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OR XLII P1 #257: Report of Capt. Lewis T. Whipple, 39th IL, August 13-20, 1864

No. 257. Report of Capt. Lewis T. Whipple, Thirty-ninth Illinois Infantry, of operations August 13-20.1

Report of the Thirty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, of operations on the north side of James River:

The night of the 13th instant [August] left our camp near Hatcher’s, Va. Marched to and crossed James River at Deep Bottom. At daylight formed in line of battle and charged the enemy across an open field; drove them into their forts, and held the position, skirting the edge of the woods, until noon, when we were ordered to the right to support a charge. Then ordered to the center, built breast-works, again ordered to the right, and at dusk placed on picket. At 3 a. m. the 15th instant quietly withdrew, crossed the James River, and recrossed on the lower pontoon. At daylight marched out toward Malvern Hill; was used as a support for a battery all day and night. The morning of the 16th moved up to what is known as Deep Run, and charged the enemy’s works at that place. After a short but bloody struggle captured and held the works, with 2 stand of colors and near 300 prisoners, which were sent to the rear. Held the works about two hours, when rebel re-enforcements arriving and having gained our left, driving back the regiments there, and leaving us exposed to a galling flank fire, we retreated as best we could, and, forming the regiment out in the open field, marched back to the front and built breast-works, &c. Lay in the pits the 17th and 18th instant. The 18th the rebels made an attack on our lines, and were handsomely repulsed. At night evacuated and moved to the right, where we were until the evacuation of the place, when we crossed to the south side of James River.

Our total loss during the expedition was 104 killed, wounded, and missing.


Captain, Commanding Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteers.


  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 692
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