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OR XLII P1 #30: Reports of Colonel William Wilson, 81st PA, August 13-20 and December 9-10, 1864

Numbers 30. Reports of Colonel William Wilson, Eighty-first Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations August 13-20 and December 9-10.1

September 27, 1864.


On the 13th of August we embarked on board transports at City Point; on the morning of the 14th arriving at Deep Bottom, on the James River, where we were engaged in throwing up breast-works, remaining there during the night of the 14th. On the 15th we marched to the right to New Market or the Central road and took up position on the right to support cavalry. We there the up works and remained in them during the night. On the morning of the 16th we were ordered on a reconnaissance to the left along with cavalry, and engaged the enemy at Strawberry Plains, returning to


#For portion of report here omitted, see Vol. XL, Part I, p. 343.


the place we left in the morning and encamping for the night. On the 17th, in the afternoon, we marched into and occupied a piece of wood. At 10 p.m. we were ordered under arms in consequence of an attack upon the left. We remained there during the night and on the morning of the 18th marched to corps headquarters, and occupied the piece of woods we had left on the morning of the 16th. In the afternoon we were marched to support the cavalry which were driven in, the regiment taking the skirmish line and remaining there till 10 p.m. when we returned and threw up works, remaining there all day of the 19th and 20th, part of the regiment being upon picket. On the evening of the 20th recrossed the James, marching all night, and taking our original position near the Deserted House.

Casualties in the Eighty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers from 13th to 20th of August, 1864, at Deep Bottom, Va.: Killed, 1 enlisted man; wounded, 1 commissioned officer and 5 enlisted men, missing, 4 enlisted men; total, 11.

I am captain, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.


Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
December 10, 1864.

CAPTAIN: In reply to circular of this date I have the honor to report the following as the part taken by my command, viz, the Eighty-first Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, in the operations on Hatcher’s Run on the 9th and 10th current:

On the morning of the 9th my regiment broke camp and took position in the brigade about 6.30 a.m., left in front, in the rear of the One hundred and fortieth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and marched out the Vaughan road until we had passed the outer line of pickets, when my regiment was thrown out as flankers on the right of the road, where it advanced until the left reached Hatcher’s Run, when it was placed on picket, connecting on the left with the One hundred and fortieth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and on the right with the Thirty-ninth New York Volunteers, of the Third Brigade, where we exchanged a few shots with the enemy across the creek. Casualties on the 9th, 1 man severely wounded. The regiment remained in this position until the afternoon of the 10th, when I received orders between 2 and 3 p.m. to assemble it on the right and march back to our present position, which we reached about 7 p.m.

Nominal list of casualties: Private Jeremiah L. Ayers, Company E, wounded in the shoulder (severely), on the 9th; Private James Carty, Company I, wounded in left knee (slightly), afternoon of the 10th.

I am, certain, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Eighty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers.


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade


  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 273-274
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