Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Bryce Suderow and is included in a collection of articles from the (New York) Anglo-African. His transcription of this article is published here with his written permission.
FROM THE 29TH CONNECTICUT REGIMENT
Camp of the 29th Conn. Reg.
In Front of Petersburg, Va.
Aug. 28th, 1864
I take the opportunity now offered to pen a few lines to inform the readers of the “Anglo” of our whereabouts. I would have written before had it not been that our march was so continuous.
On the night of the 13th of August we dropped anchor in the James River near Harrison’s Landing, and on the morning of the 14th we found ourselves slowly steaming up the river. At 10 o’clock a.m. we arrived at Bermuda Hundred where we disembarked, formed in line, stacked arms and unslung knapsacks. The principal part of the battalion landed the day before. We soon learned that by orders all extra baggage was prohibited.
After disposing of such as could conveniently be dispensed with we were marched to a vacant lot to get our rations after which orders were given us to be ready at a moment’s notice. On the following morning we were called, formed in line of march and commenced our travel. We finally halted at a dense woods, where we rested until daylight, when we found that we had gone two miles out of the way by taking the wrong road. The march was once more resumed, we being at the time not more than five miles from our starting place. We had a light rain which lasted, however, but a short time. The day being sultry and the sand deep the fatigue was great, and were compelled to rest every thirty or forty-five minutes.
At eight a.m. we arrived at Jones’ Neck where we received three days’ rations. After resting sufficiently we started again and halted at 1 1/2 o’clock at Jones’ Neck near the pontoon bridge, which crosses the James from Jones’ Neck to Deep Bottom. After another rest of half an hour we started across the pontoon bridge and soon were inside the ramparts of Deep Bottom. After passing the 8th U.S.C.T. we found our own regiment by whom we were lustily cheered. We immediately raised our shelter tents and retired under the sound of heavy firing.
On the 16th inst. there was heavy firing during the forenoon. About 1 1/2 p.m. we were ordered to fall in, in light marching order, with rations, which we did together with the 8th U.S. We had pretty hard marching but kept in good spirits. The 8th was soon deployed as advance skirmishers while our regiment was held in reserve to support the 8th.
We were attacked on our right and left flank, and Companies C and K were deployed as skirmishers on the left of the line with the 8th on the right. A few of the 8th were wounded, while we were unharmed. We gained a little ground, only to fall back at dark, when two companies were sent on picket duty for the night.
On the 17th everything was quiet. About 3 p.m. in company with the 9th Md. and 8th U.S. were drawn up in line in heavy marching order. The approach of a rainstorm was apparent and we had just started when a terrific thunderstorm arose. The patience of the boys was now put to the test, for they for the first time were obliged to travel through real Virginia mud. We recrossed the pontoon from Deep Bottom to Jones’ Landing; crossed Mount Plains and halted on the hill at two o’clock. The rain had ceased by that time.
Our picket was attacked several times during the night, but on the morning of the 18th everything was quiet and we marched one mile further for the purpose of camping. We did not stay long, however, but remarched and halted at the same place we left. At 2 p.m. the enemy made an attempt to test our strength but were repulsed. This occurred near Malvern Hill. We with the 8th were drawn up in line of battle and double quicked off to an open lot near a thick woods and here awaited the approach of the enemy. The enemy tried to flank us right and left but General Birney double quicked us to the left and formed us in line of battle in a dense forest in order to be in readiness to reinforce the 7th and 8th CT which together with one battery were engaged. The 8th advanced to the front and succeeded in driving the enemy back. We were then marched to the center of the line and threw up a long line of breastworks.
The entire corps then fell back about eight miles, remaining in that position until the 20th during which time we threw up powerful breastworks. At 7 p.m. on the 20th the entire corps made another move. The night was dark and rainy and the mud lay from twelve to fifteen inches deep. Our route lay through a dismal woods where the darkness was so great to make the file leaders scarcely perceptible. The consequence was, a confused mixing together of the different regiments. On the 21st we lay in line of battle near Bermuda Hundred until the afternoon of the 22nd, when were marched over to Point of Rocks and went into camp near Battery Burpee, No. 8.
On the 23rd everything was quiet, but on the morning of the 24th our pickets were attacked. We were formed in line of battle near Battery Burpee, while the 3rd N.Y. were engaged in repulsing the enemy from which they captured some prisoners. Their loss was slight. At 12 o’clock we marched to the front of Petersburg, but soon remarched, and halted at Redoubt Converse, near Point of Rocks. The regiment then formed in divisions and retired to rest, each man sleeping on his arms.
On the 25th we threw up a line of breastworks at the foot of the pontoon bridge which crosses the river from Point of Rocks. We then marched back to Petersburg and encamped behind a strong line of breastworks east of the city. We had a full view of everything, and could even them laugh and talk. We were much annoyed by the roaring of cannon and the quantity of railroad iron and shells that were constantly flying about us; but thank God! only one of our party was injured, and he but slightly, a piece of shell having struck him on the ankle. On the 27th we were moved to our present place of encampment west of Petersburg. We are in the 10th Corps, Birney’s Brigade and are occasionally visited by a sharpshooters ball.
- “From the 29th Connecticut Regiment,” Anglo-African, September 1o, 1864, p. 2, cols. 2-3 ↩