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OR XLVI P1 #36: Report of Lieutenant Colonel Denis F. Burke, 88th NY, Mar 29-Apr 9, 1865

No. 36. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Denis F. Burke, Eighty-eighth New York Infantry.1

April 11, 1865.

In compliance with orders, I have the honor to forward the following report of operations from the 28th ultimo to date:

March 28, were encamped near Hatcher’s Run, under orders to move. 29th, moved at 6 a. m. down the Vaughan road and crossed Hatcher’s Run; marched about ten miles and rested for the night. On the 30th advanced in line of battle, through woods, about two miles; were employed in building corduroy roads, and furnished detail of one captain, one lieutenant, four sergeants, six corporals, and fifty privates for fatigue duty. On the 31st advanced at 3 a. m. to the rear of the Fifth Corps, and relieved them at daylight; lay in the works until 10 a. m., when we moved to the left, where the division engaged the enemy; were ordered to advance and charge the enemy’s works, but the order being countermanded we fell back and built breast-works, where we remained until the following morning at 2 a. m. April 1, moved to the rear and occupied the works. At 10 a. m. advanced and built a new line of works; remained until evening, when we moved to the left to support pickets; remained until 2 a. m. next morning (2nd); moved along the White Oak road and formed line across the road, and advanced through the woods until within a few hundred yards of the enemy’s works; finding the enemy [had] left we advanced double-quick in pursuit of them, having skirmishers in our front all morning; marched through to South Side Railroad, where we found the enemy entrenched; charged their line of works, were repulsed, reformed and charged again, and succeeded in capturing them, with many prisoners; continued our advance across the South Side Railroad, through woods along River road about six miles, and returned and encamped near South Side Railroad for the night. April 3, 10 a. m. marched in pursuit about fifteen miles and halted. 4th, continued our march until night and halted. 5th, marched on and connected with Fifth Corps, and out about one

mile threw up works and halted. 6th, moved forward about two miles, when we came in sight of the enemy’s wagon train; rested on a hill while our batteries were shelling them; fell in and marched about half a mile, crossing the Appomattox River and formed line on the other side; advanced along the road on which the enemy’s train was moving; when within a short distance of them were ordered to the right to a point where part of the skirmish line of the First and Third Division were held at bay, and was directed by Major Church, First Division staff, to capturing many prisoners and one battle-flag. This flag was captured by Lieutenant George W. Ford, Eighty-eighth New York Volunteers, who on this occasion, as well as through the whole campaign, acted with great gallantry. Here we were detailed, by order of General Miles, to burn the wagons and destroy their contents. 8th, rejoined the brigade and continued the pursuit, marching about fifteen miles. 9th, continued the pursuit up to near Clover Hill, where we halted, the enemy having surrendered.

Our casualties during the campaign were 4 enlisted men wounded.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Eighty-eighth New York Volunteers.



  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), pp. 731-732
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