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OR XLII P1 #91: Report of Lieutenant Colonel George Zinn, 84th PA, August 15-16, 1864

Numbers 91. Report of Lieutenant Colonel George Zinn, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations August 15-16.1


SIR: In obedience to circular of the 18th instant, I have the honor to submit the following brief statement of the part taken by this regiment in the engagements north of the James River on the 15th and 16th instant:

On the morning of the 15th the regiment, in conjunction with the Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Corps (temporarily attached to the Tenth Army Corps), marched from the extreme right of the Tenth Corps in the direction of the Charles City road. We came up with the skirmish line of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, who had been engaging the enemy earlier in the morning, at Mrs. Craddock’s house. Here

a line of battle was immediately formed. Preparatory to advancing, the First Regiment U. S. Sharpshooters was thrown forward as skirmishers, covering the front of the brigade. The Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers was on the right of the line of battle, and was joined on the left by the First Regiment Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. The regiment had advanced but a short distance into the woods, until our skirmishers met the enemy’s skirmishers, who were slowly but steadily driven back. As we advanced the enemy fought more stubbornly, and two companies of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers were ordered to report to Captain Wilson, commanding skirmishing line, for purpose of strengthing and making connection with the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, who were moving up on our right flank. The skirmishers then advanced, followed by the line of battle close in the rear until we reached the Charles City road, where we were ordered to halt. Here we lay a short time, when the regiment received orders to return. We bivouacked for the night with the balance of the brigade in a corn-field near headquarters Tenth Army Corps. Casualties: Commissioned officers, wounded, 1; enlisted men, killed, 1; wounded, 5.

On the morning of the 16th the Second Brigade, with the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers on the right, formed in line of battle and moved forward on the line and protecting the right flank of the Tenth Army Corps. About 11 a. m. a part of the Tenth Corps charged the enemy capturing the works on the left of his line. The enemy fell back into a deep ravine running in an oblique direction to their line of breast-works. The Second Brigade was moved forward by the left flank across the captured works, forming on the left by the file into line, the left regiment resting on the breast-works, the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers on the right of the One hundred and forty-first Pennsylvania, and the Ninety-third New York Volunteers on the right of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, the line of battle running in an oblique direction to the breast-works, and parallel to the ravine in which the enemy were posted. The brigade being thus formed charged the enemy, driving him from the ravine. In this charge the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers captured and sent to the rear 11 prisoners. We held the ravine about thirty minutes, when the enemy succeeded in driving our support on the left back, and there being no troops on the right of our brigade (Second) the enemy came in on that flank, thus having a cross-fire on the brigade, and the Eighty-fourth, with the balance of the brigade, was compelled to fall back to the captured line of works, which by this time was occupied by troops of the Tenth Army Corps, and the Second Brigade was ordered a short distance to the rear to reform. While this was being done the Tenth Army Corps was driven or fell back and took up a new line of battle in rear of the line captured in the morning. The Second Brigade was placed on the right of a brigade of colored troops of the Tenth Corps, the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers being the extreme right regiment of the brigade. Soon after dark we received orders to withdraw and march a short distance to the rear into a line of breast-works and bivouac for the night. Casualties: Commissioned officers, missing, 1; enlisted men, killed, 1; wounded, 10; missing, 33.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant Colonel Eighty-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols., Commanding Regiment

Captain F. E. MARBLE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second 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), pages 378-379
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