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OR XLII P1 #205: Report of Bvt. Colonel Gilbert P. Robinson, 3rd MD, commanding Prov/1/IX/AotP, December 8-14, 1864

Numbers 205. Report of Bvt. Colonel Gilbert P. Robinson, Third Maryland Infantry, commanding Provisional Brigade, of operations December 8 – 14.1

Before Petersburg, Va., December 14, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the operations of the late Provisional Brigade, of which I assumed command December 9, 1864, in compliance with Special Orders, Numbers 115, headquarters First Division, Ninth Army Corps, dated December 9, 1864.

The brigade rendezvoused December 8, at 6 p. m., in the field designated, in rear of the line, and remained at that point, with orders “to be ready to move at a moment’s notice,” until the afternoon of December 10, at which time the brigade took the line of march along the Jerusalem plank road, in the direction of Hawkinsville, Va., located near the]

Nottoway Creek, and some twenty miles distant from Petersburg, Va., The command arrived at this point at 4.30 a. m. December 11, and remained in camp, under arms, until 2 p. m. of same day, when, in accordance with orders from the general commanding, the brigade moved on the return march, arriving at its old rendezvous at midnight, when, in consideration of the inclemency of the weather and lack of shelter, I ordered the regiments and battalions of the brigade to their respective camps. December 12, in pursuance with orders from headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, I again assembled the brigade and moved to a position near the trestle-work of the U. S. military railroad, and remained in that position in camp, with orders to “be prepared to move at short notice,” until 5 p. m. December 14, when, in compliance with instructions from headquarters First Division, Ninth Army Corps, I dissolved the Provisional Brigade, ordering the regimental and battalion commanders to report to the commanding officers of their respective brigades.

Owing to the severity of the weather and the distance and rapidity of the march, the men straggled considerably, although at present I find, by referring to reports of regimental and battalion commanders of the late Provisional Brigade, but six men reported as missing, and these I have reason to believe will yet return. Upon my return I found the quarters of Third Maryland Battalion pillaged and destroyed to some extent, and those of the Fifty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers entirely destroyed.

I would respectfully remark that the commanding officers of the regiments comprising my late command did not perform their duties with the alacrity I would wish, except the commanding officers of the Sixtieth Ohio and Fifty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, whom I particularly mention for the commendable manner in which they performed their duties.

The march was an unusually severe one, rendering it impossible to prevent straggling, although every precaution was taken to prevent it.

I herewith subjoin the names of the enlisted men reported missing from the regiments of the late Provisional Brigade: Privates George Hall, A. P. Brown, and E. Watson, Thirty-seventh Wisconsin Volunteers; Private Jacob Oats, One hundred and ninth New York Volunteers; Privates Gregory and Munroe, Fifty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet Colonel, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding Provisional Brigade.

Brevet Major HUTCHINS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division, Ninth 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 576-577
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