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OR XL P1 #96: Report of Major Virgil M. Healy, 8th NJ, June 12-July 30, 1864

Numbers 96. Report of Major Virgil M. Healy, Eighth New Jersey Infantry.1

HEADQUARTERS EIGHTH NEW JERSEY VOLUNTEERS, Camp near Petersburg, Va., August 8, 1864.

SIR: In compliance with Special Orders, Numbers 209, headquarters Army of the Potomac, dated August 5, 1864, I have the honor to report the following as the part taken by this regiment during the fifth epoch of the

campaign, embracing the march across the Chickahominy and the James and the operations in front of Petersburg, up to the assault on the enemy’s position July 30, 1864:

June 12, the regiment left Cold Harbor and marched toward the Chickahominy, which it reached and crossed on the afternoon of the 13th, continuing the march to Charles City Court-House. On the 14th crossed the James at Wind-Mill Point on transports. On the 15th marched to before Petersburg, where we occupied the works captured from the enemy. On the 16th reversed the works occupied by us, where we remained until evening. We then advanced upon the enemy, driving him before us, and taking a position 100 yards in front of his works. Here [we] fought all night, twice replenishing our ammunition, and holding our ground with the following loss: 3 enlisted men killed and 2 commissioned officers and 19 enlisted men wounded. On the 17th remained in rear of works built by our troops. On the 18th advanced again on the enemy, capturing two lines of works, and on the same day assaulted the next line, when we were repulsed with the loss of 1 enlisted man killed and 1 commissioned officer and 8 enlisted men wounded. On the 19th built new works under fire of sharpshooters, by which 1 man was killed and 1 wounded. On the 20th remained in the works until night, when we were relieved by colored troops and went to the rear works. On the 21st marched to the left toward the Weldon railroad and built works. On the 22nd took up an advanced position, where, while engaged in building works, we were attacked by the enemy in rear and on our left flank, and were compelled to fall back to our original position of the 21st, with a loss of 11 enlisted men missing and 2 wounded. The regiment then went into camp. We remained in camp until the 26th of July, in the afternoon, when we broke camp and, marching all night, reached the James River at Jones’ Neck at daylight on the 27th, crossing the Appomattox in our route. On the 27th crossed the James, and early in the morning were formed in line of battle. During the day the regiment occupied the works captured from the enemy, and on the 28th built an advanced line; the same night recrossed the James, marching all night. On the night of the 29th marched to the front and relieved a portion of the Eighteenth Corps, which position we held during the engagement of the 30th, having but 1 man wounded. On the night of the 30th we were relieved by the Eighteenth Corps and returned to our present camp.

Total casualties during the time embraced in this report, 3 commissioned officers wounded and 5 enlisted men killed and 31 wounded.

It is with no ordinary feeling of pleasure that I have the honor to inform you that, through the untiring exertions and hearty co-operation of my officers, to whom I return my heartfelt thanks, and to the willing obedience of the brave men whom it has been my honor to command during this most trying campaign, I have always been enabled to keep my regiment in an efficient state of discipline and well in hand for any emergency. It would be invidious in me to particularize either officers or men where all have been so deserving. The record of those pages speaks more forcibly than any language I could employ. Let it speak for them.

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


Major Eighth New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant W. J. RUSLING,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 3rd Brigadier, 3rd Div., 2nd Corps.


  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 419-420
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