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OR XLII P1 #55: Report of Lieutenant Colonel S. Newell Smith, 7th MI, August 23-26, 1864

No. 55. Report of Lieutenant Colonel S. Newell Smith, Seventh Michigan Infantry, of operations August 23-26.1


CAPTAIN: I would most respectfully report that the Seventh Michigan Volunteers was relieved from a details at work on the road about 5 a.m. August 23, 1864, and marched about five miles toward Reams’ Station, when the regiment joined the brigade and camped for the night.

At sunrise the morning of the 24th instant the regiment marched with the brigade to Reams’ Station, on the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad, arriving there about 9 a.m. The regiment formed in line in rear of a regiment of the First Division, Second Corps, and on the west side of the railroad track, where it remained about one hour, when the First Division moved to the left, and the regiment then moved forward and occupied of earth-works and remained there until 9 p.m., when it moved with the brigade about half a mile to the right and camped until morning. At 7 a.m. of the 25th the regiment moved with the brigade about one-fourth of a mile to a field of sorghum, where the brigade massed and remained about one hour. The regiment moved from the field left in front and marched about one-fourth of a mile, when skirmishing commenced in front. The regiment was then detached from the brigade with the Fifty-ninth New York Volunteers and thrown forward as skirmishers, the left of the line having no connection and the right of the line joining the Fifty-ninth New York Volunteers. The line then advanced about one mile and found the enemy’s cavalry, a part of which was mounted and a part dismounted. After exchanging a few shots the line was ordered back, the enemy following closely. The line halted in a piece of woods in front of a slashing, to the left of the main road, where it held a large force of the enemy in check three hours. Two pieces of the enemy’s artillery came up the road, but a few volleys drove them back. The line held their position until the enemy broke our line on the right and crossed the railroad. When everything on the right had given way the line retired slowly to the rear of the slashing, when they were re-enforced by some dismounted cavalry. The enemy was on both flanks in force, and the old line was withdrawn a short distance and remained until dark. Soon after the regiment marched to the main road, where it found the corps in motion, and moved with it to near Petersburg, arriving here about 2 a.m. of the 26th.

The losses of the regiment during the engagement were as follows: Killed,1 enlisted man; wounded, 6 enlisted men; missing, 1 officer and 14 enlisted men.

Respectfully submitted.

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

Captain J. E. CURTISS, Actg. Asst. Adjt. 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), page 311
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