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NP: October 3, 1864 Philadelphia Inquirer: The Right Wing, Chaffin’s Farm, September 29

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



Our Special Report of the Advance of the Right Wing—The Fight at Chapin’s Farm.

                                                                                                FORTRESS MONROE, Sept., 30, 1864.


The Tenth and Eighteenth Army Corps, under the command of Major-General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, crossed the James River at Deep Bottom, on the evening of the 28th [SOPO Ed.: September 28, 1864] and immediately took up the line of march for Richmond.

A strong fort on the north side of the river [SOPO Ed.: Fort Harrison], about seven miles above Deep Bottom, was the first point that claimed the attention of General BUTLER , who, as the troops landed and were placed in position, immediately sent a portion of the Eighteenth Corps to attack it, which reached there early yesterday morning [SOPO Ed.: September 29, 1864], and by a series of charges, never equaled in the annals of this war, rushed up the steep bank and pell-mell into the Rebel works, capturing it and 300 men and a major in command, with fifteen pieces of artillery.  All the other troops were immediately set in motion as fast as landed, and onward they marched until meeting a resistance, at the outer line of intrenchments, about eight miles from the suburbs of Richmond.  Lieut-Gen. GRANT had arrived by this time, and taking command of the skirmish line immediately ordered a reconnaissance, and then a charge.  With formation and firm step, the gallant soldiers of the Tenth and Eighteenth Army Corps vied with each other in heroic valor, and when the distance to the Rebel works was lessened to about one hundred yards, the order to double-quick was given, and in one mass threw themselves over the works, driving the Rebels before them.  Major-General BUTLER and Staff were ubiquitous, and their reckless exposure to danger was the subject of comment.  Never lagging for a moment, here, there and everywhere giving orders in every direction, such is the summary of the news brought down this morning by the steamers, MATILDA and GEORGE WASHINGTON, both loaded with wounded.

The loss of life on both sides is described as very great and, as it is supposed that the Rebels have been reinforced, if the battle should be renewed to-day the loss will be ultimately greater.  Everything that human power can do is being done for the relief of the suffering wounded.  The agents of both the Christian and Sanitary Commission, have provided every possible comfort, and are unceasingly prosecuting their labors.

Five P. M.—The mail steamer, from City Point, has not yet arrived, and we are without additional particulars from Deep Bottom.

The steamers JOHN FARRON and PARTHENIA arrived from New Bern, N. C., this morning, and have been quarantined.  Captain  HOLDEN, the Chief Quartermaster at Newbern, N. C., is a passenger on the FARRON.

The steamer STARLIGHT arrived from Alexandria this morning with portions of several New York regiments, sailed this noon for Port Royal, S. C., with the mail, passengers, &c.

Colonel JOHN W. SHAFFER, after three years of service in the army, left Old Point yesterday afternoon, for his in Freeport, Illinois.  For a year back Colonel SHAFFER has been the Chief of Staff and confidential adviser of General BUTLER.  For some time past Colonel SHAFFER has been in delicate health, and such has been the nature of his illness that he tendered his resignation more than a year ago, but it was not until the 20th of last month that the Department would consent to part with his services.  A large crowd was in attendance to see him off on the Baltimore boat and Colonel ROBERTS, the commanding officer of the Fortress, ordered out the post band to play a farewell.1

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  1. “From Another Special Reporter.” Philadelphia Inquirer. October 3, 1864, p. 1 col. 2
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