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NP: October 3, 1864 Philadelphia Inquirer: AP Reports, September 29-30

Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.



From the Front—Operations on the Right Wing.

FORTRESS MONROE, Sept. 30.—From the officers and others we gather the following facts in regard to the action on the north side of the James, which has thus proved a most brilliant success.

(illegible) the night of the 28th, the Tenth and Eighteenth Corps crossed the James river to the north side, moving with great celerity, and at daybreak on the 29th suddenly came upon the enemy.  The Eighteenth Corps (General ORD’S) met the enemy at Chapin’s Bluff1, charging the Rebel works with great gallantry, and were successful in carrying the Post (Fort Morris)2, with seven guns, and then charging and carrying at the point of the bayonet six other earthworks, capturing in all sixteen guns, and five hundred prisoners.

The works thus captured are very strong, and fully equal to any that the enemy have around Richmond.

The Rebel garrison, at first small, had been reinforced from Richmond.  One division of STANNARD’S took the salients of the main work, and thence, swinging around made a stand in the rear of the enemy in the other works, drove them out before them.  While doing this reinforcements came down from Richmond, but they were also driven out.  The division which did this lost every brigade commander killed or wounded.

General [Hiram] BURNHAM was killed, and Colonels [Aaron F.] STEVENS[, 13th New Hampshire] and [Michael T.] DONOHUE[sic, Donahue, 10th New Hampshire, who commanded the Second Brigade, First Division, Eighteenth Corps after Burnham was killed],  wounded, but not dangerously.  General [Edward O. C.] ORD was wounded.

This division behaved most gallantly, losing some five hundred men and officers, killed and wounded.

General [David B.] BIRNEY’S Corps also met with great success, driving the Rebels from their works commanding the New Market road, and gaining an important position, seriously menacing Richmond.  All accounts agree that the colored troops behaved admirably—a fact which is abundantly attested by their large number of wounded which have reached here.

Operations on the Left Wing.

Early yesterday morning General [David McM.] GREGG’S cavalry moved out in front of [Gouverneur K.] WARREN’S position, and captured the outworks of the enemy on the extreme right.

General GREGG afterwards got heavily engaged with the enemy at a point near the Tenley House, and captured between two and three hundred prisoners.

General WARREN immediately proceeded to follow up the advantages thus gained, but at the time the mail steamer left City Point, at 10 o’clock yesterday morning, nothing definite was known of his further operations.

General [George G.] MEADE moved yesterday morning in the direction of Poplar Church, and achieved a decided success in the way of important positions gained.

There was a report at City Point that General [August V.] KAUTZ, with a large body of cavalry, had cut his way through the Rebel fortifications, and had reached a point near the Rocketts, a short distance below Richmond, where he took up a strong position, and sent back for reinforcements.  This report though not confirmed thus far, show the hopeful and confident feeling prevailing at the front.

Heavy firing was heard late this afternoon on the extreme left, believed to be GREGG’S Cavalry engaging the enemy, as they went on a reconnaissance in the direction of the Southside Railroad, but the result of the trip has not yet been ascertained.

Rebel scouting parties of guerrillas have been capturing safe-guards left at houses in Prince George county, during the last few days.

One of these came in to-day to get his pay, and while on his way back to his post was seized and robbed of his money and other valuables, his arms and part of his clothing, and was then released.

Another was coming in, and being ordered to halt and surrender, drew his revolver and shot one of his enemies.  Afterwards he made good his escape, although pursued several miles.

The Rebels have been moving back and forth to-day in every direction, at one time marching off towards our left, and again returning to Petersburg, as if going to Richmond, and then appearing at some other point, and finally going out of sight altogether.

Some deserters came in to-day, who say the defeat of EARLY in the valley had caused a great depression throughout their ranks, and thousands were ready to leave on the first opportunity, having lost all faith in their final success.

Captain D. G. Pitts, of the Nineteenth Colored Regiment, was killed yesterday on the picket line, and two or three other men were wounded.

Sept. 30—6 A. M.—Brisk firing was kept up along the centre of the line all night, between the pickets, but this morning the utmost quiet prevails.

Reports that the Rebels are evacuating Petersburg are again in circulation here.

We have a strong hold near Richmond, and Gen. GRANT will, it is believed, keep it.  Heavy fighting was going on when our informant left.

The Casualties.3

The following is a correct list of casualties among the officers, so far as received:—

Lt. E. C. Pratt, 6th U. S. Cavalry, leg amputated.

