Number 286. Petersburg Campaign Report of Colonel George B. Dandy, One hundredth New York Infantry, of operations August 14-20

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

No. 286. Report of Colonel George B. Dandy, One hundred New York Infantry, of operations August 14-20.1

HEADQUARTERS 100TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
Deep Bottom, Va., August 21, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the One hundredth New York Volunteers in the recent movement against the enemy from the 14th to the 20th instant, inclusive:

On the morning of the 14th the regiment was relieved from picket and ordered to fall in with the brigade. The position assigned us was the right of the brigade and in the advance against the enemy’s works. I was directed to keep my right flank as near as possible on Four-Mile Creek. This was not precisely possible on account of the nature of the ground and the presence of the enemy in rifle-pits on the opposite side of the creek. When the brigade moved forward the regiment advanced steadily, at no time halting until the outer works of the enemy were captured. In this assault the regiment took 35 prisoners and 40 muskets, most of the prisoners (21) being taken by Company G, Lieutenant Hughson commanding. The regiment, after having occupied the enemy’s pits, was subjected to a vigorous shelling,and his sharpshooters, from a belt of woods on our right on Four-Mile Creek, had a good fire on our flank and rear, and did us some damage. Between 2 and 3 p.m. I was directed by Brigadier-General Foster, commanding Third Brigade, to withdraw my regiment from the line for the purpose

of executing a movement on our right, designed to clear the belt of woods on Four-Mile Creek of the enemy, and open communication with the corps of General Hancock on the opposite side. This wood was crowded with sharpshooters, and it was reported that the enemy had a battery there. The Sixth Connecticut, Colonel Rockwell, was ordered to report to me as a re-enforcement. Having formed my own regiment and the Sixth Connecticut in two lines of battle, the One hundredth New York in front, I charged the woods at the double-quick, driving the enemy from it and the rifle-pits beyond it, capturing a battery of four 8-inch sea-coast howitzers in position at the edge of the wood, and established communication with the Second Corps. The line so taken was held and skirmishers established to defend it. In this assault I was supported by the brigade of Lieutenant-Colonel Coan, who reported to me after the assault and was placed on picket that night to hold the ground. The guns with limbers and a full supply of ammunition were brought off during the night. During the assault the enemy from his main work opened upon our flank very heavily with six or eight guns, but, fortunately, he had not time to inflict much damage.

On the morning of the 15th I joined the brigade with my regiment and bivouacked with it for the night. On the morning of the 16th, an advance against the enemy’s works being ordered, I was placed in position on the left of the brigade in echelon, with the Tenth Connecticut on my right. The ground in front of the enemy’s position was densely wooded and cut up with ravines, and it was extremely difficult to advance in good order. The advance was made steadily, however, under heavy fire until the hostile works were seen on the edge of a deep ravine remainder of the brigade, but the ravine was deep and the opposite bank inaccessible to troops. Having failed to reach the works, I withdrew my men from the ravine, and, having reformed them,ordered a second charge, which was as unsuccessful, as far as getting in the pits is concerned, as the first. In these two assault I lost many men killed, wounded, and taken prisoners, and in withdrawing to a new position was subjected then and for the remainder of the day to a sharp fire from the enemy. Darkness having supervened, I was directed by the general to intrench in my front, and before morning we were covered with a substantial rifle-pit, protected by rough abatis. On the 17th, with the exception of picket duty, the men were allowed to repose. On the 18th, the troops being in line behind our works, and expecting an attack from the enemy, our own artillery, which had been placed in position to sweep our front, by some mistake fired into the rear of our own troops, and in my regiment were killed 1 sergeant, and wounded, more or less seriously, 5 men. This created some confusion, which was, however, occupying works a few miles farther to the rear, on the New Market road, at Sykes’, where we remained until our return to this place, on the night of August 20.

I inclose herewith a list of casualties distinct for the different engagements and dates.*

My officers all behaved well and deserve praise for their coolness, courage, and energy.

To my adjutant, Lieutenant Peck, and to Major Nash, Captains Brunck, Granger, and Lynch, and Lieutenants Hughson, Gaum, Stowits,

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*Embodied in return of casualties, p. 119.

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and Nichols, I am greatly indebted for support and assistance under trying circumstances. To Major Nash and Lieutenant Stowits I am particularly indebted for great industry and sleepless energy during the building of our portion of the works on the night of the 16th. Also to the chaplain, Rev. J. B. Linn, who was constantly with the regiment, attending to the wounded and removing the dead.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

G. B. DANDY,
Colonel One hundredth New York Volunteers.

Captain P. A. DAVIS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Third Brigadier, First Div., Tenth 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 757-759

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