Number 29. Reports of Major George W. Scott, Sixty-first New York Infantry, of operations August 13-20 and December 9-10

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

Numbers 29. Reports of Major George W. Scott, Sixty-first New York Infantry, of operations August 13-20 and December 9-10.1

HEADQUARTERS SIXTY-FIRST NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
September 24, 1864

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the operations from August 13 to 20, 1864:

August 13, embarked on transport at City Point, at 1 p.m. At 3 p.m. steamed down the James River to opposite Light-House Point, where we lay at anchor until 11.30 p.m., when we proceeded up the river, arriving at Dutch Gap at about 1.30 a.m. 14th instant. August 14, disembarked at Dutch Gap and bivouacked until 6 a.m., at which time we moved forward with the brigade, forming the rear of the column, until we reached the New Market road. Was ordered to occupy an old line of breast-works along the road, which was done. While lying in this position we were occasionally shelled by the enemy, whose artillery was posted in a commanding position in our front, severely wounding the color bearer. At 8 p.m.., under orders from Brigadier-General Miles, I moved my regiment forward several hundred yards and spent the night constructing a line of breast-works with the One hundred and eighty-third. Pennsylvania Volunteers on my right and the Eighty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers on my left. August 15, 6 a.m. moved out of the breast-works constructed during the night and took a position on the New Market road about one-half mile to the right of that formerly occupied. About 12 m. was ordered by General Miles to “fall in,” and marched with the brigade to the extreme right and to the junction of the New Market and Malvern Hill roads; bivouacked. August 16 moved with the brigade by wood road to the Charles City road, and advanced toward Richmond on that road to near White’s Tavern, in support of the cavalry. At about 2 p.m. the enemy advanced on us at this point, coming down the Charles City road, and I was ordered by General Miles to form line on the right of the road and at right angles with it, and engage him. Advancing my regiment to a crest which commanded a good view of the field and woods in our front. I gave orders for my men to lie down, which they did. The skirmish line was

soon driven in, and I formed them on my right, where they did good service. I soon saw the enemy advancing through the woods. I immediately ordered my regiment to rise up, which they did, and at the command delivered a well-directed volley, which effectually cleared our front of rebels. Howeverl, I caused my men to continue firing, as the woods but a short distance in front afforded good shelter in which they might form in sufficient force to drive me back and thus open the road. In a few minutes I observed the regiment on my right break and run to the rear, and immediately the enemy advanced on my right flank. I was about making preparations to receive him when I received orders from General Miles to withdraw my regiment on the road, which I did, bringing off my wounded. Marched with the brigade to the rear and went into position on the right of the Tenth Corps; bivouacked. August 17, no movement. August 18, at 10 a.m. moved to a point on the New Market road a little to the right of the position occupied August 14. About 5 p.m. moved to the extreme right and went into position west of the road; remained until 11 p.m., at which time moved back to our position on New Market road and built breast-works during the night. August 19, no movement. August 20, about 5 p.m., left the brigade, marched to pontoon bridge and crossed to south side of James River. Rejoined the brigade about 12 p.m. and marched southward, crossed the Appomattox and bivouacked near our old camp at 11 a.m. August 21.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

GEO. W. SCOTT,

Major, Commanding Sixty-first New York Volunteers.

Captain WILLIAM McALLISTER,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTY-FIRST NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,

[December 10, 1864.]

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of movements of this command during the 9th and 10th instant:

Broke camp on the morning of the 9th at 6 a.m., marched, leading the brigade, toward the left flank and rear, passed through the works, and pursued our march on the Vaughan road to a point about four miles out, when I was ordered to form line at right angles, and to the right of the road. Remained here about half an hour, when distinct firing was heard in our front. Shortly after, Brevet Brigadier-General Macy personally directed me to move down the road at a double quick; did so for about 500 yards; came to a stream (Hatcher’s Run). This stream was filled at the time with men of the Second New York Artillery and some cavalry. As I was unable to make a crossing I tried to ford, but found it impossible to do so. General Macy then directed me to try and cross below. I got one company across, Lieutenant G. Joyce leading, but not until the men were completely wet through the water being over their heads and at times completely submerging them. General Miles then directed me to form the remainder of my regiment on the crest of the hill to the left of the road. I did so. All this under a heavy musketry fire. By this time I had proceeded about 500 yards down the creek, and there discovered a dam. Reporting this to Generals Miles and Macy, I was then ordered to send my men at the double-quick across it to the op-

posite bank, and also to take and hold the earth-works there. This I did. Shortly afterward General Macy directed me to send a company down the stream to find and hold a work covering a ford close by a mill. This I also did, Captain H. C. Williams having command of the company. He soon reported that at a distance of about one-quarter of a mile below the dam he had found a mill and ford, covered by a small work, and had succeeded in holding it. Here he was fired upon. At 4 p.m., still holding these two parts of the creek, I was ordered to send a sufficient number of men to the right and relieve the Second New York Artillery. I did so, thus covering their crossing and occupying works at these points. Threw out pickets and remained all night, and until 12 m. of the 10th instant. I was then ordered to reduce my command on that side of the river to about fifty men, sending back to the opposite bank the remainder of my regiment for bivouac. I did as directed, holding also these crossings or bridge-ways and the dam. About 3 p.m. on the 10th instant the enemy advanced on my right, coming down the Vaughan road, and also driving the cavalry in my front. I then advanced two companies as skirmishers to aid the cavalry, commanded by Lieutenants Phillips and Malcolm. They fought well, losing 17 men and capturing 15 or 16 prisoners. I was then ordered to withdraw my regiment. I did so as soon as I could get my men in hand to cross the run, but not until the cavalry had all passed over. The enemy advancing a strong line of battle compelled me to leave my wounded men on the field. In good order I rejoined the brigade and returned to our old camp near Fort Fisher, arriving there at 8 p.m. Annexed is a list of casualties.*

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

GEO. W. SCOTT,

Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

Captain WILLIAM McALLISTER

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*Shows a total of 13 men wounded and captured.

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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 271-273

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