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OR XL P1 #21: Report of Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles, commanding First Division July 26-30, 1864

Numbers 21. Report of Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, of operations July 26-30.1
October 10, 1864.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this division from July 26 to 30:

At 4 p. m. of the 26th the command left camp near the Deserted House, marched to Point of Rocks, crossed the Appomattox at about 9 p. m., thence to the pontoon brigade across the James at Deep Bottom, and halted at about 4 a. m. of the 27th behind a grove at the edge of Strawberry Plains. At about 6 a. m. a line of skirmishers, consisting of the One hundred and eighty-third Pennsylvania, Twenty-eighth Massachusetts, and Twenty-sixth Michigan, under the command of Colonel J. C. Lynch, One hundred and eighty-third Pennsylvania, was advanced across the Plains, supported by the remainder of the division. This line advanced without indication of the enemy until within a short distance of the Long Bridge road, when it was met by a fire from a force partially entrenched in this road. A fire was kept up by this force from four 20-pounder Parrott guns, stationed in the road at the line of General Mott, which connected with the right of this division, and at the same time sharp skirmishing was kept up with this skirmish line, which was covered by a crest from the fire of the artillery. Colonel Lynch moved his line by the right flank around the flank of this force

in the road, and by vigorous push drove it from its position and captured the pieces, with caissons and ammunition chests. A skirmish line was then pushed through the woods in the direction of the New Market road, which was reached after noon with slight opposition. A line of battle was formed in the edge of the woods along this road and one regiment (the Twenty-sixth Michigan) sent on a reconnaissance up the Central road. The enemy were observed building a line of works on a ridge nearly parallel to the New Market road. This regiment came upon the enemy in detached pits a short distance from the New Market road and drove him into his main line, the position of which having been ascertained the regiment was withdrawn.

At about 4 p. m. of the 28th the troops were withdrawn from the New Market road to the Long Bridge road and a line of pits thrown up parallel with that road, the left of the division resting opposite the battery and connecting with General Birge’s brigade, of the Nineteenth Corps, the right connecting with General Gibbon’s division at the ” gate posts.” This position was maintained throughout the day of the 29th till sunset, when the troops were withdrawn across the James and Appomattox Rivers to the former position before Petersburg.

During the assault by the Ninth Corps on the 30th the division remained in reserve and in readiness to operate when called on. At night on the 30th it was ordered to camp.

The division was commanded during the foregoing operations by General Barlow, until the evening of the 29th, when he left the army under a leave of absence and I assumed the command.

I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Division.

Major H. H. BINGHAM,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Army Corps.

List of casualties in First Division, Second army Corps, at deep Bottom, Va., from July 26 to 30, 1864.



  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), pages 331-332
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