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OR XLVI P1 #87: Report of Lieutenant Colonel Walter G. Morrill, 20th ME, April 1, 1865

No. 87. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Walter G. Morrill, Twentieth Maine Infantry.1

April 14, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the operations of the Twentieth Maine Volunteers and First Michigan Volunteers, which were under my immediate command during the engagement at the Five Forks on April 1, 1865.

At 3 p. m. we were formed for a charge, my command being in the third line; in this order we advanced three-quarters of a mile and halted. General Bartlett ordered me to move my command by the left flank some half a mile; halted and fronted. Were ordered by him to charge the enemy on his flank, which I immediately did; carried the enemy’s works, capturing a large number of prisoners and the battle-flag of the Ninth Virginia Regiment. After doing this the enemy began to press us very hard on the right flank, and I sent Brevet Major Clark to report to General Bartlett the state of affairs. The enemy still continued to press us very hard, and we were losing men very fast. I also sent Captain Sidelinger to General Bartlett, and he immediately ordered a regiment in on our right, which relieved us at once, and, more troops coming up, the enemy began to fall back, and we continued to press him for the next three miles, when we gave up the pursuit and came back to the breast-works and bivouacked for the night.

In justice to all under my command, I have only to say that every officer and man did his duty well and faithfully; there was no skulking, and every one was in his place.

The loss of the First Michigan I am not able to report. The loss in the Twentieth Maine was 7 killed and 23 wounded.

Respectfully, yours,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Twentieth Maine Volunteers.

Asst. Adjt. General, First Division, Fifth Army Corps.


  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), p. 865
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