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OR XLVI P1 #156: Report of Colonel Charles Waite, 27th MI, April 1-3, 1865

No. 156. Report of Colonel Charles Waite, Twenty-seventh Michigan Infantry.1

April 7, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command from the night of the 1st of April, 1865, to the night of the 3rd of April, 1865:

On the night of the 1st instant one commissioned officer and forty-five enlisted men were placed on picket duty with the left resting on the

Baxter road. At 11 p.m., in obedience to orders received from the colonel commanding, I took seven companies of my regiment to the picket-line and made a demonstration on the enemy’s line with the intention of ascertaining if he had weakened that part of his line. I found that no part of his force had been withdrawn at that time and so reported, and at 2 a.m. on the 2nd instant received orders to withdraw my command and rejoin the brigade as soon as possible. I would here state that the Thirty-seventh Wisconsin Infantry was formed with great promptness in my rear to support the demonstration on the Baxter road, but it did not become necessary to use them. My regiment was formed in rear of Fort Sedgwick with the balance of the brigade at 4 a.m. 2nd instant to support the Third Division, Ninth Army Corps, in the assault.

At the signal for the assault I moved forward, but, being formed in the last line, was the last regiment to go over our work. Seeing that the troops in advance of me were all directing their course toward the redoubt on the left of Fort Mahone I directed my command to the right, and succeeded in scaling one line of abatis, two lines of chevaux-de-frise, and planting our colors upon the embankment of the fort, capturing three pieces of artillery and the gunners who were in the act of loading them.

The guns were immediately turned upon the enemy and used with effect until the arrival of a detachment of the First Connecticut Artillery, who took charge of them. A large quantity of shell and canister was found and expended for the benefit of the retreating enemy. In addition to the gunners a large number of infantrymen were captured, including six commissioned officers. The prisoners were sent to the rear so soon that I am unable to state the exact number captured. My regiment remained in the captured fort, fighting constantly, until 10 p.m., when we were withdrawn, and constructed a line of works connecting the right of the line captured in the morning with our picket-line. At daybreak on the 3rd instant the regiment moved with the brigade into the city of Petersburg, passing over the rebel works, capturing 2 mortar batteries, one containing 2 the other 7 mortars, all dismounted. At 9 a.m. we returned to our old camp, remaining there until the 4th instant. In conclusion allow me to state that the conduct of both officers and men was all that could be asked or expected throughout the whole engagement.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel, Commanding Twenty-seventh Michigan Infantry.

Acting 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), pp. 1044-1045
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