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OR XL P1 #131: Report of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Wiedrich, 15th NYHA, June 11-July 30, 1864

No. 131. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Wiedrich, Fifteenth New York Heavy Artillery, Third Brigade.1

August 9, 1864.


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.

Near Cold Harbor the regiment rested until the 11th of June. That day we marched toward Bottom’s Bridge. At 6 p.m. on the 12th the regiment started on its march toward the Chickahominy, which river we crossed at Long Bridge the morning of the 13th. On the 14th we marched toward Charles City Court-House, and camped about two miles from that place, waiting for our turn to cross the James. The 15th the regiment rested. On the 16th marched to Wilcox’s Landing, crossed the James per steamer, and marched until 12 o’clock that night. On the 17th the regiment occupied the first line of rebel works taken the day before by the Ninth Corps. On the 18th the brigade received orders to take position in the first line, advancing against Petersburg, connecting on the right with Colonel Hofman’s, on the left with Maryland Brigade. The Fifteenth Regiment New York Artillery was in front and had to advance under a very heavy fire, but succeeded in taking its position, and immediately commenced to construct breast-works to cover against the murderous fire of the enemy’s sharpshooters. We lost here 7 men killed, 1 officer and 43 men wounded. In the nights from 19th to 20th to 21st the regiment had to advance the line of breast-works. It was impossible to work in day-time, the sharpshooters keeping up a constant fire. Until the 25th of June the regiment kept this position, suffering occasional loss by sharpshooters, amounting, from the 11th to the 25th, to 1 officer and 3 men killed and 1 officer and 28 men wounded. On the 25th our brigade was relieved, and camped in the rear near the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad. This day Companies E, G, and H, commanded by Major Julius Dieckmann, reported for duty with the regiment, Company B having reported on the 17th of June. On the evening of the 28th the regiment was again ordered in the breast-works to relieve the First Brigade,


* For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 3 to June 10, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.607.


Second Division. The position it occupied now connected on the right with the Maryland Brigade, on the left with the First Division, Fifth Corps. Until the 27th of July the regiment occupied the same position. There was no firing in our front, and our loss during this time amounted to 9 men wounded by premature explosion of shells from our batteries in our rear and 1 officer and 2 men wounded by stray balls. The regiment had to furnish strong details for fatigue work and to be ready to meet an attack at any time. On the evening of the 27th the regiment was relieved by troops from the First Division, and went to camp in the rear near the Petersburg and Norfolk Railroad. On the evening of the 29th the regiment was called upon to take part in the assault upon the enemy’s works, but it did not come into action. At noon the following day it returned to its former camp, having lost but 1 man wounded.

I am happy to be able to state that officers and men under my command behaved well on all occasions.


Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Fifteenth Regiment New York Artillery.


  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 471-472
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