Number 53. Appomattox Report of Brigadier General William Hays, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division

   

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in Appomattox Campaign Reports (95)

No. 53. Report of Brigadier General William Hays, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.1

FORT REYNOLDS, May 18, 1865.

Colonel WHITTIER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Corps:

I have the honor to transmit a report of the operations of the Second Division, Second Corps, from the 29th of March to the 5th of April, also the reports of the brigade commanders. These reports have been delayed in consequence of not having been able to get the necessary data to make my report out until just as I was leaving on the march from City Point.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM HAYS,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

FORT REYNOLDS, VA., May 15, 1865.

I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Second Division, Second Army Corps, from the 29th of March, 1865, to the 5th of April, 1865:

On the 29th of March the division moved out on the Vaughan road, drove in the enemy’s vedettes, and encamped at Dabney’s Mill. On the 30th marched in line of battle to the Crow house; took up a position there and intrenched. On the 30th a reconnaissance in force was made and the enemy’s works on our front found to consist of two redoubts, connected by a line and constituting a portion of his main works. The skirmishers and sharpshooters got so near to the enemy’s works that he could not use his artillery. The slashing in front of the redoubts was very heavy and difficult to get through. Early on the morning of the 2nd of April an attack was made on the enemy’s works and one redoubt taken. The troops then pushed on and took the second redoubt, capturing in the two redoubts three 12-pounder guns, with caissons all complete, and in good, serviceable order, also 300 muskets and about 100 prisoners. Strong supports followed the attacking party and the remainder of the division held in readiness to take advantage of any success. The redoubts were entered first and at about the same time by men belonging to the Seventh Michigan, Sixty-ninth New York,* and Company G, Eighth New York Artillery. The troops engaged consisted of the Seventh Michigan (Lieutenant-Colonel La Point), Sixty-ninth New York (Captain Haggard), Nineteenth Massachusetts (Captain Palmer), First Minnesota Sharpshooters, Company G, Eighth New York Artillery, and the battalion of the One hundred and sixth Pennsylvania, and the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania (Captain McAnally.) Skirmishers from the One hundred and sixty-fourth New York, a detachment of the Tenth New York (Captain Van winkle), five companies of the Fourteenth Connecticut (Captain Murdock), and a detachment from the Fourth Ohio (Captain De Witt and Captain Rounds). As soon as the works were taken the First and Second Brigades were concentrated in them. The Third Brigade had been sent early in the morning to support General Mott’s division, and did not rejoin the Second Division until evening. The conduct of the officers

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*National Guard Artillery, of One hundred and eighty-second Volunteers.

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and men engaged in the attack merits the highest praise. The division marched from Sutherland’s Station on the 3rd and arrived at Jetersville on the 5th of April at 2.30 p. m.

Brigadier-General Smyth, commanding the Third Brigade, Colonel Olmsted, commanding the First Brigade, and Colonel McIvor, commanding the Second Brigade, acted on all occasions with promptness and ability, and are deserving of special notice. Lieutenant Westcott’s battery (B), First Rhode Island Artillery, was in position at the Crow house, and did excellent service by its accurate firing, and assisted very essentially during the assault on the redoubts on the 2nd of April.

The officers and soldiers of the division deserve great credit for their patient endurance of the fatigue and exposure incident to so vigorous a campaign, and for their bravery and good conduct.

The officers of my staff – Major Norvell, assistant adjutant-general; Surgeon Maull; Captain Summerhayes, inspector; Captain Knapp, aide-de-camp; Captain Gleason, assistant quartermaster; Captain Doten, commissary of musters; Captain White, ordnance officer; Captain Porter, judge-advocate, and Lieutenant Moore, aide-de-camp – performed their respective duties in an efficient and satisfactory manner.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM HAYS,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

Lieutenant-Colonel WHITTER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Army Corps.

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. 757-758

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