Number 107. Siege of Petersburg Report of Colonel Richard N. Bowerman, Fourth Maryland Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations February 5-7

   

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in Siege of Petersburg Reports (95)

No. 107. Report of Colonel Richard N. Bowerman, Fourth Maryland Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations February 5-7.1

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, SECOND DIV., FIFTH CORPS,
Near Hatcher’s Run, Va., February 12, 1865.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report the following as the part taken by this brigade in the affairs of the 5th, 6th, and 7th instant:

Marched from camp near the Gurley house Sunday, the 5th instant, 7 a.m., going toward Hatcher’s Run, crossing same about noon; proceeded till 4 p.m., going into position at the Vaughan house on the military pike. At 11 p.m. marched on Vaughan road back to Harcher’s Run. Daylight, Monday, 6th instant, went into breast-works; 2 p.m. followed Crawford’s division, forming into two lines, advanced into the woods near the run, an engagement going on. A line of troops going to the rear at this time disarranged the line. Continuing to advance, encountered the enemy charging ahead. The enemy rapidly falling back, reached Dabney’s Mill; pressing on about 200 yards beyond, a brisk action commenced. Falling short of ammunition, withdrew slowly to the mill; remained here fighting the enemy till the ammunition gave entirely out, and the troops on the flank having fallen back, the brigade was withdrawn in good order and slowly back to the position occupied previous to going into the battle. Time engaged, about two hours and a half. Tuesday, 7th instant, remained in breast-works.

Herewith is list of casualties.*

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

RICH’D N. BOWERMAN,
Colonel Fourth Regiment Maryland Vol. Infty., Commanding Brigade.

Major W. W. SWAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Division, Fifth Army Corps.

[First indorsement.]
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
February 18, 1865.

Respectfully returned.

The major-general commanding desires to know whether this brigade retired (when, as is stated within, it was not supported on either its right or left flank) by orders from its division commander, and whether any of our troops were on its right or left flank; and further, whether the enemy assailed on either of its flanks, rendering its position untenable. The major-general commanding the corps wishes to secure his troops from charges thus made in official reports by one part of his command against another, and therefore makes these inquiries so that the report may be made more specific in its allegations against those who left this brigade unsupported. It is his present opinion the brigade left the front without orders and without encountering a sufficient force of the

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*Embodied in table, p.66.

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enemy to justify it. It hardly seems creditable that this command should have exhausted its ammunition so soon; but if so, it is no sufficient reason for a brigade commander to retire from the field without orders. If the command was so withdrawn, charges will be preferred against this officer, if it shall appear that he retired his brigade in the face of the enemy, without orders or without being driven back by the enemy. This report to be returned.

By command of Major-General Warren:

FRED. T. LOCKE,
Brevet Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Second indorsement.]
HDQRS. FOURTH REGIMENT MARYLAND VOL. INFTY.,
March 16, 1865.

Major W. W. SWAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Division, Fifth Corps:

MAJOR: In obedience to indorsement I have the honor to report that when the Second Brigade (under my command February 6) was withdrawn from the field there were none of our troops on either of its flanks, and that it was driven back by the superior force of the enemy.

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

RICHD N. BOWERMAN,
Colonel, Commanding Fourth Regiment Maryland Vol. Infty.

HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, SECOND DIV., FIFTH CORPS,
February 13, 1865.

MAJOR: I have the honor, in connection with my report of the 12th instant, to mention the gallant conduct of the brigade staff-Captain Josiah Bankerd, Fourth Maryland, acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain Fred. W. Simon, Eighth Maryland, acting inspector-general; Captain Jessee D. Childs, First Maryland, acting aide-de-camp; also, Major Harrison Adreon, commanding Fourth Regiment Maryland Infantry, and Major Edward M. Mobley, Seventh Regiment Maryland Infantry. Their conduct was of the most meritorious character and deserving of all praise.

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

RICHD. N. BOWERMAN,
Colonel Fourth Regiment Maryland Vol. Infty., Commanding Brigade.

Major W. W. SWAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Division, Fifth 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), pages 282-283

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