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OR XLVI P1 #113: Report of Captain James T. Stuart, 49th PA, commanding SS/1/VI/AotP, April 2-6, 1865

No. 113. Report of Captain James T. Stuart, Forty-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry, commanding Sharpshooters.1

April 17, 1865.

COLONEL: In obedience to orders, I have the honor to report the operations of my command during the recent operations of this division.

On the morning of April 2, having been ordered by the general commanding to report to General Hamblin, I was ordered to form those of my men who were armed with Spencer rifles as a skirmish line, the left joining the right of the Second Brigade, the line to be formed at an angle of about twenty-five degrees with line of battle. The men armed with the telescope and globe rifles were ordered to remain in Fort Fisher. They were left there in charge of Lieutenant House. When the charge began the skirmish line moved forward, keeping connection with the Second Brigade, which very soon brought us in contact with the enemy’s pickets; and as soon as the storming column entered the works and the Second Brigade wheeled to the right, my line conforming to their movements put me on the flank of the picket-line of the enemy, the most of which I captured for the distance of about half a mile. The number captured on this line and sent to the rear was about sixty-five. As soon as the Second Brigade (which had been moving down inside the works) halted I ordered my men to make a left wheel, which brought them in front of a fort mounting three gun,and which was still occupied by the enemy, on which I ordered the line to charge, and succeeded in capturing the fort, 3 guns, 3 commissioned officers, and 25 men, who surrendered in a body as soon as my men got on the parapet of the fort. We sent the prisoners to the rear, and held the fort for half an hour, when our ammunition gave out, and I ordered my men to rejoin the Second Brigade, which was then in a fort a short distance to our left. We did not succeed in getting the captured guns to the rear, as the fort we took was commanded in the rear by an interior work, and it was impossible to get the cannon out of the fort, except by the rear. After rejoining the Second Brigade we accompanied [it] to the balance of the division. In this engagement Second Lieutenant William Byron, Sixty-fifth New York, was severely wounded, and two privates were slightly wounded, but not severe enough to require medical treatment. As soon as Lieutenant House saw that the storming party had succeeded in carrying the works he moved the men armed with telescope and globe rifles to a position where they could fire on the forts that were yet in possession of the enemy they could fire on the forts that were yet in possession of the enemy, where good execution was done against the enemy’s artillerists.

The command accompanied the division through all its marches to Sailor’s Creek, and at that point did but little fighting, and losing no men.

In submitting the above report I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

Captain, Commanding Sharpshooters.

Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE CLENDENIN, Jr.,
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), p. 940
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