HDQRS. TWENTY-NINTH MASSACHUSETTS VETERAN VOLS., Near Petersburg, Va., August 3, 1864.
SIR: In accordance with circular from headquarters First Brigade, First Division, Ninth Army Corps, dated August 3, 1864, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment in the engagement of July 30, 1864:
The regiment was withdrawn from the front line of works about 12 o’clock on the night of July 29 and massed with the division in the ravine in front of the enemy’s fort on General Willcox’s front. The regiment was placed on the extreme left of the third line in the order of the charge, its right connecting with the left of the Fifty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers. The regiment moved up to our first line of works and crossed them by the right flank and immediately moved forward in support of the advancing lines. On arriving at the ruins the regiment was obliged to halt and lie down as the fort was unable to contain more troops at that time. While in this position the regiment suffered severely from a heavy fire of musketry and artillery on both flanks. The regiment occupied this position about twenty minutes when it moved into the fort and was immediately ordered by the general commanding the brigade to take a position in the works on the left of the fort.
Here the left of the regiment connected with the right of the Fifty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteers, and I was instructed to report to Colonel Weld, of that regiment [who had charge of that portion of the line], for orders. I reported to Colonel Weld for instructions but for some cause failed to receive any. A division of colored troops was marched into the works and the position held by my regiment was filled so full of them that it was quite impossible to move or be in any manner effective. While this position a part of the colored troops attempted a movement on the enemy, but were repulsed and fell back into the work in a disorganized manner, closely pursued by the enemy. Every effort was made by the officers of the command to preserve their lines from confusion, but so great was the pressure from the retreating troops and the heavy fire of the enemy, who now held one end of the work, that I deemed it advisable to withdraw to prevent the regiment being captured. The regiment retired to the line occupied by General Willcox’s division. Here I reported to Captain Mills, acting assistant adjutant-general of the division, who ordered me to remain in the position I then occupied until further orders. While here Lieutenant Colonel Joseph H. Barnes rejoined the regiment and assumed command.
Both officers and men behaved gallantly during the entire engagement. The number of officers engaged was 1 staff and 5 line, enlisted men engaged, 52. Loss, 2 men killed, 1 officer and 6 men wounded, and 6 men missing.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLARD D. TRIPP,
Captain, Commanding Regiment.
Lieutenant H. M. WARREN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
- 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 539-540 ↩