1 killed, 16 wounded, and 14 missing on our side. Two commissioned officers and 59 men were captured from the enemy. What their casualties were in killed and wounded we do not know.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

DEEP BOTTOM, September 29, 1864-4 p. m.

Kautz’s cavalry was in sight of Richmond at last accounts, on the Darbytown road. A division of infantry has been sent to his support. I did not expect to carry Richmond, but was in hopes of causing the enemy so to weaken the garrison of Petersburg as to be able to carry that place. The great object, however, is to prevent the enemy sending re-enforcements to Early.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington.

CHAFFIN’S FARM, September 29, 1864-10.45 a. m.

General Ord’s corps advanced this morning and carried the very strong fortifications and long line of entrenchments below Chaffin’s farm, with some 15 pieces of artillery and from 200 to 300 prisoners. General Ord was wounded in the leg, though not dangerously. General

Birney advanced at the same time from Deep Bottom, and carried the New Market road and entrenchments and scattered the enemy in every direction, though he captured but few. He is now pushing on toward Richmond. I left General Birney where the Mill road intersects the New Market and Richmond roads. The whole country is filled with field fortifications thus far.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington.

CITY POINT, VA., September 30, 1864.

General Warren attacked and carried the enemy’s line to-day on the extreme right, capturing a number of prisoners. He immediately prepared to follow up his success. Petersburg paper of to-day has a rumor, which it says is not confirmed, that one brigade of Sheridan’s cavalry was ambushed and destroyed at Swift Run Creek. Early was to have attacked Sheridan at Mount Sidney on the 28th.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

CITY POINT, VA., September 30, 1864-5 p. m.

General Butler reported at 3 p. m. that the enemy had just made an assault in three columns on his line near Chaffin’s farm, and had been repulsed. No report from Meade since he carried the enemy’s line near Poplar Spring Church.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., October 1, 1864-10 a. m.

The enemy assaulted General butler’s line north of the James River three times yesterday afternoon, and were repulsed each time, General Butler reports, with heavy loss. Late in the evening Potter’s division, Ninth Corps, whilst moving to get to the left of Warren, near Poplar Spring Church, was vigorously assaulted by a superior force and driven back until re-enforced by Griffin’s division, when the enemy were checked, General Meade thinks, with heavy loss. Potter lost from his division a considerable number killed, wounded, and captured. The enemy are now threatening our left in considerable force. Our line extends full two miles west of the Weldon railroad with the left turned back. The troops entrenched themselves during the night.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

General Butler, on the right of the James, and General Meade, southwest of petersburg, occupy the same position as yesterday. There has been very little fighting to-day; a few prisoners, however, have been captured. General Butler reports having last evening sent two brigades of infantry with a little cavalry within a few hundred yards of the inner line of works east of Richmond, meeting with no opposition.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington.

VARINA, October 10, 1864.

I find our losses the other day were much less than first reported; 400 will about cover our entire loss in killed, wounded, and captured. The enemy’s loss were many more. About 150 men were captured, and a great many dead fell into our hands. The loss of the enemy could not be less than 1,000 or 1,200.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., October 10, 1864.

Our entire loss in the enemy’s attack on our lines on Friday, the 7th instant, does not exceed 300 in killed, wounded, and missing. The enemy’s loss is estimated by General Butler at 1,000. The Richmond Whig of the 8th, speaking of the attack, has the following:

The gallant General Gregg, commanding a Texan brigade, fell in the advance. Among other casualties we have to report General Bratton, of South Carolina, badly wounded; Colonel Haskell, Seventh South Carolina Infantry [Cavalry], severely wounded in face, and Major Haskell, of the South Carolina artillery, also wounded. Rumor stated that General Gary had been killed.

Since Friday there has been no fighting whatever.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Hon, E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington.

CITY POINT, VA., October 27, 1864-9 p. m.

I have just returned from the crossing of the Boydton plank road with Hatcher’s Creek. Our line now extends from its former left to Armstrong’s Mill, thence by the south bank of Hatcher’s Creek to the point above named. No attack was made during the day further than to drive pickets and the cavalry inside of the main works. Our casualties have been light, probably less than 200 killed, wounded, and missing. The same probably is true with the enemy. We captured, however, 7 loaded teams on the way from Stony Creek to the enemy, about a dozen beef-cattle, a traveling forge, and 75 to 100 prisoners. On our

right General Butler extended around well toward the Yorktown road without finding a point unguarded. I shall keep our troops out where they are until toward noon to-morrow, in hope of inviting an attack. This reconnaissance, which I had intended for more, points out to me what is to be done.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington.

CITY POINT, VA., October 28, 1864-9 a. m.

