Numbers 132. Report of Captain Chester K. Hughes, One hundred and forty-third Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations August 18-28.1
HEADQUARTERS 143rd PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS,
August 28, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the colonel commanding, the following as the part played by the One hundred and
forty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers in the operations of the First Division, Fifth Army Corps, from August 18 to the present date:
One the morning of the 18th, at 4 a. m., we broke camp in rear of the line of earth-works, confronting the enemy at Petersburg, Va., and marched to the left down the Jerusalem plank road to where the Vaughan wagon road intersects the plank road, when we filed to the right, and after a short march formed line of battle, and advanced upon the Weldon railroad. We composed a part of the second line, and struck the railroad near the Yellow House. marched down the railroad in direction of Petersburg a short distance and formed line, and struck the railroad near the yellow House. Marched down the railroad in direction of Petersburg a short distance and formed line, the right resting near and to the left of the railroad. Toward 4 o’clock, the enemy engaged a part of the corps, which had taken the lead; but, notwithstanding our being in line, we did not become engaged. At dusk we countermarched, filing to the left, and formed a new line, diagonally to the one first assumed. Friday morning, 19th, we threw up earthworks, which we occupied until 5 p. m., when the enemy made a furious assault one the right of the corps line. We were right-faced, obliquing across the railroad, and took position in rear of some batteries that were engaged. In this maneuver we lost 2 men wounded. We remained in this position until dusk, when we advanced in line to the extreme front, relieving a part of the regular brigade. That night we strengthened earth-works and felled trees for abatis. Picket-firing was briskly kept up. Saturday we were withdrawn, and resumed the position of Friday morning; the day was quit. Sunday, at 9 o’clock, the enemy made his appearance in our front, and of the pickets out from the regiment we lost (supposed to be captured) 1 second lieutenant, 1 sergeant, and 15 privates. In the engagement that ensued we took a part, and as far as in us lay the power, helped to win the victory that Providence vouchsafed to our arms. At about 12 m. we marched to the left and took up position, covering an approach upon that flank. We hold nearly the same position upon the left at the present time.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. K. HUGHES,
Captain, Commanding 143rd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Captain JOHN E. PARSONS,
Asst. Adjt. General, First Brigadier, First Div., Fifth Army Corps.
- 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 463-464 ↩