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OR XL P1 #202: Report of Lieutenant Colonel Colwert K. Pier, 38th WI, June 11-July 30, 1864

No. 202. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Colwert K. Pier, Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry.1

Report of the part taken by the Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, in the operations before Richmond and Petersburg:


The Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers, composed of four companies, were ordered to report to commanding officer of Army of the Potomac on the 11th day of June, 1864, and were temporarily attached to the Third Brigade, First Division, Ninth Army Corps. During the night of the 11th, while the regiment was on picket, they were relieved and ordered to report to Colonel Hartranft, commanding First Brigade, Third Division, and lay during the 12th in the trenches occupied by this brigade. On the evening of the 12th we marched with the brigade to the left, reaching the vicinity of Charles City Court-House on the p.m. of the 14th. Remained in camp here until the evening the night, reaching a position before Petersburg Thursday evening, the 16th of June. After remaining in line for a time and an engagement being in progress, we were moved out with the brigade to a line of trenches, lying under fire during the night and forenoon. At 1 o’clock we were ordered forward to assault a line of the enemy’s works. Through some mishap the regiments immediately on the left of the Thirty-eighth somewhat overlapped each other and caused something of a diversion from our

line. In the evening the second assault was participated in by this regiment, which was very successful. On the 18th the works adjacent to the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad, [*] and our losses were quite severe.

From this time until the 4th of July we lay in the trenches, almost continually under fire, fortunately but few casualties occurring. The regiment lay in camp until the 17th of July, when we again went to the front, remaining in the first line of trenches under fire until the 30th of July, when the memorable explosion took place. The companies of the regiment participating in the assault following this terrific “blow up” moved up in good order, and every officer and soldier distinguished himself on the occasion.


Lieutenant-Colonel, Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Volunteers.

NOTE.-The tabular statement of losses was forwarded at the time called for.


*At this point in the report a full page of the original manuscript is missing.



  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 583-584
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