≡ Menu

OR XL P1 #277: Report of Colonel Joseph B. Kiddoo, 22nd USCT, June 15, 1864

Numbers 277. Report of Colonel Joseph B. Kiddoo, Twenty-second U. S. Colored Troops, Second Brigade, of operations June 15.1

In the Field, Va., June 22, 1864.

SIR: In accordance with circular of the 20th instant, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the late actions in front of Petersburg:

On the morning of the 15th I moved with the rest of the brigade from Spring Hill on the City Point road. Approaching the enemy’s advanced line of rifle-pits near Baylor’s house, I received orders from the colonel commanding the brigade to form line of battle and advance, the Fifth U. S. Colored Troops being at the same time on my right and the Fourth U. S. Colored Troops on my left. I also received orders from the colonel commanding to be ready to charge when ordered. After I had gotten under the fire of the enemy’s artillery, concluding that on account of the broken nature of the ground orders could not reach me to charge, or that I could not be found, I took the responsibility and ordered my regiment to charge the line of rifle-pits in my front. The effect with which the enemy’s artillery was playing upon my line was the strongest inducement for me to give this order. The charge was gallantly made, and that portion of the rifle-pits in front of my line possessed, together with one 12-pounder howitzer, from the fire of which my men suffered severely while coming from the woods. From thence I marched with the rest of the brigade to the left and toward the main line of the enemy’s works. I took position in the first line and on the left of the Fourth U. S. Colored Troops at about

12 m. In this I lost many men in killed and wounded and one officer killed. One company was thrown out as skirmishers, and at about 4 p.m. I received orders from the colonel commanding to send out three more companies and to form a skirmish line with one pace interval. I complied with said order by sending Major Cook, of my regiment, in command of the line. He received orders from the colonel commanding to advance his skirmishers till he felt the enemy’s line, and to advance against his works when he saw the lines of General Brooks’ command advancing. Accordingly, at a few minutes before sundown, Major Cook, seeing the line of General Brooks advancing, reports to me that he ordered his line to advance and charge the work in his immediate front, now know as Battery Numbers 7. He further reports that both officers, and men cheerfully obeyed this order and advanced on the run till they got so far under the guns of the battery as to be sheltered from their fire. At this juncture Major Cook ordered his line to break to the right and left, in order to gain the rear of the work. This was promptly done, and Captain Force and Lieutenant Miliken, of my regiment, were the first to enter the work in the rear. These officers, as well as Major Cook, report to me that there were two 12-pounder howitzers and one iron piece in the fort when they entered it. The skirmishers of the First were on the left of Major Cook’s line, and those of the Fourth were on the right, portions of both of which entered the fort after the men of my regiment had possessed it. When the skirmish line advanced I received orders from the colonel commanding to take the rest of my command to its support. I moved out on the double-quick, and finding Battery Numbers 7 in our possession I turned my attention to Battery Numbers 8 I found Lieutenant-Colonel Wright, First U. S. Colored Troops, with a portion of his skirmish line occupying a small lunette between Batteries Nos. 7 and 8, which had been abandoned by the enemy. I proposed that we unite our commands and charge Battery Numbers 8. He thought it not safe, but proposed to support me if I would do so. I immediately formed a column of companies, left a few of my men on the parapet of the lunette to engage the gunners on Battery Numbers 8, which were in easy range, and who were playing with some effect upon my men as they were forming for the charge. The charge was made across a deep and swampy ravine. The enemy immediately ceased firing his artillery and took the parapets of the fort and rifle-pit as infantrymen. My men wavered at first under the hot fire of the enemy, but soon, on seeing their colors on the opposite side of the ravine, pushed rapidly up and passed the rifle-pits and fort. Lieutenant-Colonel Wright came to my support when I had advanced part the way up the opposite side of the ravine and at a time when I was most heavily pressed. The enemy left me one 12-pounder howitzer in the fort, which was immediately turned against Battery Numbers 9. Lieutenant Short, whom I left in care of the wounded and to bury the dead, reports that he buried 11 and brought away 43 wounded. The enemy retreated to Battery Numbers 9, reformed and advanced apparently to take the work he had just lost. I formed all the men of both regiments and advanced to meet him, and drove him back. At this juncture I would have advanced against Battery Numbers 9 had it not been that company commanders assured me that the ammunition was about expended. At about 9 o’clock I was relieved by troops of the Second Corps, when I rejoined my brigade.

During the whole day my regiment, both officers and men, behaved in such a manner as to give me great satisfaction and the fullest confidence in the fighting qualities of colored troops. I take great pleasure

in calling the attention of the colonel commanding to the gallantry and skill of Major Cook while in command of the skirmish line in my front, and for his daring in attacking a heavy work with a line of skirmishers.

A list of casualties will be forwarded with this report.*


Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant VANNINGS.

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


*Not found, but see table, p. 237, embracing casualties from June 15 to 30, 1864.



  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 724-726
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Frances October 18, 2011, 3:19 pm

    I am trying to find out information on my Great Great Grandfather who was with this company. His name was Robert Washington and I was hoping I can find out how to get more information on him. If you could help it would be appriciated.

    Thank You
    Great Great Granddaughter of Robert Washington-b:

  • bschulte October 20, 2011, 10:34 am


    Thanks for commenting! Your best bet is to subscribe to http://www.fold3.com/ and look for the Compiled Service Records (CSRs) for the 22nd USCT. Your ancestor’s name should appear in the list of names for that regiment, and if you are lucky you may find any number of images giving information on his service throughout the war.

Leave a Reply