Report of Major Nathan Church, Twenty-sixth Michigan Infantry.1
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-SIXTH MICHIGAN VOLUNTEERS,
October 21, 1864.+
The regiment quietly withdrew from the picket-line at 3 a. m. the 13th3, and marched for James River, crossing the Chickahominy at Bottom’s Bridge; arrived at Wilcox’s Landing about 5 p. m.
Crossed the river on transports about midnight the 14th, waited for rations until 1 p. m. the 15th, and marched toward Petersburg, arriving before that city the morning of the 16th. At 5 p. m. moved up in line with the brigade to the assault of the enemy’s position, carrying their first line of rifle-pits. The regiment lost in this attack its commanding officer, Captain James A. Lothian, mortally wounded, and 2 men killed and 9 wounded. Constructed works during the night.
17th, at 5 a. m., charged and carried their second line, losing 2 men killed and 7 wounded.
The 18th, moved forward to a new position near the Norfolk railroad, and at night built breast-works. A detachment of the regiment on skirmish line was engaged, losing 1 man killed and 1 wounded. Position unchanged until the night of the 20th, when the division was relieved by a portion of the Ninth Corps.
The 21st, marched to the left and took position in line with the brigade near the Williams house.
22d, the enemy assaulted our works, but were repulsed. Lieutenant E. P. Alexander, acting aide-de-camp on the staff of General Barlow, was taken prisoner.
23d, regiment went into camp, where it remained doing fatigue and picket duty until July 10. at 1 a. m moved to the Williams house with the brigade and relieved the pickets of the Sixth Corps on the Jerusalem plank road. Remained on picket until 3 p. m. the 12th, when the regiment was relieved and engaged until 7 p. m. in destroying works thrown up by the Sixth Corps. At night moved out on the Jerusalem plank road about three miles to support the cavalry and returned before daylight.
13th, moved toward the right of our line and encamped near the Deserted House in rear of the Ninth Corps. Remained thee until the 26th, doing fatigue duty much of the time.
Broke camp at 3 p. m. the 26th, and marched with the brigade Deep Bottom, arriving there about 3 a. m. the 27th. The regiment constituted a part of the skirmish line of the First Brigade, which assaulted and drove the enemy from his position, capturing 4 pieces of artillery and some prisoners.
+For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 3 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p. 372.
On the afternoon of the 28th the regiment was detached from the brigade and made a reconnaissance between the New Market and Charles City road to discover the enemy’s left; attacked and drove a line double the strength of our own for half a mile, and into their entrenchments. The regiment was complimented by Major-General Hancock in general orders* for gallantry in this affair and the operations of the day previous.
The 29th, engaged in throwing up works. At dark recrossed the James, marched all night, arriving before Petersburg at 4 a. m., and remained in reserve during the unsuccessful assault of that day. At dark returned to our old camp near the Deserted House.
Major, Commanding Regiment.
*See p. 324.
- 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 337-338 ↩
- SOPO Editor’s Note: Church is referring to the Fifth Epoch here, another name for the fighting around Petersburg. ↩
- SOPO Editor’s Note: June 13, 1864 ↩