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OR XLVI P1 #144: Report of Colonel Benjamin F. Smith, 126th OH, April 2, 1865

No. 144. Report of Colonel Benjamin F. Smith, One hundred and twenty-sixth Ohio Infantry.1

April 16, 1865.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with instructions, I have respectfully to make the following report of the part taken by my command in the engagement of the 2nd instant, in front of Petersburg:

About 1 o’clock in the morning orders were received to move out in front of our works, which I did with that portion of the regiment remaining in camp, four officers and 100 men being on picket. We moved forward and took position on the left of the second line of battle, near our picket-line. After considerable maneuvering, changing position of regiments, &c., the regiment lay under arms until shortly after 4 a.m., when the signal gun was fired and the regiment moved forward with the column. The charge was successfully made, and the enemy’s lines broken, my regiment entering between two forts or redoubts, under a severe fire of musketry and artillery, capturing a number of prisoners. After breaking through the lines and swinging to the left upon the fort, the rebels fled, but rallied and succeeded in driving our men out, but they, in turn, rallying, and with the assistance of a column coming down on the rebels’ flank, drove the rebels out and held the fort. The loss in this assault was, 1 officer (Lieutenant and Actg. Adjt. C. C. Crawford) wounded, 1 enlisted man killed, and 8 wounded.

Immediately after the capture of the rebel works the regiment moved with the column to the left a distance of about one mile, and halted. After remaining about one hour moved again to the right along the rebel works, recrossed the captured works, and took up position on the line held by the enemy’s pickets before the assault in front of Fort Fisher, where we lay in support of a battery which was engaged in shelling the enemy. Remaining here until between 3 and 4 p.m., we moved still farther to the right along the same picket-line, and took up position in front of Fort Keene, where the enemy shelled us considerably,

inflicting no damage. We remained in this position during the rest of the day, and the evening were rejoined by those of the regiment still on picket. Many who were on picket in the morning charged with the column and fought with the regiment during the whole engagement.

The officers and men behaved gallantly. For cases of distinguished gallantry and meritorious conduct, your attention is respectfully invited to accompanying report.

Very respectfully,

Colonel, Commanding.

Captain J. P. DUDROW,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Brig., Third Div., Sixth Corps.



  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. 1005-1006
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