Number 49. Siege of Petersburg Report of Captain Alfred A. Rhinehart, One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations March 25

   

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in Siege of Petersburg Reports (95)

No. 49. Report of Captain Alfred A. Rhinehart, One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations March 25.1

HEADQUARTERS 148TH PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS,
March 27, 1865

LIEUTENANT: In compliance with existing orders, I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of this command, on Saturday, the 25th instant:

Immediately after daylight the regiment was got under arms and kept in hand in the breast-works until about 3.30 p.m., when orders were given to have the regiment march out and join the brigade, then moving to the front. My command remained with the brigade in support of the picket on the right of the division line, and afterward in

support of the general line of the division, until about 4.15 p.m., when I was directed by Lieutenant Corliss, of the brigade staff, to take my command into an open field, just in rear of an old house and barn and to the right of a swamp fronting the center of the brigade camps for the purpose of supporting the picket-line. I here deployed the line to some extent along a rail fence, ordering the men to take down the fence, pile up the rails, and make covers of them for themselves. I also directed Captain Sutton, of the regiment, to take twelve or fifteen men, armed with Spencer rifles, to the picket-line and front as sharpshooters; with these he was enabled to annoy considerably a body of the enemy in a large white house just behind their picket-line, and he finally succeeded almost entirely in silencing the sharpshooting kept up from this house. At about 5 p.m. the picket reserve in front, being pressed by the enemy, came back in confusion on my line. The enemy kept up a rapid fire, and part of my line on the right and left were thrown into confusion; this was aided by the fact, as some of the men persistently declare, that an officer repeatedly cried, “fall back, men; fall back, men.” The whole line was immediately rallied, however, and moved forward in a few moments to the old buildings on the crest of the hill. Here a constant and rapid fire was kept up on the left flank of the enemy’s column, attacking the main line of the division until dark. The regiment then held position here until about 12.30 a.m. of the 26th, when orders were received to return to camp.

During the day I lost 1 man killed, 1 officer and 8 men wounded, and 1 man missing.

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

ALFRED A. RHINEHART,
Captain, 148th Pennsylvania Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant S. P. CORLISS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Fourth 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), pages 210-211

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