Number 243. Appomattox Reports of Colonel William B. Curtis, Twelfth West Virginia Infantry, commanding Second Brigade

   

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in Appomattox Campaign Reports (95)

No. 243. Reports of Colonel William B. Curtis, Twelfth West Virginia Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.1

HDQRS. 2nd BRIG., INDEPENDENT DIV., 24TH ARMY CORPS,
April 3, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken in the assault and capture of Battery Gregg, near Petersburg, Va., on the 2nd instant, by the Second Brigade, composed of the Twelfth West Virginia, Fifty-north Pennsylvania, and the Twenty-third Illinois Volunteers:

This brigade formed the left of the line and was the first to mount the parapets and enter the works, capturing the entire garrison of 300 men, 56 of the number being killed. The colors of the Twelfth Regiment West Virginia Volunteers were the first planted upon the parapets, and the color-bearer, Private Joseph R. Logsdon, Company C, was shot down just as the flag-staff was fixed int he ground. Three pieces of artillery were taken in the fort, and immediately turned upon the enemy in another quarter. Captain William A. Smiley, Company D, Twelfth West Virginia Volunteers, received the surrender of Lieutenant Colonel J. H. Duncan, who commanded the fort. James P. Ryan, color-sergeant, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was killed in the act of planting his colors. Two rebel flags were captured, on each by Privates J. W. Johnston, Company B, and Charles A. Reeder,* Company

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*Awarded a Medal of Honor.

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G, Twelfth West Virginia Volunteers. Major Nathan Davis, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, nobly led on in the charge after being severely wounded, and was killed after climbing the parapet. Second Lieutenant Joseph Caldwell, Company C, Twelfth West Virginia Infantry, was one of the first to enter the fort, where he was instantly killed with a bayonet.

The resistance of the enemy was desperate. Those who were foremost in entering the fort were shot down or bayoneted, and several were killed on the top of the parapet in the act of leaping inside. The officers and men of the entire command acted with the greatest bravery.

Altogether, the number of prisoners taken by this brigade amounted to 440 men, as reported by the provost guard. Part of them were captured on the skirmish line.

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

WM. B. CURTIS,
Colonel, Commanding.

Captain C. H. HURD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Independent Division.

HDQRS. 2nd BRIG., INDEPENDENT DIV., 24TH ARMY CORPS,
April 25, 1865.

SIR: In obedience to your orders, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the operations of the army since 2nd instant:

April 3, bean march on the Lynchburg road, arriving at Burkeville on the 5th; distance fifty-three miles. On the 6th the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers started at 4 o’clock in the morning on an expedition to High Brigade, five miles east of Farmville, Va., where it was captured after a sharp affair with the enemy.* At 12 m. same day the brigade, comprising the Twelfth Regiment west Virginia Infantry and one company of Twenty-third Illinois Infantry only (four companies were left on duty at Burkeville, Va.), marched with the division to a point seven miles on the Lynchburg road, where it was formed in line of battle, with the division forming the left of the line, and was immediately employed to extend the skirmish line, but did not become engaged. On the 7th moved to Farmville, Va., seven miles. On the 8th marched all day and part of the night, reaching a point west of Appomattox Court-House, in front of General Lee’s army, early in the morning on the 9th instant (distance thirty-two miles), and formed line of the left of the division. Excepting the skirmish line, was not actually engaged, though under the fire of the enemy’s artillery; no casualties. April 12, commenced march to Lynchburg, reaching there on the 13th; distance twenty-six miles. On the 15th set out from Lynchburg, arriving at Burkeville on the 19th; distance seventy miles. April 22, left Burkeville, Va., and on the 24th arrived near Richmond, Va.; distance fifty-eight miles.

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

WM. B. CURTIS,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain C. H. HURD,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

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*The number captured is not of record and they are not included in table, p. 595.

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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. 1219-1220

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