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OR XLII P1 #278: Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Edwin S. Greeley, 10th CT, October 27-29, 1864

No. 278. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Edwin S. Greeley, Tenth Connecticut Infantry, of operations October 27-29.1

Near Richmond, October 28, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the action of yesterday:

The regiment left camp at 4 a. m. and reported at the sally-port in the front of the brigade. At 5 it marched with the brigade up the

Darbytown road. On arriving near the Gerhardt plantation, the regiment was ordered by the colonel commanding brigade to deploy as skirmishers to cover the brigade front. I immediately deployed six companies, holding four companies in reserve. After making the deployment, and connecting my left with the Third New Hampshire Volunteers, the regiment advanced through a thick growth of underbrush and swamp to a thick slashing beyond. Upon arriving at the opening the line was halted, agreeable to instructions from the colonel commanding, in order to allow the line of battle to come up to a supporting distance. This being accomplished, the skirmish line was again advanced to the center of the open field, where I found the enemy’s vedettes posted in an old line of works. After exchanging a few shots they retired to their skirmish lines beyond, posted in detached rifle-pits extending around our right flank. This being reported to the colonel commanding, two companies of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers were sent to me as flankers. These companies I place on my right flank. Subsequently a regiment of the First Brigade was deployed on my right. Advancing rapidly we drove the enemy’s skirmishers from the advance pits to their main works capturing several prisoners. Here I found the enemy strongly posted behind their works, which were well constructed with abatis in front. This I reported to the colonel commanding, who instructed me to push my line forward as far as practicable. I moved my line forward to a distance of 150 yards from the enemy’s works, where I was compelled to halt, being opposed by a strong line of battle. I remained in this position, keeping up a sharp fire until 4 p. m., when, my ammunition giving out, I was relieved by the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers. My regiment joined the brigade and returned to camp with it at 3 p. m. to-day.

I cannot say too much in praise of the two commissioned officers present, besides myself-Captain F. G. Hickerson and Lieutenant James H. Linsley. They were prompt and efficient in the discharge of every duty. The men behaved with their accustomed coolness and bravery. I have to report 5 men wounded. The list of casualties in inclosed.

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

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding the Regiment.

Brigadier General H. J. MORSE,
Adjutant-General, Hartford, Conn.

In the Field, before Richmond, Va., October 29, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the affair of to-day:

I received orders to move my regiment from camp and report at the sally-port in front of this brigade at 2.30 p. m. to-day. I reported as directed and joined the brigade, which had been put in motion, at 2.35 p. m., and marched without halting until the head of the column reached the open field near the Johnson place, where the brigade was formed in line. My regiment formed on the right near the edge of the wood, my right resting on the road leading to the Johnson house. At 3.15 p. m. the colonel commanding the brigade directed me to deploy skirmishers to connect with those of the Eleventh Maine Volunteers. I deployed Companies F and I, under command of Sergeant Chapman, of

Company F. The skirmish line then advanced into the open field, where they received a fire from the enemy’s skirmishers posted in a line of earth-works extending from the Eagle house on the left across the Darbytown road on the right. Subsequently a detachment of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry formed on our right flank. At 3.30 p. m. the order to advance was given the skirmish line. Taking the double-quick, advanced in fine style across the open field and drove the enemy from the works, with some loss. I advanced with the reserve to the open field and halted by direction of the colonel commanding brigade. The skirmish line now occupied the works, keeping up a sharp fire upon the enemy, who had halted in a wood near their works, keeping up a desultory fire. I remained in this position until dark, and on being relieved by a squadron of cavalry, rejoined the brigade and marched to camp.

Owing to the prompt and rapid movement of my men, I am happy to say I have to report only 1 man wounded.

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

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Tenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers.

Acting 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), pages 741-743
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