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OR XLVI P1 #125: Report of Captain Bernhard Gessler, 98th PA, April 2, 1865

No. 125. Report of Captain Bernhard Gessler, Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry.1

April 15, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the report regarding the part taken by the Ninety-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers in the fight of the 2nd day of April

The brigade formed in two lines of battle on the left and in front of Fort Fisher, the Ninety-eighth Regiment being the second line. About

3.30 in the morning the signal was given to advance. We reached the enemy’s works, losing but a few men. Charging across the entrenchments we pursued the enemy to the edge of a wood about a mile in the rear and left of the above-mentioned works. The regiment was then deployed as skirmishers, and halted for a short time until the word was given to advance, when the entire brigade moved forward, driving the enemy across Hatcher’s Run. The brigade then formed, and marched back toward the left of Petersburg, formed line of battle, and charge over a swamp toward a house, under a heavy artillery fire from the left and front. About 150 yards from the house, where the enemy’s batteries were in front of, they opened on us with grape and canister, but a well directed musket fire from our men and from our right forced the enemy to leave the batteries; we followed up and drove him to the outskirts of Petersburg, at which place the day’s fight closed.

The officers and men behaved bravely during the entire day; although it being a very hard day’s work,the men kept up with a few exceptions.

Our entire loss is 4 officers and 15 men wounded; 1 officer and 1 enlisted man have died since of their wounds.

Very respectfully,

Captain, Commanding Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers.

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.


  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. 964-965
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