Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Bryce Suderow and is included in a collection of articles from the Quincy (MA) Patriot. His transcription of this article is published here with his written permission.
DEEP BOTTOM, VA
August 4th, 1864
July 24th — Everything quiet along our lines this morning. Colonel Hooper of our regiment “Field Officer of the Day,” went outside of the picket this morning reconnoitering and advanced about four hundred yards when he was surprised by the rebel videttes and taken prisoner. He was beloved by the regiment, and his loss will be felt very heavily. Nothing more of interest through the day. In the evening five of the companies ordered to lay in the Redan. Company G was one. It commenced raining about dark, and continued so through the night. We were completely wet through.
July 25th — Raining. Returned to camp at 5 a.m. Two deserters came in today but no news from them. Go on picket tonight. It cleared off about noon. Unusually quiet through the night.
July 26th — About 11 a.m. the 11th Maine and 10th Connecticut of our brigade were ordered across Four Mile Creek to reinforce a brigade of the 19th Corps that were doing picket duty there. Their pickets having lost the ground that the 11th Maine had gained for them the day before. The 11th relieved their pickets immediately after getting there and commenced skirmishing with the enemy. The gunboats opened and were very effective in firing. Our regiment (24th) lost quite a number through the day, but at night had gained their old position and held the enemy at bay. The 10th Connecticut were in reserve. We were relieved from picket at 5 o’clock, and returned to quarters. Rumors in camp that Sheridan is here, and intends crossing in the night with the cavalry, and make a break through the rebel lines. Shortly after dark General Hancock and staff arrived at the headquarters of General Foster’s, and we were all well aware that a large move is in contemplation. Sure enough about 10 1/2 p.m. the 2nd Corps crossed the lower Pontoon on to the Bluff; also, some of the cavalry; all the rest of the night is employed in crossing troops.
July 27th — About 5 o’clock a Brigade of the 2nd Corps crept on to the rebel battery while the 10th Connecticut kept the enemy employed in front, for the 10th had relieved the 11th Maine through the night. The enemy pressed the 10th pretty hard, and they suddenly gave way; the enemy following them up, when suddenly the Brigade rose up and made a charge, taking the enemy by surprise and driving them in disorder in every direction; capturing about 40 prisoners and four pieces of artillery marked “Captured From the Yankees at Drury’s Bluff.” They were 20 lb. Parrots, and proved to be the pieces that were captured from Captain Belcher’s Battery on the day we retreated from the Bluff. The order came for us to fall in and support two pieces of the 1st Connecticut Light Battery. Advanced to the outposts of our picket lines, and half of our regiment ordered to advance as skirmishers and to push the enemy slowly back. They done so and kept up a constant fire. The two pieces got into position and opened on the enemy’s rifle pit — but received no answer; firing continued all day. About 4 o’clock p.m. orders came to cease firing and return to quarters, as we had accomplished all that was desired. The artillery retired. Our regiment (24th) was ordered to stop on picket. It was very quiet — not a shot being fired. Shortly after dark a shot was heard from one of Company I’s posts. It proved that one of the 1st Maryland Dismounted Cavalry men had been wounded in the skirmish through the day and left outside when the picket line fell back to its old position. He soon made himself known and was properly cared for; another was found the next morning. Quiet the rest of the night. No news from the reconnoitering party. We had two men wounded in the skirmish: Sgt. Jelly, Co. H, foot; Corporal Minneham, Co. A, shoulder.
July 28th — Pleasant. The enemy’s sharpshooters have diversified themselves by occasionally firing at our videttes, but receiving no answer they soon ceased. The Johnnie’s band played some splendid music last evening, which we enjoyed very much. Everything quiet through the forenoon. About 1 o’clock the order came for our pickets to advance and make all the racket we could, and keep up a brisk firing. We had ascertained that there was no force of amount in our front; we done so, and were assisted by the gunboats, and two pieces of the 1st United States Artillery. The firing continued about three and a half hours, when we were ordered to retire to our posts. Only a few shots were fired by the enemy. We were relieved from picket at 5 o’clock. Ordered to sleep with our equipments on. The 2nd Corps fell back during the night, and the rear guard crossed just at daylight.
July 29th — Quiet. The Pontoons were taken up and everything seemed still and quiet with the exception of the heavy dull roar of artillery, which can be heard in the direction of Petersburg. Large number of rebel troops could be seen in the distance, moving towards Petersburg, and our gunboats fired a few shots at them — the results were unknown.
July 30th — Everything quiet through the day with the exception of an exchange of shots now and then by the pickets. Fell in at dark and went out and worked all night throwing up rifle pits and building a small Redan.
July 31st — Returned to camp at 5 o’clock a.m. Got breakfast and turned in for a snooze. At Ten a.m. orders came suddenly for us to fall in and march to the Redan as it was reported that the rebels were advancing from three different points. The gunboats opened and soon dispersed them. Everything became quiet and we returned to camp at 12 m. It was extremely hot, and quite a number of our boys felt it very much, especially with the headache. Were on picket at five; considerable picket firing for about an hour; no one hurt. Remained quiet through the night.
August 1st — Everything quiet; only a very few shots exchanged today. Relieved from picket at 5 p.m.
August 2nd — Quiet. Pleasant and extremely warm. Four p.m. the enemy advanced on the right of our line of picket and engaged them for about two hours. Our pickets held their position, and the enemy retired. The 10th Connecticut were on picket at the time, and had four men wounded, one mortally, Quiet through the night.
August 3rd — Pleasant. Quiet along the lines. Quite a rarity for dinner — consisting of tomatoes from the Sanitary Commission, some salt beef and hard bread. Quiet a little shower this evening. Regiment again on picket. The line was relieved. Peace and quietness reigns throughout.
August 4th — Pleasant. No news of importance. Showery through the day; regiment relieved at 5 p.m. Very cool this evening. No news from Petersburg. Orders for fatigue at half past three tomorrow morning.
August 5th — Pleasant. The boys went out this morning and commenced chopping. Worked till 11 a.m. – returned to camp. Out at 3 and work till 6 p.m. Everything quiet along our line. Quincy boys all well. Quite an excitement this afternoon caused by a portion of our camp getting on fire by the carelessness of some of the boys burning cartridges. Some of the boys lost everything. All quiet now. More anon.
- “?,” Quincy (MA) Patriot, August 27, 1864, p. 2 col. 2-3 ↩