Number 109. Appomattox Reports of Bvt. Brigadier General Joseph E. Hamblin, Sixty-fifth New York Infantry, commanding Second Brigade

   

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in Appomattox Campaign Reports (95)

No. 109. Reports of Bvt. Brigadier General Joseph E. Hamblin, Sixty-fifth New York Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.1

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS,
April 5, 1865.

Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE CLENDENIN, Jr.,

Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division, Sixth Corps:

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following reports of operations of the Second Brigade in the engagements of the 2nd and 6th instant.

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

JO. E. HAMBLIN,
Brevet Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS,
April 15, 1865.

Report of operations of Second Brigade in the action of the 2nd instant:

The brigade left camp at 10 p. m. of the 1st instant; was formed in two lines on the right of the Sixth Army Corps, in rear of the picket-line, to front and left of Fort Fisher-the Sixty-fifth New York State Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel H. C. Fisk commanding, on right; the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, Colonel Hubbard commanding, on left of front line; the Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel J. Harper, the One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, byt. Colonel E. Olcott, on left of second line. At 4 a. m. of the 2nd instant advanced in echelon of twenty paces to rear and right of First Brigade. Owing to the early hour and mist of moring, and the nature of the ground, the troops were in some confusion arriving at the rebel lines. A portion of the command, under Colonel Hubbard, Second Connecticut Volunteers Artillery, advanced directly to the front toward the South Side Railroad, while another detachment, under Lieutenant Colonel H. C. Fisk, Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers, and Lieutenant-Colonel Harper, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Lieutenant-Colonel Harper, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, turned to the right and passed down the line of works, capturing guns and prisoners for nearly a mile from the point of entrance. A third party, under Major J. W. Cronkite,

One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, moved to the Boydton plank road and cut the telegraph wire. The party which moved to the right-consisting of parties of One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonels Fisk and Harper-occupied and held a fort nearly a mile to the right, until nearly noon, when they were compelled to retire before a superior force of the enemy. The brigade was assembled, and remained guarding the position gained, the Sixty-fifth New York, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania, and One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers deployed as skirmishers, until about 12 m., when relieved by a division of the Twenty-fourth Corps. I was then ordered to march to support of the Ninth Corps; reported to General Parke at Fort Sedgwick; placed the brigade, under direction of General Hartranft, in the trenches of the rebel main works near Fort Mahone, where they remained until about an hour before daylight, when the whole command was deployed as skirmishers and moved toward Petersburg; assembled in suborns of the town and marched in order through the city between 4.30 and 5 a. m., being the first organized force in the place. Learning that many deserters from the enemy were secreted in Volunteers, Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers, and Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was charged with the collection of prisoners. At 10 a. m., marched back to old camp for knapsacks, left behind, rejoining the division at 8 o’clock that evening.

The losses in this day’s fighting, detailed reports of which have been forwarded, were: Killed, 2; wounded, 48; missing, 1; total, 51.

Five guns, 3 flags, and about 250 prisoners were captured on the 2nd, and one 84-pounder and about 200 prisoners on the morning of the 3rd instant.

Officers and men were so enthusiasts in the pursuit that little attention was paid to guarding or getting receipts for captured prisoners or property.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., FIRST DIV., SIXTH ARMY CORPS,
April 15, 1865.

Report of operations of Second Brigade in the battle of Sailor’s Creek, April 6, 1865:

The brigade was brought into position in two line-the One hundred and twenty-first New York State Volunteers, Brevet Colonel Olcott commanding on right, and Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Harper commanding, with right wing of Sixty-fifth New York State Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Fish commanding, on left of first line; the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, Colonel Hubbard commanding, on right, and the left wing of Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers on left of second line. Advanced across a broad swamp traversed by a deep creek; rallied the line on the opposite side preparatory to a charge. Finding a wide interval in the front of Third Brigade, on my right, moved the brigade by right flank about fifty yards, and charged up the hill under a heavy fire of musketry, deploying the second line by left flank as we advanced. The enemy were speedily driven from our front, but the troops on our immediate right being repulsed the enemy pushed forward, threatening my right flank. No supports were at hand. Brevet Colonel Olcott, commanding One

hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, rapidly changed front forward on his right company, and with a few men of the Third Brigade succeeded in repulsing their advance.

The Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Harper commanding, after carrying the enemy’s works, pushed on until they encountered our own cavalry, while the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, Colonel Hubbard, commanding, turned to the left, pushing half a mile up the road, capturing wagons, forges, battery wagons, &c. The Sixty-fifth New York State Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Fisk commanding, was deployed skirmishing in front and on flank of our left.

The losses in this action have been reported in detail: Killed, 17; wounded, 38; missing, 1; total, 56.

Two colors, a large number (exceeding 1,000) prisoners, wagons, forges, battery wagons, and a profusion of small-arms were the results of this charge.

I beg your attention to the following statement of gallant and meritorious conduct by officers and men of this brigade:

Bvt. Colonel E. Olcott, commanding One hundred and twenty-first, distinguished himself by abatis and gallantry which are beyond praise. The success of the 6th instant is largely due to the prompt and splendid manner in which he maneuvered his regiment, charging font under a heavy fire, and driving the enemy from ore right flank. I earnestly recommended that he be appointed brigadier-general U. S. Volunteers.

