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OR XLII P1 #87: Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin C. Butler, 93rd NY, Aug 15-16 and Oct 27, 1864

Numbers 87. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin C. Butler, Ninety-third New York Infantry, of operations August 15-16 and October 27.1


CAPTAIN: In compliance with the circular from brigade headquarters of this date, I have the honor to report that at 10 a. m. of the 15th instant my regiment moved into the woods and to the right a distance of about three miles with the rest of the brigade. We then formed into close column by division, right in front, and followed the movements of the main line in our front during the entire day. We moved through the woods on to the Charles City Cross-Road about three miles. At 5 p. m. we moved down by the left flank for three miles, and bivouacked for the night.

On the 16th, at 7.30 a. m., we moved by the left flank about 200 yards and stacked arms. At 10 a. m. we followed the Fifth Michigan for about a mile into the woods by the right flank. We then formed into close column by division, right in front, and conformed to the move-

ments of so much of the brigade as had formed into line of battle on our front. We followed their movements for a few hundred yards, and then deployed and took up a position on the right of the line. At 1 p. m. we moved by the left flank with the rest of the brigade, crossed the enemy’s breast-works, and formed on the left by file into line. We then advanced in line. Just as we were about to charge an order came to move by the left flank. This was not heard by the companies on the right, who, consequently, went directly forward. Shortly the order was given to charge, and the whole command went forward at the double quick across a corn-field and into a ravine-a distance of, say, 400 yards from the breast-works. There was no disorganization, but all went forward with a cheer. We held the ravine for, say, three-quarters of an hour, or until the regiment had fired about thirty rounds of ammunition each, by which time the position was flanked on both sides. At last, when the position was no longer tenable, in pursuance of an order from brigade headquarters, I gave the order to fall back. The regiment then withdrew into the line of breast-works and remained there for about three-quarters of an hour, doing good execution. Finally the enemy made a charge and recovered the line. We then fell back and reformed with the brigade at a distance of about 800 yards. We lost 2 captains and 48 men killed, wounded, and missing. There were also a few stragglers. Beyond this there was no disorganization. At 4 p. m. we went forward and formed again into position, with, I think, the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers on our right and the Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers on our left. We remained in position till 12 p. m. and then retired in rear of a line of breast-works which, pending this time, had been constructed. My regiment took two prisoners.

I am, respectfully, yours,


Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Ninety-third New York State Vols.

Captain F. E. MARBLE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 26th we moved to the Weldon road. On the 27th we moved with the rest of the brigade on to the Boydton plank road a distance of five miles. At 3 p. m. we moved across the field in connection with the Fifth Michigan to support a section of artillery. We formed in the woods adjoining and remained till 3.30 p. m., when a sudden attack was made upon us from a considerable force of the enemy. It was pressed with vigor. The regiment stood their ground until 4 men were killed, 20 wounded, and 41 captured, of whom 12 got away after being stripped of their arms, equipments, knapsacks, and in some cases their pocket-books. After about five volleys they fell back, being outflanked by the enemy, but were soon reformed with the rest of the brigade in a position on the right, which we held until about 10 p. m., when we retired.

I am, lieutenant, respectfully, yours,


Lieutenant Colonel Ninety-third Regiment New York Vols., Commanding Regiment

Lieutenant 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 374-375
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