Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Brett Schulte.
Capture of Fort Gregg
EDITOR NATIONAL TRIBUNE: In the controversy as to who captured Fort Gregg, in front of Petersburg, on the morning of April 2, 1865, I am sure Capt. Case, of Allerton, Iowa, is mistaken in giving the honor to the 12th W. Va., the 23d Ill. and 54th Pa., under Col. Curtis, of the 12th W. Va. I will let Col. Potter, who commanded the brigade, in his official report, tell the story. He moved the 116th Ohio and the 34th Mass. from Hatcher’s Run about 8 a.m. and came into an open field directly in front of Fort Gregg, and by an oblique movement and then by a half-wheel succeeded in placing the 116th Ohio on the southern front of the fort. This gave him a direct fire on the front and an enfilading fire on the western front. After a double-quick advance to the road, which was about 50 yards from the fort, orders were given to lie down and open a direct fire into the fort. After some minutes the order to charge was given, which was executed with determined effect.
The 116th Ohio was in the third line of the assaulting column. The first line was checked, the second also. When the third came up it was also checked by the troops lying in front of it, extending back to the ditch around the fort, four or five rods. When the order to charge was given the third line was first on its feet and charged over and through the other troops, many of which joined in the charge.
The colors of the 116th Ohio and the colors of the 10th Conn. were the first to be planted upon the parapet of the fort.
I do not now remember the casualties of the other regiments, but I know we lost in that assault one commissioned officer and 16 men killed and 63 men wounded.
Other regiments named by Capt. Case may have been in the charge for aught I know, but we thought at the time that we alone were responsible for the result. Our heavy loss would indicate that the 116th Ohio should have due credit for its service. No braver men were to be found than those other regiments named, as our experience led us to believe while in the Shenandoah Valley, before joining the Army of the Potomac.–G.K. CAMPBELL, Co. B, 116th Ohio, Coolville, O.1