The enemy attacked our left (Hancock) last evening with great vigor. I cannot give the results yet, though the fight was sanguinary on both sides and resulted in a considerable number of captured. General hancock thinks he captured more prisoners than he lost. I will try to give you full particulars during the day.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

CITY POINT, VA., October 28, 1864.

The attack on General Hancock, now that a report is received, proved to be a decided success. He repulsed the enemy and remained in his position, holding possession of the field until midnight, when he commenced withdrawing. Orders had been given for the withdrawal of the Second Corps before the attack was made. We lost no prisoners except the usual stragglers who are always picked up. Our captures for the day on the sough side foot up 910. The rebel General Dearing is reported killed. General Meade in his report says:

I am induced to believe the success of the operations, which was most decided, was mainly due to the personal exertions of Major-General Hancock and the conspicuous gallantry of Brigadier-General Egan.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., November 7, 1864.

Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing in the attack on our picket-line the night of the 5th, proves to be only 20. Deserters from that portion of the enemy’s line making the attack say theirs was about 200. Our captures were 42 prisoners and some entrenching tools. The enemy have asked permission to bury their dead under flag.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington.

CITY POINT, VA., December 1, 1864.

Gregg’s cavalry was sent south this morning on a reconnaissance, more particularly to discover if the enemy were moving troops south. The following dispatch is just received in relation to it:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
December 1, 1864-8 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

I have just heard from Gregg. His dispatch is dated 3.45 p. m. He reports having captured Stony Creek Station, which was defended by infantry and cavalry in works with artillery; [he captured two pieces of artillery,] but had no means of bringing them off, so spiked them and destroyed the carriages. He Has 190 prisoners, 8 wagons, and 30 mules. Burnt the depot with 3,000 sacks of corn, 500 bales of hay, a train of cars, large amount of bacon, clothing, ammunition, and other Government stores. Destroyed all the shops and public buildings. The Second Brigade, Colonel Gregg commanding, had the advance and is reported as most gallantly carrying the enemy’s position. General Gregg is now returning to camp. No information could be obtained of the passing of any force south ward, either cavalry of infantry. The bed of the branch road from Stony Creek has been graded, but no rails laid. At Duval Station, south of Stony Creek, much property was destroyed, and a large amount of railroad iron found, which an effort was made to destroy by burning. When the staff officer who brought the dispatch left the enemy were showing signs of having concentrated and were following, but he thinks General Gregg will be in camp by midnight.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK, Washington.

CITY POINT, VA., December 7, 1864-10 p. m.

General Warren, with a force of about 22,000 infantry, six batteries, and 4,000 cavalry, started this morning with the view of cutting the Weldon railroad as far south as Hicksford. Butler at the same time is holding a threatening attitude north of the James to keep the enemy from detaching from there. To-night he has moved 6,500 infantry and two batteries across James River, to be embarked at Bermuda Hundred, to co-operate with the navy in the capture of the mouth of Cape Fear River. Palmer has also moved, or is supposed to have moved, up the Roanoke to surprise Rainbow, a place the enemy are fortifying, and to strike the Weldon road, if successful, south of Weldon. To-day General Butler sent some troops across the river above Dutch Gap and captured the pickets, and now holds the opposite side of the river, it being a long bend overflown by high tide, with no outlet except along the levees on the bank. I think he will be able to hold it. This may prove of advantage in opening the canal, and is a decided advantage in holding the enemy, who have long been expecting an attack, when it is opened. It is calculated to keep the enemy at home whilst Warren is doing his work.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., December 11, 1864.

There has been no news from Warren since the evening after he left.

The Richmond papers, however, contain no news of any engagement with him beyond a rumored fight between Hampton’s cavalry and some

of his forces. A force of some 8,000 men were sent south yesterday under General Potter to secure his return. The latest news contained in Richmond papers of yesterday from Sherman’s army says that on the 7th he was east of the Ogeechee, twenty-five miles from Savannah, marching on that place. On the 6th he had marched his army eighteen miles.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington.

CITY POINT, VA., December 11, 1864-8.30 p. m.

The following dispatch from General Warren has just been received from General Meade:

SUSSEX COURT-HOUSE, December 11, 1864.

General MEADE:

I have completely destroyed the railroad track from the Nottoway to Hicksford, and my command is all at the crossing of the Nottoway. Time did not allow me to go in between Nottoway and Stony Creek, but that can be done at any time. I have met but trifling opposition or annoyance, but the marching and working night and day has been very fatiguing, and the weather very uncomfortable. The men, however, stood it all in good spirit, and we have made the best marching I have ever seen. The roads are now in a very bad condition. I propose to return to-morrow.

Respectfully,

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

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 17-25

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