No. 124. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Wiliam A. Throop, First Michigan Infantry.1
HEADQUARTERS FIRST MICHIGAN VETERAN INFANTRY,
Before Petersburg, Va., August 8, 1864.
Marched at dark of the 12th [June] toward Long Bridge, on the Chickahominy, which was crossed about 3 a.m. of the 13th. Marched about three miles from river toward White Oak Swamp, and rested till 8 p.m., when we marched in the direction of Charles City Court-House, halting at 2 a.m. of the 14th and resuming our march at 5 a.m., reaching Charles City Court-House about 11 o’clock, when we halted for a few hours, and then moved up the river (James) to Wilcox’s Landing, where we relieved part of the Second Corps. We remained here covering the crossing of other troops till the morning of the 16th, when we crossed to the south side of the James River on transports about 9 a.m. At 1 p.m. started for Petersburg, marching until midnight, when we bivouacked in the vicinity of Petersburg, and remained until the morning of the 18th, when we moved to the front as supports to part of our corps which was advancing and engaged with the enemy. Before night had advanced nearly a mile and built breast-works, behind which we lay on the 19th, not taking any active part in the fighting, but losing some men in wounded from the enemy’s fire.
On the 20th the regiment went to the front on the picket-line, and about 1 a.m. of the 21st was relieved, and at 9 a.m. moved to the left across the railroad, and at night threw up a strong line of works in front of the enemy’s works. The first five or six days after taking this position the enemy’s sharpshooters were very troublesome, picking off every man who exposed himself. Lieutenant Wiliam S. Woodruff was mortally wounded here by a sharpshooters on the 25th.
*For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 4 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.579.
Since the 21st of June we have twice advanced our lines, until now we are within 600 yards of the enemy’s works. There is no picket nor sharpshooters firing on our front, and all casualties since the 3rd of July have been from the enemy’s artillery. Besides our picketing on our front the regiment has done an immense amount of fatigue duty in strengthening our works, building bomb-proofs, throwing up breast-works, and works for batteries, and other labor incident to the operations of a siege.
On the 30th of July the regiment was in line of battle behind its works from 3 a.m. until about 4 p.m. We were engaged all the fore part of the day keeping the enemy from working his guns, and his infantry from replying to our fire. The fire from our side was terrific, while that of the enemy was every feeble and harmless. My only casualty that day was 1 man killed.]
During the whole campaign my officers and men have done nobly, and it is almost impossible to make any particular mention of individuals where all have done so well. Long and fatiguing marches, severe and continued fighting, and all the vicissitudes of the campaign, have failed to dishearten the men, and not a complaint or word of fault has escaped from them. More could not be asked of any one.
Casualties are as follows.*
* Nominal list (omitted) shows 2 men killed and 1 officer and 7 men wounded.
+ For the period beginning May 5, 1864.
- 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 465-466 ↩