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OR XL P1 #152: Report of Brigadier General W. Getty, commanding 2/VI/AotP, June 12-July 9, 1864

No. 152. Report of Brigadier General W. Getty, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.1

October 13, 1864.



Withdrawing from the works at Cold Harbor on the night of the 12th [June] the division marched by way of Summit Station, crossed the Chickahominy at Jones’ (or Forge) Bridge, and encamped on the heights a mile from the stream. On the 14th the march was resumed to Charles


* For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 4 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.676.


City Court-House. During the 15th and 16th the corps covered the passage of the army over the James at Douthat’s farm. Crossing the James at dark, and marching all night, the division joined the troops in front of Petersburg early on the 17th, and immediately relieved Brooks’ division, of the Eighteenth Corps, which, with Martindale’s division, held the right of the line near the Appomattox. On the 18th the division moved forward over a mile, with heavy skirmishing, and, in conjunction with the Second Corps and Martindale’s division, of the Eighteenth, made an attack which proved unsuccessful. Intrenchments were then thrown up. On the night of the 20th the division relieved Gibbon’s division, of the Second Corps, next on the left. The following night the corps was relieved by the Eighteenth Corps and moved to the left of the army. This division was on the extreme left, and formed in two lines, thrown back at right angles to the general line, to protect the flank. Edwards’ brigade (Fourth) was thrown out half a mile on the Jerusalem plank road to guard against an attack from that quarter, and held this position until the 29th. After some maneuvering toward night the lines were advanced a mile, the division moving up by the right flank, and keeping its connection with the main line. On the 23rd Captain Beattie, Third Vermont, commanding the division sharpshooters, pushed forward on a scout, reached the Weldon railroad, driving before him a small force of the enemy’s cavalry, cut the telegraph line, and tore up a small portion of the track. About noon he was attacked by the enemy in force, and slowly retired, skirmishing. A heavy skirmish line was immediately thrown out in front of the division, and intrenchments hastily thrown up. The enemy advanced in strong force and, driving back simultaneously the left of our skirmish line and the skirmishers of the Third Division on our right, succeeded in cutting off and capturing the Fourth Vermont and Major Fleming’s battalion of the Eleventh Vermont, in all, 400 men. After feeling our lines strongly the enemy then withdrew. At 10 p.m. the lines were thrown back to the position first taken up on the 22nd covering the Jerusalem plank road; intrenchments were thrown up the following day, and the division remained in this position until the 29th. On the 27th I rejoined the division and resumed command. At 2.30 p.m. on the 29th the corps, with this division in the advance, marched to Reams’ Station, on the Weldon railroad, to the assistance of Wilson’s division of cavalry, which, returning from a raid on the Danville railroad, was intercepted by and heavily engaged with a large force of the enemy’s cavalry and infantry. Reached the station at 7 p.m., too late to aid Wilson, who by this time had been driven from the field and compelled to take another route, and, driving off the enemy’s rear guard, took up a position west of and parallel to the railroad, with the flanks slightly refused, the Third Division on the right and the First on the left. The following day was spent in destroying the track and strengthening the position. At night the corps, with this division bringing up the rear, marched back toward and bivouacked near the former position, about five miles from the station. Remained here during the following day, and on the 2nd of July moved to our former position on the Jerusalem plank road, and occupied the left of the intrenchments, extending the line half a mile farther to the left. The division remained in this position until the evening of July 9, when it moved to City Point en route for Washington.*


Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Division.

Major C. A. WHITTIER, Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Sixth Corps.


* For continuation of report, see Vol. XLIII, Part I.



  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 494-495
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