≡ Menu

NP: October 3, 1864 Philadelphia Inquirer: Latest War News, September 29

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







Full and Interesting Particulars.




A List of Our Captures and Casualties.




He Moves Up to Within Two Miles of the City.



The Advance

NEAR PETERSBURG, via WASHINGTON, by telegraph, Oct. 2. 1864.—Yesterday on the right [September 29, 1864]1 and to-day on the left [probably September 30, 1864]2 another step onward has been made.  It is of the former movement that I shall write, and leave another correspondent to inform you fully in regard to the latter.  It is not quite clear that the time for a full development of the design and plan of these movements has arrived, and I shall confine myself to a narrative of what has occurred.  Yesterday morning, then, before daylight, two columns of troops were crossing the James River.  General [David B.] BIRNEY’S Corps with [Charles J.] PAINE’S colored Division of the Eighteenth Corps, moving over the pontoon bridge, at Deep Bottom, while General [Edward O. C.] ORD, with the two remaining divisions of the Eighteenth Corps, crossed at Aiken’s Landing, where the pontoon bridge had been constructed for the occasion.  The two columns were to effect a junction on the New Market Road, and form their line of battle with ORD on the left and BIRNEY on the right.  The bridge at Aiken’s Landing is just below Dutch Gap, at present the head of navigation for our gun-boats.  Above are the obstructions, and above these the river is held by Rebel gun-boats.  From the part of the river in the enemy’s possession, commencing nearly opposite Drury’s Bluff, is a chain of fortifications designed to bear against us in the several approaches to Richmond from the part of the river accessible to us.  It is a portion of this chain of fortifications against which our attack was directed.  The advance from this river was made simultaneously by the attacking columns, a little before daylight.


General BIRNEY took the road leading north from Deep Bottom to its junction with the Kingsland Road, and thence followed the latter towards the New Market road.  PAINE’S Colored Division was in the advance, and having driven in the enemy’s pickets or skirmishers before them, found themselves opposed by a strong line of breastworks, extending along the New Market road.


A charge was ordered and made with the bayonet.  The ground was difficult to charge over, timber and other obstructions being placed in the way, and the fire from the Rebel rifle-pits was rapid and deliberate, the charging column suffered severely, but they carried the works gallantly and without firing a gun, driving the enemy from their pits at the point of the bayonet.


General [Alfred H.] TERRY’S Division now came up and occupied the Rebel works to the right of those captured by the colored troops, while [Robert S.] FOSTER’S  Division, on the right of the latter, moved on up the New Market road to its intersection with the Mill road, where they found and captured another line of breastworks. These operations occupied the time from daylight until near noon.


In the meantime, General ORD, with [George A.] STANNARD’S and [Charles A.] HECKMAN’S  Divisions of his corps, had advanced from Aikens’ Landing along the Varina road, which forms a junction with the New Market road within six miles of Richmond.  Leaving the river the road first crosses a wide open plain of fertile land (one of the magnificent farms that border the James for many miles below Richmond), beyond this plain it enters a tract of woods, and it was in the skirt of these woods that General ORD’S skirmishers encountered the enemy’s pickets; these were driven in and the advance was continued through the woods.  This was at about daylight, and shortly after the shrieking of Rebel shell intimated the presence of batteries in front.  After an advance of about a mile and a half through the woods, the Rebel fortifications were visible, at a distance of about five miles from the pontoon bridge, a large and well-built fort [SOPO Editor’s Note: Fort Harrison] appearing to the left of the Varina road, and throwing shell from its batteries with much spirit.


STANNARD’S First Division was in the advance, and was the one which made the attack.  A charge was made and the works carried, the enemy flying and abandoning their guns, to the number of sixteen, five of which were 64-pounders.


The Eighty-first New York Regiment, I believe, is entitled to the credit of having first entered the fort, a corporal of this regiment first planting his colors on the parapet.


General ORD was wounded after entering the fort, being shot by a bullet through the fleshy part of the thigh.


Brigadier-General [Hiram] BURNHAM, commanding the First Brigade of STANNARD’S Division, was shot dead while looking through one of the embrasures.


Many of our men were killed and wounded after the capture was effected, by the heavy shell fire concentrated upon the fort.


About one, P. M., a fort or redoubt immediately on the right of those held by General ORD’S troops [SOPO Editor’s Note: Fort Gilmer], was attacked by FOSTER’S Division of the Tenth Corps, and General WM. BIRNEY’S Brigade of colored troops, but without success.


Another unsuccessful assault was also made by a portion of [Harrison S.] FAIRCHILD’S Brigade of HECKMAN’S Division of the Eighteenth Corps.  The Second Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery and the Eighty-ninth New York being the regiments which made the charge, a portion of the former regiment, to the number of about one hundred and fifty, entered a Rebel redoubt, but only to be taken prisoners.  Major ANDERSON, commanding this regiment, was shot in the breast and killed, and his body left on the ground.  Major [David] SADLER [of the 2nd PA Heavy Artillery] was captured, and is supposed also to have been wounded.  Both regiments suffered severely.


