SOPO Editor’s Note: This report was transcribed by 7th Wisconsin researcher Roy Gustrowsky and is provided here with his written permission. This transcription may not be reproduced without Mr. Gustrowsky’s written consent. All rights reserved.
The Seventh [Wisconsin] Regiment before Petersburg. In Gallant Charge On Rebel Works-Failure of Supports-Report of Lt. Col. [Mark] Finnicum-List of Casualties.
HEADQUARTERS 7TH WIS. VET. VOL.}.
James T. Lewis, Governor of the State of Wisconsin:
I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the 7th WIS Vet[eran]. Vol[unteer]s. in the assault on the enemy’s fortifications, on the west side of the Norfolk & Petersburg RR about two miles from Petersburg on the 18th day of June 1864; accompanied by a list of the names of the officers & men killed and wounded in said assault.
The regiment was formed in the second line of battle on the right of the 1st Brig[ade]. 4th Div[ision]. 5th A[rmy].C[orps]. At 2 o’clock P.M. the order to move forward was given, and the lines moved forward across an open field towards the enemy’s fortifications of heavy earthworks which was some half mile distant, through a galling and terrific fire of musketry & artillery, the second line after advancing about two hundred yards took “the double quick” & came up with the first line a part of which took “the double quick” with us, we advanced to within one hundred paces of the enemy’s works when we were compelled to halt in consequence of the lines on our left faltering; the Regt. then being seventy-five to eighty paces in front of any connecting lines on the left, which line on the left we found to seek protection in a ravine which receded at about an angle of fifty degrees from the direction of the line of battle of the 7th. We held the ground in this position for an hour and a half during which time a Rebel battery, in addition to their infantry fire, was hurling its iron hail almost directly against our left flank. The ground in our front ascended at an angle of about fifteen degrees and then ran back nearly __(?) to the Rebel works which sheltered us from their fire in that direction; our batteries were throwing shells directly over our heads to prevent the Rebels from advancing from their works in overwhelming numbers, taking us all prisoners, and in consequence of having to aim very low many of their shells struck the ground within twenty feet of our front; having five shovels in the Regiment we immediately commenced throwing up earthworks on our left flank to protect us from the enfilading fire, the men at the same time digging & throwing up the earth with their bayonets & their plates in front of the enemy’s infantry and artillery.
I directed Major [Hollon] Richardson to run the gauntlet of fire if possible, report our position to Brigade Headquarters. He did so but unless a general assault could be made on the Rebel lines in our front and on our left, no succor could reach us, which was impossible to do at that time. In this condition we hoped the Rebels would not charge upon us for an hour longer, at the expiration of which we believed we could have our works sufficiently strong to resist them but not being disposed to let us entrench, then fight us, they formed a line at right angles from the right of their line on our left and directly in our rear, covered by a hill intervening between them and our own receding line on our left. We opened fire on the line on our left, at the same time part of the troops faced by the rear rank and delivered their fire on the Rebel skirmish line; we fought them in this way as long as it was possible to hold our position, we were compelled to fall back to our right and rear through a more deadly fire than that through which we advanced, to near our position from which we moved in preference to Libby Prison or Belle Island.
I cannot speak too highly of the assistance rendered me by Major Hollon Richardson, Adjutant Samuel Phillips, the latter of which fell severely wounded in front of the Regiment while advancing on the enemy, both cheering on the troops by example as well as words. Capt Alexander W. Bean, Capt Levi E. Pond, who also fell wounded, Capt Fred. L. Warner, 1stLt Charles Fulks and 2ndLt Tanner Thomas, the latter of which was in temporary command of Company A and was shot through the head and instantly expired while gallantly leading on the Company. He had been engaged in every battle & skirmish in which the Regiment took part and on all occasions accounted himself with honor to himself and credit to his Regiment, and also of the unflinching bravery and determination manifested by all the troops in this command.”
“List of Casualties of the 7th WIS Vet. Vols. on the 18th day of June, 1864.
FIELD AND STAFF.
Major Hollon Richardson, wounded in the finger.
Adjutant Samuel H. Phillips, wounded through right breast.
Killed-Corp. Albert T. McCarvey.
Wounded-Alexander Cross, in wrist; Joseph M. Charles, in arm; Joseph Carron, in shoulder; Lewis Fleshbirn, in hand; Patrick Fitzgerald, in leg; Cornelius Hart, in bowels; Gabriel Truckey, in leg.
Wounded-Thomas C. George, in leg; Dennis Riley, in breast; Charles Frailey, in head.
Wounded-Sergt. Wm. Beasley, in thigh; Corp. Geo. Will, in wrist; James Hodges, in left shoulder; John Cavanaugh, in left leg; R/M. Nixon, in leg.
Wounded-Fred. W. Isham, in arm.
Wounded-Capt. Levi E. Pond, in right hip; O. Hoard, in right leg and left arm.
Killed-Corp. John D. Runion, Barton Pauley.
Wounded-Giles Parker, and missing; F.A. Boynton, in finger and side; George Eustice, shoulder; Thomas Blunt; Martin Calvert; Henry P. Green, arm broken; Albert C. Morse, head, slightly; Isaac R. Miles, shoulder; Joseph Stonehouse, leg broken; Orrin Weymouth, in leg.
Wounded-Corp. Marcus D. Grover, in thigh; Andrew J. Wilkinson, leg amputated; Samuel A. Stainbrook, in leg; John B. LaPrairie.
Killed-Lt. Tanner W. Thomas, James Bishop.
Wounded-Corp. George Page, in abdomen; James Chapman, hand; Livingston Wagers, hip, slightly; Silas Streeter, right leg.
Wounded-Sergt. Byron S. Cole, in face, severely; Corp. Bradley M. Barnes, in arm and leg, slightly; Henry Borst, in thigh; John Riley, missing.
Wounded-Sergt. Daniel McDermitt, in both thighs; Sergt. Michael McNorman, in hand; James A. Linder, in hip; Watson W. Bowers, thumb; Anson M. Baldwin, back.”1
- SERIES 1200, Box 37-Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison; Wisconsin State Journal, June 25,1864, p. 2, c. 1-2 ↩