Lt.-Col. McDonald[Christopher R. McDonald, also spelled MacDonald], 47th New York, leg amputated.

Lieutenant F. D. King, 188th Pennsylvania, arm.

Captain Fish, 81st New York, leg.

Captain C. M. Allen, 98th New York, shoulder.

Lieutenant Amos Reade, 8th Connecticut, groin.

Captain Cormick, 98th New York, head.

Captain W. T. Morehead, 76th Pennsylvania, foot.

Colonel S. A. Shirtleff [sic, Giles W. Shurtleff], 5th U. S. Colored, hand.

Colonel Daniel F Duncan, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division, foot.

Lieutenant John B. Young, 7th Connecticut, foot.

Lieutenant J. A. Ruthtaum, 8th Connecticut, side.

Major T. R. Hawkins, 6th U. S. Colored, shoulder.4. H. Stevens, 13th New Hampshire, commanding First Brigade, First Division, thigh.

Lieut-Colonel C. E. Rodgers[sic, Royce?], 6th U. S. Colored.

Lieutenant L. M. Landon, 6th U. S. Colored, thigh.

Lieutenant J. B. Johnson, 6th U. S. Colored, arm.

Captain R. B. Reaf(?), 6th U. S. Colored, ankle.

Captain W. A. Jones, 142d New York, arm.

Major H. T. Covell[sic, H. J. Covell], 6th United States Colored, arm.

Lt. E. C. Gosnell, 28th U. S. Colored, shoulder.

Lt. J. Murray, 4th U. S. Colored, arm amputation.

Lieutenant E. I(?). Johnson, 158th New York, thigh.

Capt. L. N. Converse, of Gen. Stannard’s staff, and Provost Marshall 1st Division, Eighteenth Corps, face.

Lieutenant (?). H. Harnham, 9th New York, legs.

Captain A. McLaughlin, 9th New York, legs.

Adjutant Samuel Foss(?), 6th Connecticut, thigh.

Captain Samuel Wynn, 58th Pennsylvania, chest.

Lieutenant W. H. McEvery, 6th U. S. Col., arm.

Lieutenant Michael Raden, 47th New York, back.

Lieutenant J. Johnson, 22d U. S. Colored, side.

Lieutenant D. W. Spicer, 4th U. S. Colored, leg.

Captain A. Matthews, 96th New York, foot.

Brigadier-General [Hiram] Burnham, killed.

Major-General [Edward O. C.] Ord, wounded.

Colonel Donohue[sic, Michael T. Donahue, 10th NH], wounded.

Our Cavalry Within a Mile of Richmond.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1.  Unofficial reports from the Army of the Potomac, up to yesterday morning, represent the movement of GRANT as progressing very (illegible)ly.

KAUTZ’ cavalry had made a reconnaissance within a mile and a half of Richmond, and found the enemy’s lines very weak.  The fortifications are numerous, but feebly garrisoned.

It is evident that LEE has been entirely misled by WARREN’S recent attack upon his right.

Deserters are coming into our lines very fast, and, report that LEE’S army, before WARREN’S attack, was moving to and fro, large bodies going northward and few returning.

The evident design of LEE was, by this movement, to deceive GRANT and withdraw, without detection, his troops northward.  The opinion prevails among our officers that LEE intends to contract his lines and get his army in position at Richmond as soon as possible.

He will doubtless act entirely on the defensive, and give his attention to the immediate defense of the Rebel capital.  A battle cannot be long delayed; in fact, every moment may bring us the most exciting news.5

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  1. SOPO Editor’s Note:  Chaffin’s Bluff
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: I am certain that the article is referring to Fort Harrison when it mentions “Fort Morris.”
  3. SOPO Editor’s Note: I tried to get the correct full names of all officers with the rank of Major and above correct. Further research is needed for the rest.
  4. SOPO Editor’s Note: Major Thomas R. Hawkins earned the Medal of Honor for his actons on September 29, 1864, where he received this wound.

    Captain Robert Dellard, 2d U. S. Colored, head.

    Lieutenant D. L. Way, 5th U. S. Colored, hip.

    Lt. J. C. Richardson, 38th U. S. Colored, lung.

    Lt. J. B. Backert, 6th U. S. Colored, thigh.

    Major R. C. Taylor, a Rebel officer, thigh.

    Lieutenant S. B. Van Croft, 38th U. S. Colored.

    Lieutenant P. H. Price, 1st United States Colored.

    Colonel A[aron

  5. “Further Reports by Associated Press.” Philadelphia Inquirer. October 3, 1864, p. 1 col. 3-4
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