No. 133. Report of Bvt. Major Hiram W. Day, One hundred and sixth New York Infantry, Brigade Inspector.1
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., THIRD DIV., SIXTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Clover Hill, Va., April 11, 1865.
MAJOR: I have the honor to forward the following statement concerning the movements of this brigade and the subsequent flag of truce from Lieutenant-General Ewell and surrender of his forces at the battle of Sailor’s Creek on the 6th instant:
This brigade was placed in position on the right of the First Division Sixth Army Corps, with orders to move forward with it in the attack upon the enemy. Upon the brigade moving forward I was, by direction of Colonel William S. Truex, commanding the brigade, sent forward to guide the movement of the first line of battle which was composed of two regiments. The brigade charged across the marsh in their front and reformed immediately under the cover of the pine bushes at the foot of the hill then occupied by the enemy. The first line was at once advanced to the crest of the hill, driving the enemy before it, the main body retiring to our left and to the front of First Division, Sixth Army Corps. By orders of Colonel William S. Truex, communicated to me by Bvt. Major Charles H. Leonard, assistant adjutant-general of this brigade, the lines were at once wheeled to the left, with orders to move upon the enemy’s left and flank, then exposed to us. The lines were advanced near 100 yards, the enemy rapidly falling back, when my attention was called to the appearance of a flag of truce then presented near a house to our right, distance about 300 yards. I immediately signaled the fact to Major Leonard, who directed the command to cease firing. Some men were ordered to move forward and gain information of its object; upon their advancing they received a severe fire from the enemy. At some distance to our right our lines were again immediately advanced the enemy constantly falling back and returning but a feeble fire. A private, whose regiment and name I do not remember, came to me saying General Ewell, of the Confederate Army, wished to surrender his forces. At this moment a portion of the cavalry force charged down to and past our right flank and into the enemy’s column. I at once called the attention of Major Leonard to the fact of the flag of truce and surren-
der. He immediately rode to the right and into the field, and met Major Pegram, inspector-general of General Ewell’s staff, who said he surrendered Lieutenant-General Ewell and staff, and was ordered to come in for that purpose with a flag of truce.
Up to this moment the firing on our left was kept up by our troops, but on word being passed down the line it ceased immediately.
H. W. DAY,
CHAS. H. LEONARD,
Bvt. Major O. V. TRACY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.
- 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. 985-986 ↩