Colonel James Hubbard, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel H. C. Fisk, Sixty-fifth New York State Volunteers, and Lieutenant Colonel J. Harper, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, displayed the highest qualities of coolness and daring, under the most trying circumstances.

Captain Michael Kelly, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, on the 2nd instant turned the guns of a captured battery on the retiring foe and fired them with great effect; he also took a battle-flag inside the enemy’s works.

Captain G. N. Smith, Second Connecticut Volunteer Artillery, and Lieutenant Munger, Second Connecticut Volunteers Artillery, throughout the battle of the 2nd exhibited the most daring bravery and gallantry.

The following-named officers deserve notice for meritorious conduct in the assault of the 6th instant; Major Edward W. Jones, First Lieutenant Homer S. Curtiss, and Second Lieutenant Charles F. Anderson, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery.

Major James W. Cronkite, Captain John S. Kidder, Captain James Johnson, Captain Hiram C. Van. Scoy, and First Lieutenant Frank E. Lowe, One hundred and twenty-first New York State Volunteers, distinguished themselves by gallant conduct in the engagement of April 2.

Captain Kidder, Captain Johnson, Captain Jackson, Captain H. C. Van Scoy, First Lieutenant Hassett, and Adjt. F. E. Lowe, One hundred and twenty-first New York State Volunteers, particularly distinguished themselves by gallantry in the engagement of the 6th instant at Sailor’s Creek.

Captain Michael Devine, Captain Fred J. Volks, Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers, on the 2nd instant displayed great coolness and ability in handling their men on the Boydton plank road, where they advanced immediately after the charge.

Captain Ball, Sixty-fifth New York State Volunteers, was with that portion of the brigade that went to the right on the morning of the 2nd instant, and his conduct during that advance stamps him as an officer of more than ordinary merit.

Major August H. Fenn, Second Connecticut Volunteers Artillery, acting assistant inspector-general; Captain David Gordon, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, aide-de-camp; Captain C. H. Woodman, Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers, acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain James Deane, Second Connecticut Volunteer Artillery, aide-de-camp; and First Lieutenant Morris C. Foot, One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, aide-de-camp, rendered the most efficient services, leading the command in every advance, and throughout exhibiting the most intrepid valor.

Captain Deane turned the guns of a captured fort, and with a detachment from the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, fired them on the enemy, until no enemy was in range.

I earnestly recommend that all the above-named officers be promoted by brevet.

Corpl. Elijah A. Briggs, Company B, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, and Private George R. Walker, Company F, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, each captured a battle-flag on the 2nd instant.

Corpl. Thomas Daley, Company L, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, was the first man of his regiment on the works on the 2nd instant, and though painfully wounded, refused to leave the field.

Sergt. Wesley Gibbs, Company B, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, captured a battle-flag on the 6th instant.

Corpl. Homer S. Sackett, Company H. Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, without assistance, captured the colonel and major of a Georgia regiment on the 6th.

Private Dennis Moore, Company K, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, assisted in capturing Brigadier General Custis Lee.

Private Warren C. Dockun, Company H, One hundred and twenty-first New York State Volunteers, and Private B. Gifford, Company H, One hundred and twenty-first New York State Volunteers, each captured a flag.

Sergt. Redford Dustin, Company F, One hundred and twenty-first New York State Volunteers, on the 2nd instant, turned,loaded, and fired a captured gun upon the enemy.

Private Harris S. Hawthorn, Company F, One hundred and twenty-first New York State Volunteers, captured Brigadier General Custis Lee on the 6th instant.

Private Francis Sprowl, Company F, Sixty-fifth New York State Volunteers, was the first man of his regiment in the rebel works on the 2nd instant, and twice loaded and fired one of the captured pieces on the retreating enemy.

Color-Sergt. Patrick Leavins, Company H, Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers, and Corpl. Barney Farrell, Company G, bearer of the regimental flag, were very conspicuous for their gallantry on the 2nd instant, after being entirely under the enemy’s fire while moving to the right.

Color-Sergt. Albert J. Bannen, Company C, and Sergt. John B. Cook, Company D, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, captured one gun on the 2nd instant. Corpl. Francis A. Wilson* and Private Hosea B, Taylor, Company B, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, captured one gun on the 2nd instant. Private William R. Fox,* Company A, and Private John McLaughlin, Company G, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, captured one gun on the 2nd instant. Corpls. Albert W. Scott and Robert D. Wilson, of Company C, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, were the first of a number of men to enter the fourth fort on the

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*Awarded a Medal of Honor.

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right on the morning of the 2nd and captured three guns. These guns were partially disabled. They were compelled to leave them before fully doing so, and the guns were retaken by the enemy, but again captured by the Twenty-fourth Corps.

Color-Sergt. Albert, J. Banne, Company C, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, displayed great gallantry on the 6th instant, rushing ahead with the colors of the regiment while under a very heavy fire, and by his example urging the men to advance.

I earnestly recommend that a medal be awarded to each of the above-mentioned enlisted men.

For honorable mention I recommend Sergt. Major James S. Day and Corpl. Albert W. Scott, Company C, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, for gallant and meritorious conduct on the 6th instant.

Among the killed on the 6th instant I regret to name Captain T. C. Howland, One hundred and twenty-first New York State Volunteers; no braver or more gallant officer ever carried sword.

I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,

JO. E. HAMBLIN,
Brevet Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.

Source:

  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), pp. 931-935

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