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OR XL P1 #209: Report of Major Martin P. Avery, 60th OH, June 12-July 31, 1864

No. 209. Report of Major Martin P. Avery, Sixtieth Ohio Infantry.1

Before Petersburg, Va., August 9, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the operations before Petersburg:

We left Cold Harbor with the division on the 12th of June, crossed the James River on the evening of the 15th, and marched all night and the next day till 5 p.m., when we formed our front line. The oppressive heat and the hard marching compelled a great number to fall out of the column. We moved with the brigade during the night, and the next morning (the 17th), when the division made the charge, we did not cross the skirmish line of the Second Corps, but halted and laid down in rear of it, by order of Colonel Christ, commanding brigade. Here we staid until the First Division had cleared the enemy’s rifle-pits, when we were ordered to fill up the gap between the Second Corps, which had advanced its line, and the First Division of this corps, but I had so few men that I was unable to make anything more than a skirmish line. We immediately became engaged and held our position until after the First Division had been forced back and the men out of ammunition. The enemy were outflanking us and the regiment fell back to the rear of the Second Corps line, where we lay till morning.

On the 18th we moved with the brigade till it had halted in the woods, when I was ordered to deploy my men as skirmishers to protect the flank of the division, and be governed by the movements of the Fiftieth Pennsylvania. We lay here for about two hours, when I was ordered forward by General Willcox with my reserve (about thirty men) with the colors to the crest of the hill this side of the railroad. Here I halted, by order of General Hartranft, and remained all day. Since that time we have followed the movements of the brigade, spending thirty-six days in the trenches up to the 31st of July.

During the campaign, and while I have had command of the regiment, my thanks are due to Captain W. L. Stearns, acting field officer, and Lieutenant J. F. Curren, adjutant (who was wounded on the 17th), for their promptness and efficiency in their respective duties.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Commanding Sixtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


  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), page 593
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