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OR XLII P1 #321: Report of Lieutenant Colonel Joab N. Patterson, 2nd NH, commanding 3/1/XVIII/AotJ, October 26-28, 1864

No. 321. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Joab N. Patterson, Second New Hampshire Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations October 26-28.1

In the Field, October 29, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the operations of this brigade as follows:

Broke camp on the morning of the 26th instant and marched about one mile down the Varina road, when the troops formed in column of regiments and then rested for the day and night. Left this position on the morning of the 27th at 5 o’clock, following the Second Brigade. Continued the march till we reached the Williamsburg road about 3 p.m. Here the brigade formed in close column by divisions and marched about half a mile down the road, when, by order of the division commander, I deployed to the right of the Williamsburg road, with the Second New Hampshire Volunteers on the right, extending into the woods with the One hundred and eighty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers on the left, resting on the road. Here we came under the fire of the enemy’s artillery. The Second Brigade was deployed about 200 yards in my front in line of battle, with the First Brigade on their right. When the Second Brigade moved forward I advanced my line some 500 yards, where I remained till dark, when ordered to retire to my former position. Here fifty men from the Second New Hamsphire Volunteers and twenty-five from the Fortieth Massachusetts were thrown out on picket and remained until the whole army retired. One hour after received orders to retire in silence. Arrived at White’s Tavern on the Charles City road about 11 p.m., where my command bivouacked.

At daylight on the morning of the 28th instant the brigade was formed in line of battle on the left of the First Brigade, which rested with its right on the Charles City road. Here we remained in line of battle till noon, when I received orders to return to our old camp, where we arrived about 6 p.m.

A list of casualties I have already forwarded. Most of the men reported will doubtless soon rejoin their commands.

The behavior of both officers and men was everything that their commander could desire.

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

Lieutenant Colonel Second New Hampshire Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.

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), page 806
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