HEADQUARTERS FOURTH RHODE ISLAND VOLUNTEERS,
Before Petersburg, Va., August 8, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part our regiment took in the engagement of the 30th ultimo:
In accordance with previous instructions, we took our place in the brigade line about 3.30 a.m., and on the explosion of the mine the column was put in motion for the scene of action. Arriving there our regiment was ordered to proceed quickly as possible to the captured fort, pass through it, and form our line upon the other side. We experienced some difficulty near the captured work in pressing forward, owing to the great number of men who had taken shelter in the crater of the work. For a time we were forced to lie down upon the outside, and experienced some loss. We finally succeeded in making our way through and formed our line in a covered way leading to Cemetery Hill. The order was here given to move forward, which was attempted several times, but having no support except the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania and Fifty-eighth Massachusetts, we were repulsed. The regiment remained in the covered way before mentioned for some time, when there appeared some confusion on the right and we were soon overrun with colored troops, who hampered our movements to such an extent that it was almost impossible to organize for defense. We finally repulsed the rebels with some slaughter and were enabled to keep them at bay until our ammunition gave out. An order was received to withdraw, but before it could be complied with the troops in the fort were compelled to surrender.
Our loss was as follows: Killed, 2 commissioned officers and 5 enlisted men; wounded, 4 commissioned officers and 46 enlisted men; missing, 5 commissioned officers and 21 enlisted men. Two of the wounded enlisted men have since died.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. T. P. BUCKLIN,
Major, Commanding Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers.
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), page 564 ↩