No. 44. Report of Captain I. Hart Wilder, One hundred and twenty-sixth New York Infantry.1
HEADQUARTERS 126TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
April 16, 1865.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of this battalion since March 28, 1865:
This battalion moved from camp near Petersburg at 8 a. m. March 29, 1865, crossing Hatcher’s run. After the division was in position and the advance commenced, this battalion was sent out onto the skirmish line. March 30, at about noon the enemy’s pickets were met and driven across the Boydton plank road. Here the battalion was relieved from the skirmish line and rejoined the brigade. March 31, at 4 a. m. the battalion, with the rest of the brigade, moved still farther to the left, resting behind breast-works on the plank road about two hours, then moved in line of battle toward the enemy’s works, but soon eh brigade made a left wheel, bringing the line perpendicular to the enemy’s works. In this position we moved forward, capturing many prisoners and losing some killed and wounded. Among the wounded were Captain John B. Geddis, commanding battalion, and Lieutenants Hooper and Pasco; but one private killed. At night breast-works were built in front of where we rested in the morning.
April 1, moved back to the works where the morning before we rested, and built breast-works nearly perpendicular to those. There we remained until nearly sundown, when we were moved again to the works in front. Soon after we were marching to the left, and continued the march until 4 a. m. of the 2nd instant, halting near Dinwiddie Court-House. At 7 a. m. we were moved to the right again about three miles, halted, formed a line, and rested. Soon the order forward, double-quick, was given, and the troops crossed the enemy’s main line of works at 10 a. m. About noon we found the enemy entrenched. We charged his works twice and were repulsed; the third, however, we succeeded in driving him and capturing many prisoners. The troops then moved on about a mile and went into camp for the night. April 3, this battalion, with the rest of the brigade, marched to the vicinity of Lemon Grove Church and encamped for the night. April 4, this battalion, with the remainder of the brigade, repaired roads to enable the wagon trains to pass.
April 5, we marched with the wagon train and joined the division at sundown on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, near Amelia Springs. On the morning of the 6th we moved out and soon found the enemy, but the troops of this command were not engaged until afternoon, when we were moved in line of battle, charging the enemy whenever they would make a stand. At about 5 p. m. we charged through a piece of woods and came upon quite a large wagon train. The enemy had one piece of artillery in position still farther on but succeeded in escaping with it. We moved on the hill where this piece had been and encamped for the night. There were no casualties in this command during the day. April 7, this battalion was not engaged. Though under a sharp artillery fire in the afternoon there were no casualties in this command. The enemy were found to be strongly entrenched. At night we built breast-works and rested behind them until daylight. April 8, this battalion went onto the skirmish line and moved as skirmishers during the day. Found none of the enemy, except stragglers, until
near sundown, when a few cavalrymen made their appearance. At 8 p. m. we were relieved from the skirmish line and rejoined the column, and marched about four miles and went into camp. April 9, at 8 a. m., the command was again in motion and moved slowly on until nearly noon, when there seemed to be a lull, and we rested quietly along the road. Soon after it was announced that Lee had surrendered his entire force.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. HART WILDER,
Captain H. DODT,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
- 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. 743-744 ↩