Number 86. Siege of Petersburg Report of Lieutenant Colonel Abram L. Lockwood, One hundred and twentieth New York Infantry, of operations February 5-7

   

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in Siege of Petersburg Reports (95)

No. 86. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Abram L. Lockwood, One hundred and twentieth New York Infantry, of operations February 5-7.1

HEADQUARTERS 120TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
February 13, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the operations of the 5th, 6th, and 7th instant:

In obedience to orders received this command was formed on its color line at 7 a.m. February 5, in heavy marching order, with four days’ rations. It was then marched, with the rest of the brigade, to the left, about three miles, where a line of battle was formed, running east and west. At 12.30 p.m. orders were received to throw up a line of works. The line was almost completed when orders were received to withdraw from these works and mass near the Tucker house, being relieved by troops of General Ramsey’s brigade about 4 p.m. We

were then ordered into line again farther to the left, connecting with the Seventh New Jersey Volunteers on our right. While I was engaged in getting my regiment formed, the approach of the enemy was made known by rapid skirmishing for a few moments, and the falling back of the picket-line in our front. Before I got my regiment into position fairly the firing from the enemy became very severe, advancing through the woods with a yell, apparently making a desperate charge to break through our hastily formed line. I immediately ordered my regiment to open fire, which they did, pouring into the enemy so destructive a fire that they were driven back. Two distinct advances were afterward made by the enemy apparently in heavy force, but they were both times repelled, and with considerable loss, as was afterward ascertained by the number of dead left on the ground and buried in our front. A fire was kept up by the enemy until dark, but was not returned with as much vigor as it would have been had a good supply of ammunition been at hand. After dark a picket was thrown out, and it was discovered that the enemy had withdrawn from our front. The command was kept at work all night strengthening the line of works.

Both officers and men of the command behaved with great coolness and bravery, and where all behaved so well it is difficult to make particular mention of any one person. Chaplain H. Hopkins, of this regiment deserves particular mention, however, he being in the line with a musket and fighting bravely side by side with the men, and by his coolness and bravery exerted a good influence over them.

Our loss was trifling-only two men wounded-owing to the protection afforded, by a low, hastily thrown up line of works, behind which the command was partially sheltered.

On the 6th instant a new line was laid out, and the men were engaged during the 6th and 7th in building the new works.

This command suffered severely from exposure to rain and cold, and the number of sick is increasing rapidly.

Very respectfully, yours,

A. L. LOCKWOOD,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Captain J. P. FINKELMEIER,
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 247-248

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