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OR XLII P1 #76: Report of Captain John Fordyce, 7th WV, October 27-28, 1864

No. 76. Report of Captain John Fordyce, Seventh West Virginia Infantry, of operations October 27-28.1


SIR: I have the honor to report that at 3 a.m. 27th instant I was ordered to follow the Fourth Ohio Regiment with my command. After marching a short distance received orders to load the pieces of my regiment and to support the Fourth Ohio Regiment. About daylight received orders to advance in line of battle. Soon received orders to deploy as

skirmishers and move with the Fourth Ohio Regiment. We now made an attempt to carry the enemy’s works with our skirmish line, but failed, as there was a deep run intervening, fallen timber forming an abatis; and as the command had already suffered considerably from killed and wounded I now posted the line under cover of trees and reported the situation to the general. Shortly a line of battle advanced and charged the works, skirmishers advancing with the line and taking position so as to protect the right flank. Soon received orders that as soon as the First Brigade came up to assemble the Fourth Ohio and Seventh Virginia Volunteers and move on the left flank. From there I was ordered to follow the rear of the column, which I did until I came to the open land, when I was ordered to move to a fence and let the men lie down. Soon was ordered to form on the right flank of the brigade, but before [we] had got into position was ordered to move to the left and follow in the rear of the line, but soon was ordered to move to the right and form nearly at right angle with the line of battle so as to protect the flank. Next was ordered to throw forward skirmishers, which I did, but immediately was ordered to call them in and move to the left; then again to the right. Forming line soon received orders to advance, which I did at double-quick, filling up the open space between the regiments that had moved forward before I received orders to advance. We now moved rapidly on the enemy, who were posted behind works, carrying them handsomely. This position we held until after night, notwithstanding the attempts made by the enemy to regain the works. From this position we withdrew and returned to the place (or near) where we had crossed Hatcher’s Run in the morning. One the 28th we returned to our former camp near the Norfolk railroad.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant T. E. PARSONS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


  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 338-339
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