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OR XLII P1 #281: Reports of Captain Simeon H. Merrill, 11th ME, October 13 and 27-28, 1864

No. 281. Reports of Captain Simeon H. Merrill, Eleventh Maine Infantry, of operations October 13 and 27-28.1

Before Richmond, Va., October 13, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that in obedience to orders I moved with my command, the Eleventh Maine Volunteers, this a. m., and at daylight formed with the brigade occupying the right, under the direction of Colonel Plaisted, commanding brigade. Advancing across the field, where we formed about one mile and a half to the right of the works to attack the enemy, I sent forward two companies (A and B), under the command of Lieutenants Foster and Rolfe, supported by Company F, Lieutenant Clark commanding. After advancing about 1,000 yards into the woods they came upon the enemy, and forced them back to their works. With my left connecting with the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, I moved forward in line of battle, follow-

ing about 200 yards in rear of the skirmish line, keeping that distance during the engagement, and retiring with the brigade at about 4 p. m. At about 12 m. the First Brigade moved to right, which had connected with my right flank. I then deployed Company I, Lieutenant Thompson commanding, as flankers, which position they held until we fell back. The men, both in the skirmish line and line of battle, were exposed to a severe fire during all this time, though, fortunately, very few casualties occurred.

The conduct of the officers and men was splendid as ever. Casualties: 1 killed, 1 wounded (mortally), 4 wounded (severely), 7 wounded (slightly).

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

Captain, Eleventh Maine Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 3rd Brigadier, 1st Div., 10th Army Corps.

Before Richmond, Va., October 28, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Eleventh Maine Volunteers in the action of the 27th and 28th instant, as follows:

In obedience to orders received on the night of the 26th, I had my command ready to move at 4 o’clock on the morning of the 27th, with three day’s rations and sixty rounds of ammunition per man. Moving with the brigade (the Third, under command of Colonel H. M. Plaisted), outside the works and to the right, to near the Darbytown road, I was directed by the colonel commanding to place my regiment in reserve, closed in mass, and to follow the movements of the brigade. Advancing across the field in front to the edge of a body of woods, as directed I was then ordered to report to Colonel Voris, commanding the First Brigade, who directed me to follow the movements of his brigade as a reserve, keeping a distance of sixty place in the rear or in sight of the line, as the woods were very thick of undergrowth. In this manner I advanced through the woods to an opening of slashing or small growth of shrubbery; then, by his order, I reported, with my regiment, to Colonel Abbott, commanding the Second Brigade,w ho directed me to place my regiment in column by company, left in front, and perpendicular to the line of his brigade, on the extreme right, to guard against an attack on the flank. This position I occupied until about noon on the 28th, when the line retired, and then, by order of Colonel Abbott, reported back to my brigade, to Colonel Plaisted commanding, who directed me to move to the Darbytown road and there await orders from him. Upon the retiring of Colonel Plaisted’s brigade I was ordered to follow the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, and proceeded to camp inside the line of works. The number of rifles in the regiment upon moving from camp was 156. At the roll-call ordered at near the Darbytown road seven were missing, their names taken and compared with those that had been excused by the surgeon, and it was found that not one man had fallen out without a pass from the surgeon. The men that had received passes were unable to keep up with the regiment, but in a few moments after halting rejoined their companies in line. At the roll-call near the Darbytown road on the 28th, after

retiring from the right, there were 149 rifles present in line, leaving seven to be accounted for, of which number two were wounded and five given passes to the rear by the surgeon. The Eleventh Maine Volunteers did not straggle.

The casualties in the regiment were 5, as follows.* Of the 5 wounded but 2 left the ranks.

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

Captain, Commanding Eleventh Maine Regiment.

Lieutenant J. M. THOMPSON,
A. D. C. and A. A. A. G., 3rd Brigadier, 1st Div.,10th Army Corps.


*Nominal list omitted.



  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 749-751
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