February 17, 1865
Confederate flag of truce boat William Allison, on her way back beyond the Confederate lines, was blown up by what was suspected to be a Confederate torpedo, placed in the river much earlier, with the apparent loss of all hands. The boat was not carrying any prisoners at the time of the explosion.
After a dispatch from the War Department changes the date of Brevet Major General Gershom Mott’s promotion to September 9, rather than August 1, Nelson A. Miles is found to rank General Mott, and again temporarily assumes command of the Union Second Corps while Major General Andrew A. Humphreys is away.
Bvt. Captain John W. Roder temporarily assumes command of the Second Corps Artillery Brigade while Brevet Lieutenant Colonel John G. Hazard is away.
Brigadier General, Byron R. Pierce, commanding Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Corps, returns two day’s late from a leave of absence, claiming unavoidable delays due to a severe snow storm.
Brevet Brigadier General William H. Penrose temporarily assumes command of Wheaton’s Division, Union Sixth Corps, in the middle of Wheaton’s temporary leave of absence.
Brigadier General Charles K. Graham assumes command of the Defenses of Bermuda Hundred, Army of the James.
Portions of Steuart’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division attack the Union picket line along the Bermuda Hundred lines at 1:30 a.m., but are repulsed.
Note: All “Today In The Petersburg Campaign” blog entries are used with permission from Ronald A. Mosocco’s Chronological Tracking of the American Civil War per the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Order the book HERE.
Copyright © 1993, 1994 by Ronald A. Mosocco