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OR XLVI P1 #112: Report of Lieutenant Colonel John Harper, 95th PA, April 2-6, 1865

No. 112. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John Harper, Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Infantry.1

April 13, 1865.

SIR: In obedience to orders, I have the honor of making the following report of the part taken by my command in the action of the 6th instant, Sailor’s Creek:

My command was placed upon the left of the One hundred and twenty-first Regiment New York Volunteers, forming, with that regiment, the front line of the brigade. At the command “forward” we proceeded steadily (notwithstanding a severe fire of musketry, by which I sustained some loss) across the open ground until we arrived at the creek, where some little delay took place, it being difficult to cross in some parts. After crossing, however, the line was reformed, and advanced to the foot of the hill upon which the enemy were posted; here we halted, by order, for a short time, during which the line was put in

good shape for the charge. Very soon the order to advance was given, when we advanced to the top of the hill, where we were met by a terrific fire of musketry which momentarily, staggered the line (I may here mention the gallant conduct of Bvt. Colonel E. Olcott, commanding the One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, who, by his example, did much to gain the victory which soon followed); with a cheer, however, the men pressed forward, and after a stubborn contest forced the enemy to retire in confusion, capturing many prisoners, who were ordered to the rear. Upon gaining the woods in which the enemy had been posted I found that a number of them had made a stand upon our left flank, and were becoming very annoying. I advanced upon them with my colors and fifteen or twenty of the men of my regiment and some of the One hundred and twenty-first New York Volunteers, and after some trouble drove them into a ravine, where they raised a white flag and surrendered. We continued our onward course, exchanging shots with the flying enemy until we crossed a line of breast-works, where more of them surrendered. We advanced still farther into the open field half a mile beyond the works, where we connected with the cavalry, which had apparently just started out. Soon after this Captain Gordon, of the Second Brigade staff, met us, and informed us that the brigade was reforming in the woods to our rear. We rejoined the brigade.

I cannot but speak in the highest terms of all the officers and men of my command; one and all, they did well. I earnestly recommend Color-Sergt. Albert J. Banne, of Company C, for his gallant conduct in rushing ahead with the colors of the regiment whilst under a very heavy fire, and by his example urging the men to advance. I think him deserving of a medal. For honorable mention I report Sergt. Major James S. Day and Corpl. Albert W. Scott, Company C.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

Lieutenant-Colonel Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Vols., Commanding.

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.

April 4, 1865.

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: In obedience to orders, I respectfully submit the following report of guns captured by my command on the 2nd instant on the left of the enemy’s line:

In the first fort, one gun, by Color-Sergt. Albert J. Bannen, Company C, and Sergt. John B. Cook, Company D. In the second fort, one gun, by Corpl. Francis A. Wilson and Hosea B. Taylor, Company B. In the third fort, one gun, by William R. Fox, Company A, and John McLaughlin, Company G. In the fourth fort, three guns, by Corpls. Albert W. Scott and Robert D. Wilson, Company C, they being the first of a number to enter. These guns were partly disabled; they were compelled to leave them however, before fully doing so, and they were retaken by the enemy, but again taken by the Twenty-fourth Corps.

Very respectfully,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.


  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. 938-939
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  • James McNew February 21, 2023, 12:54 pm

    I have a a I’d badge of John Burnett Sargent 95Th Penn Vol who fought at several battles in Petersburg Va . My number is 7576512958 . Would like to talk to someone about him

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