HDQRS. SEVENTH Regiment RHODE ISLAND VOLUNTEERS,
Near Poplar Grove Church, Va., October 2, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor of making the following report of the part taken by this regiment if the operations of the past week:
Late in the afternoon of the 25th [ultimo] we left our present camp, near Weldon railroad, and moved about three miles to the left. Wednesday morning, the 28th, at full daylight, we started again, and moving, by order, in sight of the enemy, marched back to near Weldon railroad and stacked arms, and laid there ready to move at a moment’s notice, while Generals Ord and Birney were striking on the right, till the morning of the 30th, when we crossed the works beyond the railroad and pushed forward nearly two miles, till we fond the pickets of the enemy, and the column halted to form line. The Seventh was then sent to the left with tools to cut a road, but finding the ground on which we were to work was held by the enemy’s pickets we dropped our tools, and deploying with the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers and Twenty-first Massachusetts Volunteers (on the extreme left of our line), drove the enemy back, he not stopping to fire a shot. Meanwhile the work had been carried to the right, and the road was no longer needed.
We were then ordered to take position in rear of the division which had crossed the line of works just taken near Poplar Grove Church. Found the division a mile to the right and front, and halted in a corn-field in front of the Pegram house, a little to the rear of where the division was then engaged. A little later a heavy force of the enemy charged our line, and one of the new regiments broke. The enemy crowded into the gap, flanking the regiments to the right and left, captured some prisoners, and started the line back in some confusion.
The Seventh was then called on and formed in the corn-field, checked the advance of the enemy, thereby saving Roemer’s battery; then fell back eight or ten rods, and forming behind the fence around the Pegram house, again checked the enemy, while, by great exertion, showing the most undaunted bravery and coolness, and winning the increased admiration of the entire division, General Potter reformed the line on our right and left, and the enemy, though they had pushed us back a little, seeing their attempts to break our line and recover the lost work foiled, withdrew the mass of their troops, leaving only a skirmish line, which has since been driven back. Saturday we threw up a redoubt, and did some slashing on the picket-line, and to-day we have built two redoubts and slashed some timber under a light fire of artillery.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel. Commanding Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers.
Brigadier General E. C. MAURAN,
Adjutant-General of Rhode Island.
- 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 586 ↩