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OR XLVI P1 #51: Report of Captain John F. Sutton, 148th PA, Mar 29-Apr 9, 1865

No. 51. Report of Captain John F. Sutton, One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry.1

April 10, 1865.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of this command from March 29 to this date, inclusive:

My command broke camp, with its corps, on the morning of the 29th, and marched to the vicinity of the Boydton plank road. At about 4 p. m. of that day the regiment was placed in support of the brigade skirmish line, connecting with the Fifth Corps on the left. The regiment was gradually deployed on the line as it advanced, taking up the interval between the Fifth and Second Corps, and remained on the skirmish line throughout the night. During the 30th the regiment remained in support of the brigade, in line of battle, near the dirt road, in front of a portion of the enemy’s works. 31st, moved to the

left with brigade supporting the Fifth Corps. At about 11.30 a. m. the whole brigade moved in line of battle to a position along Gravelly Run, on the left of a brigade of the Fifth Corps, and immediately attacked the enemy’s line across the run. After a sharp fight the line fell back in some confusion, but was soon rallied and pushed forward, driving the enemy out. Captain Rhinehart, commanding regiment, was wounded at this juncture,and the command devolved on me. After driving the enemy some time the brigade was reformed in rear of skirmish line, moved some distance to the left, where works were put up and the regiment all night in position.

April 1, the brigade moved back to the position from which it had advanced on the 31st and remained throughout the day. At dark moved to the left and at midnight to the extreme left. In the morning, after considerable maneuvering, it was discovered that the enemy’s works had been evacuated, and my regiment, with its brigade, was pushed through in pursuit. About noon, the division having been stopped by the enemy’s rear guard, on a choice position near the South Side Railroad, I was directed by Captain Marlin, of the division staff, to deploy regiment as skirmishers to the front and our right of the enemy’s position, and immediately I was ordered to charge along their left flank. I succeeded in reaching the church on the dirt road, on the left, and, with the aid of other portions of the brigade, in driving them out, capturing a number of the prisoners, 1 gun, and 1 battle-flag. They were pursued with vigor until near dark, when the brigade was taken in.

During the 3rd, 4th, and 5th the regiment marched, with brigade, in pursuit of the enemy without incident of any note, and on the 6th, with it supporting part of the division, in the maneuvers which resulted in the capture of part of their train and some artillery. After reaching High Bridge on the morning of the 7th I was ordered to send out my regiment for the purpose of foraging. The regiment succeeded in securing, in the vicinity of Farmville and beyond, about 7 head of horses, 180 head of cattle, 50 head of sheep, and 40 head of hops. These, with about 1,600 weight of bacon, were disposed of as I had been ordered; and on the 9th I rejoined the brigade and moved with it to the position now occupied.

During these operations my command has lost as follows:

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Captain, 148th Pennsylvania Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant S. P. CORLISS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


  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. 754-755
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