Number 270. Petersburg Campaign Reports of Captain Seager S. Atwell, Seventh Connecticut Infantry, of operations August 17-21, September 28-October 7, October 13 and 27-28

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

No. 270. Reports of Captain Seager S. Atwell, Seventh Connecticut Infantry, of operations August 17-21, September 28-October 7, October 13 and 27-28.1

HDQRS. SEVENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS,
Bermuda Hundred, Va., August 23, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that I relieved Captain Perry of the command of the regiment, then in the intrenchments near Deep Run, Va., on the 17th instant, where we remained until about 7 o’clock the evening of the 18th, when in obedience to orders the regiment moved to the right, advancing but a few hundred yards, when the order was given to return to our former position at the works, as the enemy were advancing upon them, which we reached just as our pickets were driven in. Soon after the enemy made their appearance near the right of the regiment and were opened upon quite furiously for a few seconds. The firing soon ceasing, the pickets were again established on our front. About 11 p. m. we again received orders to move, and about 2 in the morning of the 19th halted on Long Bridge road, where we remained until 8 p. m. the 20th, when the regiment moved to the rear, reaching the bridge over the James about 11 o’clock which we crossed, and continuing our march, arrived in camp about 2 the morning of the 21st, greatly fatigued and well tired out by the incessant duties of the week.

Only one casualty occurred in the regiment during the time i have been in command, viz, Private Stephen H. Greene, Company K, wounded the 18th while on the picket-line.

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

S. S. ATWELL,
Captain, Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant E. LEWIS MOORE,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brig,. 1st Div., 10th Army Corps.

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS,
In the Field, Laurel Hill, Va., October 9, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers in the recent engagements of September 29, October 1, and October 7:

The regiment left camp before Petersburg on the afternoon of the 28th of September, with the rest of the Second Brigade, and bivouacked at Deep Bottom at about 2 a. m. of the 29th. At daybreak the regi-

ment, numbering 9 officers and 125 men, resumed the march, in connection with the rest of the brigade, passing through our earth-works and in the direction of the enemy for nearly a mile, when I received orders from Colonel Abbott, commanding brigade, to deploy my regiment as skirmishers and advance toward the enemy’s works. After passing an open field and through a deep ravine, through a heavy fire from the enemy’s batteries, together with musketry from their sharpshooters, we were ordered to halt, being about 800 yards from the enemy’s works, and I ordered the men to lie down in the line so as to conceal them as much as possible from the view of the enemy’s sharpshooters. We lay in this position for about half an hour, and were ordered to advance, the Third New Hampshire Regiment having been ordered up to our support, when I moved forward with my command and entered their works without further resistance. Our loss in this skirmish was 1 commissioned officer and 7 enlisted men wounded. After halting for about an hour, we again resumed the march with the brigade toward Richmond, arriving at the second line of the enemy’s works at about noon, and again halted. About 2 o’clock we marched with the brigade on a reconnaissance toward Richmond, but returned at night-fall, without further fighting, to the enemy’s second line of works, and bivouacked for the night.

On the afternoon of October 1 we were marched over the same road toward Richmond and were deployed as skirmishers, with the rest of the brigade, and ordered to advance on the enemy’s line of works. in doing so it was necessary to cross an almost impassable ravine in the face of a terrible fire from the enemy’s batteries, but notwithstanding the difficulties the line moved on in good order for a distance of about three-quarters of a mile, when we were halted within about 600 yards of their works, and soon ordered to fall back, when we retreated slowly and in good order, the enemy still firing upon us from their batteries, until we were out of range of their guns. We arrived at the place from whence we started at 10 p. m., and bivouacked for the night. Our loss in this skirmish was 1 killed, 4 wounded, and 10 missing.

On the morning of the 7th my regiment was ordered out of our intrenched position that we had occupied for four days on the right flank of our works, to move, with the rest of the brigade, to a position farther to the right and rear, in order to check the advance of the enemy, who had made a vigorous attack on the cavalry in front of us, and driven them in. After getting into our position in the brigade, and in line of battle, I was ordered to send fifty men forward as skirmishers,which I placed under command of Captain Thompson. Soon after I was ordered to send twenty-five more, but before they had time to deploy the enemy advanced in force, and I immediately opened fire upon them, directing my line of fire to the front, and to the right and left oblique, as the enemy showed themselves to be in strongest force, and they were soon repulsed. Our loss in this engagement was 1 killed, 13 wounded, and 1 missing.

