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OR XLVI P1 #100: Report of Brigadier General Henry Baxter, commanding 2/3/V/AotP, April 1, 1865

No. 100. Report of Brigadier General Henry Baxter, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.1

April 10, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the following as the part taken by this brigade in the action of the 1st instant in battle of Five Forks:

Formed line of battle in rear of works occupied night previous near White Oak road, marching in retreat toward Gravelly Run Church, the Third Brigade (Brevet Brigadier-General Coulter) on our left flank and First Brigade (Colonel Kellogg) on right flank, with Thirty-ninth Massachusetts Volunteers, deployed as skirmishers, following the movement. March was continued to Gravelly Run Church, where [we] arrived about 3 p. m. Brigade was here formed in two lines, on right of division – First Brigade (Colonel Kellogg) on left and Third Brigade (Gen-

eral Coulter) in rear – One hundred and seventh Pennsylvania (Colonel McCoy), Ninety-seventh New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Egelston), and Thirty-ninth Massachusetts (Captain Cooper commanding) forming advance line; Sixteenth Maine (Colonel Tilden) and Eleventh Pennsylvania (Major Overmyer commanding) forming rear line. One company Eleventh Pennsylvania was deployed as skirmishers, connecting on right with skirmishers of First Division and on left with those of First Brigade. Advance was ordered at 3.30 p. m. of the entire line, when we moved forward at once, soon encountering the enemy’s skirmishers, driving them steadily before us. On arriving at White Oak road changed direction to the left, moving parallel with road. We swept down upon the enemy’s works, driving them from them in confusion. One stand of colors was captured by the Eleventh Pennsylvania and many prisoners by the brigade; also several ambulances and wagons. The pursuit was continued until dark, when, all resistance having ceased, a halt was ordered, and the brigade, with the division, moved back on White Oak road and bivouacked.

Officers and men conducted themselves creditably, and I think the comparatively small loss may be, in a great measure, attributed to the celerity with which they pushed forward.

Regimental commanders all exhibited energy and ability in conducting their commands and rendering them effective. Major Overmyer, Eleventh Pennsylvania, although receiving a painful wound in the shoulder while charging the enemy’s works, remained with his command, and by his coolness and daring courage fully sustained his heretofore well-earned reputation. Captain Plummer, Sixteenth Maine Volunteers, brigade inspector, was energetic in rendering me every assistance, until, while superintending the skirmish line, he was, unfortunately, captured. Captain Sheen, Thirty-ninth Massachusetts Volunteers, acting assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant Leavitt, Sixteenth Maine volunteers, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Knaggs, aide-de-camp, also rendered me efficient aid, exhibiting coolness and energy under all circumstances. Captain B. F. Bucklin, commissary of subsistence, is entitled to especial mention, having volunteered his services and performed his duties with that energy and daring he has so often exhibited on former occasions.

Herewith I send nominal and tabular lists of casualties.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.

Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.


  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. 889-890
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