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OR XLII P1 #85: Report of Major Daniel S. Root, 5th MI, August 15-17, 1864

Numbers 85. Report of Major Daniel S. Root, Fifth Michigan Infantry, of operations August 15-16.1


SIR: The following report of the movements of this regiment on 15th and 16th instant is respectfully submitted:

On the morning of the 15th instant this regiment moved with the brigade from its bivouac near Deep Bottom toward the right of the line, and about 11 a. m. was formed, by order of Colonel Craig, in double column fifty paces in rear of the left wing of the brigade battle line, then forming for the double purpose of supporting that portion of the line, and to protect the left flank in the proposed advance. As the brigade advanced to attack the enemy, and while driving him through

the woods, the regiment continued to occupy the same relative position, deploying in the course of the afternoon several companies as skirmishers for the better protection of the left flank. When the brigade returned to the main force in the evening the regiment returned with it, except that portion deployed on the left, which was moved out by the left flank and rejoined the command at its bivouac about 8 o’clock. About 10 p. m. this regiment, together with three others, under command of Colonel Pulford, in accordance with orders from superior headquarters, moved out and took possession of some slight works built by a portion of the Tenth Army Corps, and there remained during the night. Early on the morning of the 16th five companies of this regiment were detailed for picket duty with orders to report to Colonel Hawley, of the Tenth Corps, who sent them to cover the front of our own brigade. About 9 o’clock the brigade moved out on the right of the line then forming to attack the enemy, and our remaining five companies were ordered to deploy skirmishers for the protection of the right flank, our left joining the right of the sharpshooters, who covered the front of the brigade (our line about perpendicular to theirs), with orders to conform to their movements, moving by the left or right flanks as they advanced or retreated, and also to keep up connection on our right with the pickets of the Tenth Corps. As the battle progressed and the lines advanced it was found that we had too few men to cover the whole ground, and the other five companies were relieved from picket and deployed on the flank as they were needed, and subsequently some companies of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery were deployed on our right to keep up the communication. About 2 p. m. an order was received from the brigade commander to assemble on the right, which was done at once, but the movement was hardly completed when we were ordered to deploy again and resume our old position, which was done. About 5 p. m. the sharpshooters were ordered to another part of the field, and this regiment was moved by the left flank in order to occupy the ground they left, and while doing so, through some misunderstanding, moved farther than was necessary, coming in contact with the enemy’s skirmishers, and causing a little fight in which we had three men wounded. The skirmish line was then reformed, this regiment closing to the right in a heavier line, and retained the same position until 11 a. m. of the 17th, when they were relieved by the Ninth U. S. Colored Troops, and rejoined the brigade.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Commanding Fifth Michigan Veteran Volunteers.

Captain F. E. MARBLE,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brigadier, 3rd Div., 2nd Army Corps.


  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 372-373
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