Numbers 97. Report of Colonel Robert McAllister, Eleventh New Jersey Infantry, of operations June 12-16.*1
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.
Sunday, June 12, the regiment left its position at Barker’s Mill at 10 p. m., and marching a short distance, halted for an hour or more, after which the march was continued, the Chickahominy crossed at 11 o’clock, and a point near Charles City Court-House reached just before sunset.
June 14, moved to the James River in the morning and crossed early in the afternoon and bivouacked.
June 15, moved off at 11 a. m. The heat was extreme, and the men suffered very much. A rapid march brought us to the outer defenses of Petersburg after midnight.
June 16, the regiment was engaged in throwing up a line of breastworks until 5 p. m., when it took its position on the extreme left of the second line preparatory to an advance upon the enemy’s works; moved forward at 5.30 p. m. Before the regiment got near the enemy’s works the first line disappeared and the advance was continued until the enemy’s line was in plain view, and a heavy fire received. The regiment at once commenced a rapid fire, which was kept up with intervals until midnight. This I considered necessary, as the moment the fire ceased the enemy would pour in a heavy volley and attempt an advance. The ammunition became exhausted a number of times, many of the men firing over a hundred rounds. Our wants were promptly supplied by the First Maine Heavy Artillery, which was in line a short distance in our rear. I never saw men act with more steadiness and coolness than did the regiment on this occasion. Its loss was heavy, being nearly one-third of the number engaged. The regiment was relieved at daylight and went back to the second line. Lieutenant-Colonel Schoonover assumed command of the regiment to-day.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant W. J. RUSLING,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 3rd Brigadier, 3rd Div., 2nd Corps.
*For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 21 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p. 495.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), page 421 ↩