No. 39. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Pokorny, Seventh New York Infantry.1
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH REGIMENT,
April 15, 1865.
SIR: In compliance with orders received from brigade headquarters, I beg to submit the following account of the part taken by this regiment in the recent operations:
The regiment left its camp near Hatcher’s Run on the morning of March 29, crossed Hatcher’s Run at about 3 p. m., and immediately began building breast-works. At 4 o’clock formed line of battle and advanced about five miles and a half, where the regiment rested for the night in a breast-works evacuated by the enemy.
On March 30 advanced at 4 o’clock in the morning about one mile, building several times breast-works on our road; heard heavy picket-firing at our right and prepared for an engagement.
On the 31st, at 4 a. m., we marched along the breast-work in order to relieve the Fifth Corps, which was engaged with the enemy; 100 men of the regiment were sent as re-enforcement to the Fourth Brigade, which was in front. At 11 o’clock the regiment finds itself engaged also; it charges the enemy, drives him out of a farm, advances farther, and finally remains in the woods, where breast-works were at once erected. Our loss on this day amounts to 1 officer killed, 3 officers and 16 men wounded. Eighty-five prisoners in the hands of the regiment proves that it has done its duty. In the night ensuing we give a picket of thirty-five men, who rejoin us in the morning of the 1st of April. The regiment returns to the position from where it had marched the day previous. In the evening we advance again to the breast-works abandoned in the morning and remain there about one hour. We give a picket of twenty-five men, who take part in a reconnaissance undertaken by General De Trobriand and lose about 13 men wounded and missing. The regiment along with the whole division marches afterward to join Sheridan’s army, which it reaches at about 2 o’clock in the night.
On the morning of April 2, we advanced toward South Side Railroad; we march in line of battle, forty men of the regiment acting as flankers on our left. At 9 o’clock reach the enemy’s breast-works, when our flankers were employed as skirmishers in the front; found the breast-works abandoned. Advance about four miles, till near South Side Railroad, and attacked the enemy in his strong entrenchments. The first charge was made almost exclusively by this brigade, but being vastly inferior in numbers we had to retreat with heavy loss. Some artillery came to our assistance. A second charge, in which the regiment took the lead, was likewise unsuccessful. At a third charge, assisted by Colonel Nugent’s brigade, we dislodged the enemy, and encamped near South Side Railroad for the night, after having given a guard of forty men to watch the prisoners. Our loss on this day consisted in 1 major and 4 line officers wounded, 14 men killed, 40 men wounded, 1 lieutenant and 27 men missing.
On the morning of April 3 the regiment detailed a lieutenant and twenty-five men as guard for the ammunition train, and at 10 a. m. begins its march toward Danville railroad.
On the 4th, in the morning, resumes its march, but after having made six miles it is ordered to return about five miles for the sake of mending the almost impassable roads.
On the 5th the regiment advances again in order to join the division, which it reaches late in the evening at Danville railroad.
On the 6th the regiment is detailed to cover Clark’s and Dakin’s batteries, who succeed in capturing part of the enemy’s train, at which occasion the battle-flag of the First South Carolina Regiment falls as a trophy into our hands. In the night we received the order to rejoin the brigade.
On the 7th, at about 6 o’clock, we march toward Lynchburg, crossed the railroad near Farmville, and at about 11 o’clock meet the enemy in the woods, where we find us heavily shelled, losing seven men by one shell. The regiment details 100 men as skirmishers, who lose 1 officer, slightly wounded, and 8 men killed and wounded. After this detail has been recalled the Fifth New Hampshire Regiment was repulsed by the enemy, and another picket detail required of us. It was this detail which had our flag of truce, and the enemy’s passing through.
On the 8th, a. m., the enemy had left his position in our front, and we march in pursuit as far as New Store. After a short halt the regiment advances in skirmish line; some little firing takes place, when the brigade joins us. At 11 p. m. the regiment advances about five miles farther.
On the 9th, in the morning, the regiment resumes its march till about 10 a. m., when General Meade is seen passing by. Another advance of about one mile, and the regiment goes into camp amidst a cloud of rumors concerning peace conferences, surrendering of armies, &c.
On the 11th the regiment begins its march toward Richmond, and after long and tiresome marches, in which this regiment distinguished itself by being almost entirely without stragglers, we reach Burkeville, where we are in camp now.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Seventh Regiment New York Volunteers.
Captain H. DODT,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
- 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. 736-737 ↩
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