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OR XLVI P1 #86: Report of Captain Charles F. Sawyer, 1st ME SS Bn, April 1, 1865

No. 86. Report of Captain Charles F. Sawyer, First Maine Sharpshooters.1

April 24, 1865.

SIR: I respectfully submit the following report of the two companies under my command on the 1st instant:

At 7 p. m. April 1 was detailed to take Companies E (Captain William O. Howes) and C (Lieutenant John Butler commanding) to report to Major Ellis Spear, aide-de-camp, who accompanied me to a creek nearly two miles in rear of the line of regiment, with instructions to take possession of and hold a bridge, if possible. I sent Captain Howes, with his company deployed as skirmishers and flankers, who advanced to the bank of the creek, when they received a volley from the enemy who were in earth-works on opposite bank, about twenty-five yards distant. Skirmishing was kept up for nearly an hour, about which time General Mackenzie rode to my command and said we were shooting our own men, and advised me to send one company across, which I refused to do, having seen the enemy, and knew them to be such. General M. then advised Captain Howes to send some men across, the enemy having acknowledged our hallos, saying they were the “Ninth New

York Cavalry.” I again refused to send men across, feeling sure the force were rebels. In the meantime two sergeants (unknown to me at the time) volunteered to go across, which they accordingly did, and were retained as prisoners (since released, and state we were confronted by Rosser’s cavalry in strong force). About 8 o’clock the enemy again opened fire on front and flank wise of the line, and I was compelled to retire to rear about 400 yards, it being useless to remain engaged, there being no bridge at that point. I was relieved about 10 o’clock by cavalry from General Mackenzie’s command and proceeded to position occupied by regiment.

The casualties were four wounded.

I am, & c., your obedient servant,

Captain, First Maine Sharpshooters.

Lieutenant S. W. SCOFIELD,
Acting Adjutant, First Maine Sharpshooters.


  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. 864-865
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