Number 260. Petersburg Campaign Report of Maj. Francis M. Kahler, Sixty-second Ohio Infantry, of operations August 14-16



in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

No. 260. Report of Maj. Francis M. Kahler, Sixty-second Ohio Infantry, of operations August 14-16.1

After taking command of the regiment, and remaining in view of the enemy’s works for two or three hours, I received orders to move the regiment to the right about one mile, where we remained until near sunset, when we were ordered to the left and near our old position. In regaining this ground we lost two men killed on the skirmish line. Two colored regiments advanced and took position on our left, occupying our old position, relieving us. We were then ordered to the rear about one mile, where we remained under arms through a drenching rain until about midnight, when we were ordered to the right of the Second Corps, near the James River, arriving at 3 a. m. 15th instant. Here we rested until 9 o’clock. I then received orders to move, and marched in the direction of Malvern Hill. The column was halted near Deep Run, when I was ordered to support the Fourth New Jersey Battery, which was then engaging the enemy. We remained in this position during the day, and in the evening received orders for a detail of 2 commissioned officers and 100 men for picket. These men were not relieved until the evening of the 17th instant. About 9 a. m. of the 16th I received orders to move to the right and support of General Foster’s brigade, which was then briskly skirmishing with the enemy. We moved forward in line of battle through a dense wood to near the slashing in front of the enemy’s works. Halted and doubled our columns, and were ordered to charge the works, which we did successfully, carrying their main pits and driving them through a field some distance beyond to a thick woods, where we halted, and fought them about a half hour. Their number being superior, and our right flank being exposed, we were ordered to retire to the pits we had taken. We fought them in this position about an hour, when the enemy regained their former position in the pits on our right and left, thus exposing us to an enfilading fire, which compelled us to fall back into the woods. In retiring into the woods I became prostrated from heat, and relinquished my command to Capt. Henry R. West.

In this engagement we lost 13 enlisted men killed, 42 wounded, including 3 commissioned officers, 1 commissioned officer taken prisoner, 6 enlisted men missing.

I had in the engagement of the 10th instant 118 enlisted men and 10 commissioned officers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major Sixty-second Ohio Volunteers.


  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), page 694


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