Number 70. Siege of Petersburg Report of Colonel Russell B. Shepherd, First Maine Heavy Artillery of operations March 25

   

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in Siege of Petersburg Reports (95)

No. 70. Report of Colonel Russell B. Shepherd, First Maine Heavy Artillery of operations March 25.1

HEADQUARTERS FIRST MAINE HEAVY ARTILLERY.
Before Petersburg, Va., March 26, 1865.

CAPTAIN: Pursuant to circular from headquarters First Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps, I have the honor to transmit the following report of the operations of this command in the affair of the 25th instant:

The regiment was moved out by the left flank, at about 2 p.m., and marching out in the front of the line occupied by the left of the First Brigade, struck a road running nearly parallel with the line of works about 1,200 yards distant. The regiment was moved to the left on this road a short distance, and halted, preparatory to forming a line, when the skirmish line in front and to the left was assaulted and driven in. The regiment was hastily brought into line of battle, and advanced to the edge of the field under a sharp fire, and after [getting] in position was joined by the Eighty-sixth New York Volunteers, on the right and the One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania Volunteers on the left. This movement, seconded by the prompt advance of the One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, checked the advance of the enemy, and a well-directed fire either threw them back from the rifle-pits or caused others to surrender. One commissioned officer and nine men were captured by this regiment. The rifle-pits in front were occupied by detachments from the regiment, while a temporary line of works was thrown up. For about an hour the enemy kept a scattering fire, and in this time [the] regiment on the right moved forward to the edge of the field, and this regiment was ordered to move forward to connect on the right. This movement was being executed by company, when the enemy, assaulting the skirmish line on the left flank, drove them in and occupied rifle-pits of the left, which enabled him to enfilade that part of the line already advanced, which consisted of a large part of the right wing. In this position the men were exposed to a galling fire, to which they could not effectively reply and such was their position that only the companies of the left wing could be employed to check the enemy. After a stubborn resistance the right wing fell back to their former position,while the left wing checked the enemy and caused them to abandon the line. In this attempt the enemy’s loss must have been severe, as the men fired with steadiness and at short range, while the

cover of the regiment almost shielded them from the fire of the enemy. Nothing of further importance occurred until dark, when the regiment was moved farther to the right and established the line of the brigade picket. During the tour of picket duty the works were turned and rendered very strong.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. B. SHEPHERD,
Colonel First Maine Heavy Artillery.

[Captain LINNARD,
Assistant Adjutant-General.]

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 230-231

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