The behavior of both officers and men in this engagement was perfectly satisfactory. All orders were promptly and cheerfully obeyed, and where all have done so nobly, it is difficult to mention any as especially worthy of honorable mention.

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

S. S. ATWELL,
Captain, Commanding Seventh Connecticut Volunteers.

Lieutenant E. LEWIS MOORE,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brigadier, 1st Div., 10th Army Corps.

HDQRS. SEVENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS,
Near Richmond, Va., October 14, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my command in the action of October 13:

The regiment was formed at 4 a. m., and we took up our line of march through our works, and in the direction of the Darbytown road and toward Richmond, in connection with the rest of the brigade, my position being on the right. After marching about one mile and a half we were halted, and I received orders from General Hawley to deploy my regiment as skirmishers so as to cover the front of the brigade. The regiment numbered 13 commissioned officers and about 175 enlisted men. Companies A and F were held as the right reserve, under command of Captain Townsend, and Companies D and I as the left reserve, under command of Captain Perry. Shortly after sunrise I received orders to advance my regiment. I was obliged to move slowly and cautiously on account of the thick undergrowth of trees in the woods through which we passed. After advancing about 500 yards we received a few shots from the enemy’s pickets, but they soon retired when our fire was delivered at them, and we were ordered to advance, which we did until it was very evident that we were very near the enemy’s works, as their tones of command could be heard distinctly. I soon received orders to move forward and feel of the enemy and ascertain their force if possible. We were soon met by a most terrific volley of musketry, which showed plainly that the enemy were in line of battle behind their works. The most of our line stood firm, seeking such cover as the trees and ground would afford, but the right fell back a few rods, owing to a misunderstanding of the orders. They were soon rallied, and our line established again. We lay in this position until about noon, when I was ordered to advance my line to the slashing, which was about forty yards in front of us, and to open a vigorous fire upon the enemy, whenever we heard the charge which the First Brigade were preparing to make. I accordingly advanced the line, but as it gave the enemy a good view of us, they opened another terrific fire of musketry and canister, and our line was compelled to fall back about seventy-five yards, and was very soon after re-established in our former position, where we lay until near night-fall, when we received orders to fall back and join the brigade, when we were marched back to camp again, arriving in camp at about 6 p. m.

My loss in the day’s engagement is 5 killed, 27 wounded, and 1 missing. I append a list of casualties.

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

S. S. ATWELL,
Captain, Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant E. LEWIS MOORE,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brigadier, 1st Div., 10th Army Corps.

HDQRS. SEVENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS,
Near Richmond, Va., October 31, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers in the late reconnaissance of October 27 and 28:

The regiment left camp near Spring Hill at 4.30 o’clock on the morning of the 27th instant, with one acting adjutant, two line officers, and

150 men, and proceeded with the brigade of which we form a part to within a short distance of the enemy’s works near the Darbytown road. I was then ordered to deploy my regiment as skirmishers, which was done, the left wing doing the skirmishing, and the right wing acting as reserve for the same. I established the skirmish line near the enemy’s works at 10 a. m. the 27th, when I was ordered to advance upon the enemy and feel of their works. I immediately moved my regiment forward, advancing some 300 yards, when we encountered the enemy’s skirmishers and drove them behind their works. Here we remained until 11 a. m. the following day, when I received orders to fall back, which was done to the satisfaction of all concerned. I then marched the regiment off the field in the rear of the brigade, which we joined near the Darbytown road, when we received orders to march to camp, where we arrived at 4 p. m. the 28th instant.

Second Lieutenant Morton A. Taintor was shot through the bowels, on the 27th, while gallantly performing hid duty, living only an hour. In his death the Government loses a brave defender and his regiment a good soldier.

Our loss in killed was 1; wounded, 4; total 5.

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

S. S. ATWELL,
Captain, Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant FERDINAND DAVIS,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brigadier, 1st Div,. 10th Army Corps.

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 712-715

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