Number 65. Siege of Petersburg Report of Lieutenant Colonel Francis E. Pierce, One hundred and eighth New York Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations February 5-7

   

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in Siege of Petersburg Reports (95)

No. 65. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Francis E. Pierce, One hundred and eighth New York Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations February 5-7.1

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

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade during the operations on the 5th, 6th, and 7th instant:

The brigade left camp on the morning of the 5th, and moved out the Vaughan road. Shortly after passing the picket-line the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers was thrown out on the right as flankers. The brigade moved nearly to the place where the Vaughan road crosses Hatcher’s Run, where it took a road bearing to the right and leading to the Armstrong house. The brigade was there massed under cover of a slight ridge, and held in reserve. The First Delaware was ordered to report to Colonel Murphy, commanding Second Brigade, and it to report to Colonel Murphy, commanding Second Brigade, and it remained with that brigade until the morning of the 11th. At 11 a.m. the Seventh Virginia was ordered to report to Colonel Olmstead, commanding First Brigade, and under direction of a staff officer from these headquarters, it crossed Hatcher’s Run on the dam, under a severe musketry fire, and took position on the opposite side. The Fourteenth Connecticut Volunteers was placed in support of the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, and remained with it until the morning of the 11th. The Tenth New York Volunteers was sent in support of the skirmish line of the First Brigade. At 2 p.m. the Twelfth New Jersey was sent to build corduroy road. At 4 p.m. the enemy attacked in force on the right. The Fourteenth Connecticut Volunteers changed front, under a severe fire, in order to prevent the enemy’s advancing across a small run, while the Fourth Ohio and One hundred and eighth New York Volunteers were sent to form on the left of General McAllister’s brigade, Third Division, in order to make connection with that division. As they were moving away the Twelfth New Jersey, which was just returning from fatigue duty, formed on their right, and as two regiments were thought sufficient the Fourth Ohio and Twelfth New Jersey were conducted to the point indicated,and the One hundred and eighth New York Volunteers sent in support of the skirmish line of the First Brigade. The Twelfth New Jersey remained with the Third Division until about 9 p.m. when it was withdrawn, and commenced work on the road, which it completed about 1 a.m. of the 6th. The Fourth Ohio was returned to its original position, and the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, which had been relieved from the skirmish line in front of the Third Division, was established near it. On the morning of the 6th changes were made in the position of some of the regiments, and, with the exception of the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania and Fourth Ohio, all were in line on the left of the division, the left of the brigade resting on the run, the right connecting with the First Brigade. About 5.30 p.m. the enemy attacked the Fifth Corps on the left and as it seemed to be breaking and the flank of this brigade was threatened, the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers and Fourth Ohio Volunteers were moved to the left of the brigade and placed in position, facing the dam, and covering the dam and a brigade that had been constructed. across the run. They moved to their position in good order, under quite severe musketry fire, and were ready to repulse the enemy if it attempted to make a crossing at that point.

The conduct of the Fourteenth Connecticut Volunteers during the whole movement, and especially while changing front on the afternoon of the 5th, entitles it to commendation. The Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers particularly distinguished themselves by their coolness and bravery on the skirmish line on the afternoon of the 5th. All the troops in the brigade conducted themselves in a highly creditable manner, cheerfully obeying all orders and enduring the rain and cold without complaint. The various regimental commanders were zealous in the performance of their duties, and by their willingness and promptness greatly assisted in the execution of whatever the brigade was directed to do. All of the staff officers at these headquarters were prompt, energetic, and efficient.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. E. PIERCE,
Lieutenant-Colonel 108th New York Volunteers, 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 222-223

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