General [August V.] KAUTZ went up the Darbytown road and advanced last night to within two miles of Richmond, the object being to reconnoiter the position of the enemy’s works, which were found to be well manned.


The number of prisoners captured is about three hundred.


Our total loss in this affair is probably near two thousand.


In the rear of the line captured the enemy have three other strong lines, the front one of which is defended by a double line of abattis.  Our line now has its left at the Chapin House [aka Chaffin’s Farm], near the river, and its right with the New Market road, its nearest point being about five miles from Richmond.


The Rebel gun-boats in the river threw shells into some of the works captured by our troops.  There is a report to-day that the new Rebel ram, the VIRGINIA, is completed, and has come down to participate in any further fighting that may take place.


General GODFREY WEITZELL, Chief of Staff to General BUTLER, and Chief Engineer of his Department, has been assigned to the command of the Eighteenth Army Corps, in the place of General ORD.


List of wounded Pennsylvanians in the Eighteenth Corps, in the engagement at Chapin’s Farm, on Thursday, September 29th:— W E Everett, K, H2(?), thigh                                                                           Wm H Cunningham, K, 2 HA, head   Isaiah Kline, H, 2 HA, leg.                                                                                  Jacob Campbell, L, 2 HA, feet   Jones Downing, H, 2 HA, thigh.                                                                      Warwick Hoernor, C, 58, thigh   Sgt John Bence, A, 2 HA, arm.                                                                         Warren Harding, B, 58, leg   Coas (?) King, E, 58, arm.                                                                             Sgt Major Henry Robinson, 58, face and   F Long, 2 HA, both eyes(?)                                                                          arm   Lt F Cannon, B, 2 HA                                                                                              Sgt Major, Jos Chambers, 188, left   Lt Wm Barbo, K, 2 HA, breast and right side.                                               arm   J Omlen (?), A, 2 Pa HA, left leg                                                                         H Herring, E, 58, breast   S Baries, G, 2 Pa HA, skull                                                                                     A Ishlam(?), A, 58, hip   A Baker, G, 2 Pa HA, foot                                                                                      L Wautz(?), A, 2 Pa HA, breast   H G Brown, E, 58, face                                                                                            L Berger, leg   D Bry, A, 58, leg                                                                                                         J Black, F, 58, leg   D Sullivan, D, 58, head                                                                                            P D Winn, C, 58, (illegible) side   J Caspar, D, 58, leg                                                                                                L Briers, C, 188, leg   C Conley, L, 2 Pa HA, shoulder                                                                             A Kestner, F, 188, head   H Pepley, F, 58, both arms                                                                                     F D(?) Luther, K, 55, hip   F Warner, A, 55, ankle                                                                                             P Smith, B, 188, leg   P W Bradenbaugh, F, 55, groin                                                                             John T (?)ken, K, 58, arm   E Murphy, D, 55, arm                                                                                               Josh Noggle, (?), 58, both feet   A P Ruggles, (?), 55, leg                                                                                           E F Rush, F, 58, shoulder   A Valentine, C, 188, foot                                                                                          F Daniels, 58, head   S Blythe, A, 55, shoulder                                                                                         Jas Baldwin, H, 58, leg   L John W Knaugh, (?), 188, head and neck                                                      J Maxwell, I(?), 2 H Art, arm   Lt Geo McNeal, H, 188, groin                                                                               J Nutting, H, 58, leg   E (?)rice, B, 2 Heavy Art, hip                                                                                 A Cuscaden, Bat (?), leg   J Kibler, G, 58, head                                                                                                 J Wallens, Bt (?) 2 Art, arm   J White, 2 Pa Heavy Art, both legs                                                                    J Van Gorden, F, 58, leg   Corp J Kinsey, K, 58, knee                                                                                    (?) Wagones, A, 2 H Art, face   C S Walsey(?), I, 58, leg                                                                                               J Marston, I, thigh   Jas M Rudd, 5(?), leg                                                                                                   P M(?) Monigan, G, foot   Jas Britt, A, 58, abdomen                                                                                  M Porter, B, 58, side   A Brackham, L, 58, leg                                                                                            John H Mayes, F, 58, groin   R McIntosh, I, 2 Pa Heavy Art, knee                                                            John Clover, E, 58th, arm   F Palmer, H, 2 Pa Heavy Art, head   J Weston, A, arm   J (illegible), B, side   Ed(?) O’Neill, L, eye3

Article Image Source:

  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: The writer states “yesterday”, which would imply October 1 had this article truly been written on October 2, but the movement of the Army of the James this article describes resulted in the September 29, 1864 Battle of Chaffin’s Farm.  Therefore, I believe the writer was writing on September 30, 1864, and the information only reached Washington on October 2, 1864.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: If the author of this article was writing on September 30, 1864, “to-day” would be that date, and does make sense.  Meade’s movement on the Union left commenced on September 30, 1864 and resulted in the Battle of Peebles Farm.
  3. “Latest War News.” Philadelphia Inquirer. October 3, 1864, p. 1 col. 1-2
{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Reply