Number 63. Siege of Petersburg Report of Colonel Mathew Murphy, One hundred and eighty-second New York Infantry (Sixty-ninth National Guard Artillery), commanding Second Brigade, of operations February 5

   

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in Siege of Petersburg Reports (95)

No. 63. Report of Colonel Mathew Murphy, One hundred and eighty-second New York Infantry (Sixty-ninth National Guard Artillery), commanding Second Brigade, of operations February 5.1

HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, SECOND DIV., SECOND ARMY CORPS,
February 12, 1865.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following as the operations of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Second Army Corps, for the 5th of February, up to 5 p.m.:

About 7 a.m. took position in column in rear of First Brigade, marching out on the Vaughan road to the south. After halting near the site of the McDougall house, continued the march and diverged to the right toward the Armstrong house. Formed line of battle on right of First Brigade, my right resting on a swamp. Here the First Delaware Veteran Volunteers joined my command, forming in line on my right, refusing their right wing, with their two right companies thrown perpendicularly to the rear. This line was in advance of the Armstrong house and in rear of the Armstrong, jr., house. In obedience to orders from division commander, rifle-pits were thrown up in front of my command, and the men rested, awaiting further orders. During the day occasional shots from the enemy passed over us injuring no one, but about 4 p.m. the enemy opened with a battery on my left and another on my front. Believing that this fire was but a cover for an attack on my right no reply was made, but a sharp lookout was kept on the right flank. As soon as the enemy’s artillery ceased, their infantry advanced on my right, having in their front a strong line of skirmishers. Our pickets-consisting of the Sixty-ninth Regiment New York State National Guard Artillery-engaged them, and, after a spirited fire of about fifteen minutes’ duration, drove them back, when they again advanced and were again repulsed by our skirmish line. When the enemy advanced the second time I was placed hors de combat by having

been struck in the knee by a minie-ball, when I was conveyed to the rear, after having turned over the command to Colonel James P. McIvor, of One hundred and seventieth New York Volunteers.

I had almost forgotten to report that after the advance of the enemy’s infantry became engaged with our skirmishers, they again opened with their artillery. The whole command, including the First Delaware, behaved with much coolness.

Lieutenant Colonel William De Lacy, One hundred and sixty-fourth Regiment New York Volunteers, by his equanimity and exposure, set his command an example worthy of emulation.

Second Lieutenant Hugh G. McTavish, Company G, One hundred and sixty-fourth New York Volunteers, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Captain Robert Heggart, Company G, Sixty-ninth Regiment New York State National Guard Artillery, as well as the other members of my staff, ably assisted me. I would respectfully recommend the two last named officers, as also Captain Michael McGuire, Company D, Sixty-ninth Regiment New York State National Guard Artillery, who had charge of that part of the skirmish line which met the chief assault of the enemy, for such distinction as is usually given to bravery in action- brevet rank. Captain McGuire and Lieutenant McTavish were both severely wounded-the former in the breast; the latter, in the head.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MATHEW MURPHY,
Colonel Sixty-ninth Regiment New York National Guard.
Late Commanding Brigade.

Major JOHN M. NORVELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Div., 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), pages 220-221

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