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OR XL P1 #121: Report of Major Oliver B. Knowles, 21st PA Cav, June 13-July 30, 1864

No. 121. Report of Major Oliver B. Knowles, Twenty-first Pennsylvania Cavalry (dismounted).1

August 8, 1864.

SIR: *


June 13, crossed the Chickahominy at Long Bridge, and on the evening of the 14th we reached the James River and rested until the morning of the 16th, when we crossed the James on transports and marched eighteen miles to near Petersburg, Va. We remained quiet until June 18, when we advanced to the front and were engaged with the enemy all day, making several charges. We remained under a heavy fire until relieved next morning (19th) and moved to the left on the railroad. Our casualties on the 18th were as follows: Killed, 10; wounded, 69, and missing 1; among the wounded being Lieutenant-Colonel Moson, Major Gillies, and Captain McCall.

June 19 and 20, we lay on the railroad and were annoyed by sharpshooters. Our casualties were: Killed, 1; wounded, 10; among the latter being Lieutenant Lott, severely wounded in the head and since died in hospital June 28. On the evening of the 20th we moved to the rear and remained there until next morning, when we moved near the Jerusalem road and encamped in the woods. We remained here until the afternoon of the 22d, when we advanced to the support of the Second Corps, where we remained until the next morning, when we were relieved and returned to our old camp. The casualties on the 22nd were: wounded, 7; among them being Lieutenant Devens.

In the evening of the 23rd we marched to the extreme left and threw up fortifications to protect the flank. June 24, returned to camp, where remained, doing fatigue duty until July 12. On the evening of the 12th we moved to the front to relieve a brigade in the breast-works. We lay here until July 21, when we were relieved, and we returned to camp. The casualties from the 12th were 2 men killed. We lay quiet until July 25, when occupied the breast-works, protecting our left flank. We remained here until the evening of the 27th. July 28, we marched farther to the right and took a position in the breast-works on the left of the Ninth Corps. July 29, we had 2 men wounded (1 since


*For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from June 1 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.572.


died) from the enemy’s shells. A fort was blown up [July 30] in front of the Ninth Corps, and we kept up a continuous fire all day on the enemy. The casualties were as follows: Killed, 1; and wounded 1 (Captain J. H. Harmony).

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major Twenty-first Pennsylvania Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.

Captain J. D. McFARLAND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


  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 463-464
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