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OR XLII P1 #159: Report of Captain Thomas E. Carter, 157th PA, August 18-28, 1864

Numbers 159. Report of Captain Thomas E. Carter, One hundred and fifty-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations August 18-28.1

August 28, 1864.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with the order requiring a report of the part taken by this battalion in the operations since August 17, 1864, I respectfully submit the following:

August 18. We struck camp this morning between the hours of 3 and 4 o’clock and took up line of march in the direction of the Weldon railroad. After marching until noon we reached the railroad, where we halted about an hour for dinner. We then advanced up the railroad with the rest of the brigade, halting just before reaching the edge of a heavy woods. While lying here in line of battle a solid shot from the enemy struck in the left company, tearing off the knapsack and scattering the contents of the haversack of on mean, but fortunately doing no injury, further than slightly wounding this man in the back. Orders then came to us to move to the west side of the railroad and relieve the Purnell Legion, which we did, and succeeded in checking the advance of the enemy and in driving him back. Shortly after dark this command was ordered on the skirmish line to re-enforce the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Cook, then skirmishing with the enemy. While thus engaged, we lost in killed 2, wounded 7, and missing 1. August 19. We were relieved this morning and immediately threw up breast-works. In the afternoon we repulsed an attack of the enemy. During this engagement a shell from one of our own batteries struck within our line, killing 1 and wounding 7, Lieutenant Alexander Gray being one of the wounded. August 20. Nothing of importance happened until night, when we withdrew from our works, and moved to a new line, upon which works were at once erected. August 21. This morning the enemy, quite unexpectedly to us, emerged from the woods in our front, and made a desperate attack on our lines. Here again we were successful in repulsing him and in capturing 1 captain, 1 adjutant, and several other prisoners, with the loss of 1 officer (Lieutenant Scott) slightly wounded by a fragment of a shell. From the 21st up to the present date we have remained in the same position, the command performing the ordinary picket and fatigue duty.

Before closing this report I would mention the name of Sergt. George R. Eckendorf, for the brave manner in which he conducted himself while in command of his company on the skirmish line on the night of the 18th, since which time he has been missing. Also Private Mark Lewis, Company A, for advancing in front of the works on the 21st, and capturing a captain, lieutenant, and several other prisoners.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Regiment.

Captain F. H. COWDREY,

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), page 490
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