February 27, 1865
Federal expedition from Winchester, VA, to the front of Petersburg, VA. 2/27-3/28/1865.
Maj. Gen. Philip Henry Sheridan’s US command starts from Winchester, VA, to Petersburg, VA, as Brig. Gen. Wesley Merritt, USA, moves with 10,000 Union Cavalry to operate against the Virginia Central Railroad and the James River Canal. Merritt is also ordered to capture Lynchburg, VA. Lieut. Gen. Jubal Early, CSA, attempts to gather as many Confederates as possible to deflect this latest Union advance.
Gen. Robert E. Lee, CSA, is and has been concerned over the large number of desertions his army has been facing. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s strength is rapidly dwindling.
The 91st New York leaves Baltimore, Maryland, bound for the Siege of Petersburg.
Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton approves of Grant’s desire to keep all Brevet Brigadier Generals at Petersburg commanding brigades who wish to remain, even after their regiments are mustered out of the service.
Brigadier General William Hays, reporting to the Siege of Petersburg for duty, officially takes command of Second Division, Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, replacing Brigadier General Thomas A. Smyth, who resumes command of his brigade.
A new Confederate mortar position opposite Union Battery No. 9 opened on it in the evening, presumably with no return fire.
The Virginia Reserves are ordered into regiments and battalions as follows:
- 10 cos. commanded by Col. B. L. Farinholt = First Regiment Virginia Reserves
- 10 cos. commanded by Col. Brockenbrough = Second Regiment Virginia Reserves
- 10 cos. commanded by Col. R. A. Booker = Third Regiment Virginia Reserves
- 8 cos. commanded by Col. Fletcher H. Archer = Third Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 7 cos. commanded by Major John H. Guy = Second Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 4 cos. commanded by Major David E. Godwin = Fourth Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 9 cos. commanded by Lt. Col. P. M. Henry = Fifth Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 9 cos. commanded by Lt. Col. Robert Smith = Sixth Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 4 cos. commanded by Major George Chisman = Seventh Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 4 cos. commanded by Major William A. J. Miller = Eighth Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 4 cos. commanded by Major Archibald Taylor = Ninth Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 5 cos. commanded by Major William W. Byrd = Tenth Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 5 cos. commanded by Major Samuel M. Wallace = Eleventh Battalion Virginia Reserves
- 10 cos. commanded by Col. Robert T. Preston = Fourth Regiment Virginia Reserves
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
Mentions of This Date at The Siege of Petersburg Online:
- OR XLVI P1 #4: Itineraries of the Army of the Potomac, Sheridan’s Cavalry Command, and the Army of the James, January-April 1865
- OR XLVI P1 #9: Reports of Bvt. Brigadier General Henry L. Abbot, 1st CT HA, commanding Siege Train, Jan 1-Mar 31, 1865
- OR XLVI P1 #180: Returns for the Army of Northern Virginia, Jan 10, 26-31, 31, Feb 10, 20, Feb 24-Mar 1, 1865