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OR XLVI P1 #120: Report of Colonel Thomas S. Allen, 5th WI, April 2-6, 1865

No. 120. Report of Colonel Thomas S. Allen, Fifth Wisconsin Infantry.1

April 15, 1865.

CAPTAIN; In compliance with circular of the 14th instant, I have the honor to report:

First. That in the attack on the rebel lines near Fort Fisher on the morning of the 2nd instant my regiment was placed in the front line, with the Thirty-seventh Massachusetts on my right. This line was preceded by a light line of pioneers and sharpshooters. At the signal “forward!” the line started promptly, cut through the abatis in a very few moments, and soon carried the works in our front. My regiment first planted its colors on the works. Without waiting to hold captured property, although several guns were captured by my men, a flank fire was opened both to the right and left, assisting the other brigades of this and the Second Division in carrying their respective fronts. In the afternoon of the same day, and during all the following, my regiment joined in the general movement of the brigade.

Among the names especially deserving of honorable mention are those of the gallant Captain John B. Doughty, who was killed while urging his men though the abatis; Captain Henry Curran and Lieutenant E. R. Jones did good service; Captain Thomas Flint captured and destroyed two wagons loaded with valuable stores; Captain William Bremmer cap-

tured and destroyed, three wagons, also loaded; Lieutenant-Colonel Bull was one of the first officers to enter the works. The color-sergeant, Robert H. Langton, and color-corporal, August Franz, cannot be too highly praised for their energy and daring. Sergt. James Young, of Company D, with some fifteen or twenty men, pushed ahead to the South Side road and fired on a train of cars which was passing and cut the telegraph wires for some distance, showing that they were the first to strike the road, since cars could not run had the road been struck previously.

Our loss this day was 14 killed and 67 wounded.

Second. In the movement of the 6th instant an attack was made on the left of the rebel line near Little Sailor’s Creek. My regiment was ordered forward in line of battle, and I was instructed to guide on Third Division. The Third Division not starting in time, I pushed ahead, under orders of Colonel Edwards, down the hill and across the swamp into which the men plunged recklessly, some of them up to their arm-pits. Having reformed the line, which had become broken by the passage of this obstacle, I threw out Company G, under command of Captain Henry Curran, and Company C, under command of Lieutenant E. R. Jones, as skirmishers. This line advanced rapidly, losing sixteen men by a fire from our left flank. I then ordered the whole line forward, suffering heavily from the same fire. The skirmishers, re-enforced by a portion of my line, swung around to the left and took the rebels in flank, causing for a moment a general stampede. Seeing a general officer and staff making to the rear and left, Captain Curran sent forward several men from his right to watch their movement. These men soon got into their rear, when, seeing farther retreat useless, Lieutenant General Ewell surrendered himself and staff to Sergt. Angus Cameron, in charge of squad, remarking that the surrendered himself and 5,000 men, and inquired for an officer; none being present at the moment he surrendered unconditionally. Soon after a squad of cavalry came up and claimed the prisoners and took possession of them. Our loss was 15 killed and 72 wounded.

The names of the six men who captured General Ewell are, Sergt. Angus Cameron, Corpl. Charles Roughan, Corpl. August Brocker, and Private John W. Davis, of Company C; Corpl. John J. Cosat and Private H. W. True, Company I.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

[Captain T. G. COLT,
Acting Assitant 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), pp. 952-953
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