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OR XLII P1 #84: Reports of Major Nathaniel Shatswell, 1st MAHA, Aug 15-16, Sept 30-Oct 5, and Oct 27, 1864

Numbers 84. Reports of Major Nathaniel Shatswell, First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, of operations August 15-16, September 30-October 5, and October 27.1


CAPTAIN: In obedience to circular this day received, I have the honor to report as follows:

In the action of the 15th the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery occupied the right center of the line of battle, the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania being on its right and the One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania

Volunteers on its left, the Ninety-third New York acting as support. Occupied the same position during the day. Loss in First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, 1 killed, 6 wounded. On the 16th formed in column by division as support to the main line (the Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers being on my right), lay in column about an hour, and then moved to the right flank; formed in line of battle as support to the Fifth Michigan (then on the skirmish line protecting our right flank). As the main lien advanced the Fifth Michigan moved to the left and my regiment was deployed on its right. Held the same position through the day and night, losing one man wounded. No prisoners were taken by the regiment.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Commanding First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.

[Captain F. E. MARBLE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-Genera.]

CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders from superior headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery from September 30 to October 5, 1864:

September 30, the regiment lay at its late camp at the works in rear of the Jones house, awaiting orders to move. October 1, left camp at 12.30 p. m., took the cars at Hancock’s Station, disembarked at Warren’s Station, near the Yellow Tavern; marched from there past Poplar Grove Church to near the headquarters Ninth

Army Corps; camped for the night. October 2, marched with the brigade at 7 a. m.; moved to the left and in front of our line of intrenchments. The First U. S. Sharpshooters were deployed as skirmishers; my regiment was ordered to support them; formed the regiment in line of battle; advanced, found no enemy; reached the enemy’s first line of intrenchments, found them abandoned; advanced again. By some misunderstanding of orders the regiments on the left halted at the first line of works, leaving our left flank exposed. At 12 m. the balance of the brigade came up and formed line of battle; my regiment connected with the Ninth Army Corps on the right; advanced to an open field near the enemy’s second line of works. At 2 p. m. the regiment was moved to the right and formed in line to charge the works of the enemy; at 3 p. m. charged the enemy’s works in company with three other regiments of the brigade; charged their works and were repulsed with a loss of 2 commissioned officers wounded, 2 enlisted men killed, 9 enlisted men wounded, 8 enlisted men captured. At dark fell back to position occupied in the morning. October 3 and 4, 1864, entire command engaged in building works to the left and rear. October 5, 1864, broke camp and regiment placed on picket; relieved from picket at 11 p. m., and marched back to position in line to rear of Fort Hays and bivouacked for the night.

Respectfully submitted.

Major, Commanding First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.

Captain J. B. TEN EYCK,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


Report of part taken by the First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery as a part of Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps, in the engagement near the Boydton plank road, October 27, 1864:

Arrived at the plank road at 12.30 p. m., massed in an open field on the right of the road; at 2 p. m. advanced and formed line of battle in the corn-field on the right of the road, supporting a section of Battery C, Fifth U. S. Artillery, my regiment connecting with the One hundred and forty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers on the left. Lay in line about one hour under a heavy fire of artillery. About 3 p. m. the regiments of the brigade that had previously been formed in the woods to the right of the line was protection to that flank became engaged with a heavy force of the enemy. My regiment was ordered to move up by the right flank and form line of battle near the edge of the woods. The right of the regiment had just reached the woods when a heavy fire was opened on them and the regiments in the woods fell back, making it impossible to form the line. Fell back in disorder to the plank road and the woods ont he left of road. I immediately collected together what men of my command I could find and assisted Colonel Pulford, Fifth Michigan Volunteers, and Lieutenant-Colonel Butler, Ninety-third New York, to form a line on the plank road. Afterward the men of my command present, assisted by volunteers from different commands, drew off the section of artillery left on the field, which the enemy had been unable to remove.

Captain Converse, of the Fifth Michigan, and Second Lieutenant R. S. Littlefield, of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, deserve special mention for their assistance rendered me in saving this artillery.

Joined the brigade and reformed the command at the rifle-pits in rear of the corn-field.

Respectfully submitted.

Major, Commanding First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.

Lieutenant C. W. FORRESTER,

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 370-372
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