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OR XLVI P1 #162: Report of Colonel James Bintliff, 38th WI, commanding 3/1/IX/AotP, Mar 29-Apr 8, 1865

No. 162. Report of Colonel James Bintliff, Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.1

April 19, 1865.

SIR: In obedience to Special Orders, No. 94, headquarters Army of the Potomac, I have the honor to report that on the night of March 29, 1865, a severe artillery duel took place on the Third Brigade front, and it was believed that the enemy were preparing for an attack, but before morning everything had quieted again and the pickets, a part of whom had come in, were re-established.

On the night of March 31, pursuant to orders from division headquarters, 5 officers and 225 men were detailed as skirmishers and preparations made for an assault on the Spring Hill position opposite Fort Stedman. The plan was not carried out, the enemy having received information of our preparations, and on the night of April 1, 1865, similar preparations were made, the position chosen for attack being the rifle-pits lost by General Egan to the left of the pond in front of the One hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteers. This assault, although well prepared for, and offering fair prospects of success, was not ordered, and on the night of the 1st of April preparations were again made for assaulting the same place, and in the morning of the 2nd Captain J. F. Carter, Third Maryland Battalion, with a detail of 100

men, supported by the One hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteers, advanced and attacked, but finding the enemy in strong force and learning after a heavy skirmish that the works on our left had been carried, and that the Second Brigade had penetrated the line to our right and were in need of re-enforcements, the One hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteers was sent to their assistance and only a desultory skirmish fire kept up along our front. At 11 a.m.,

it was resolved to again attempt the enemy’s line with a view of at least retaining the troops then facing us in their position, and two companies of the Eighteenth New Hampshire Volunteers were advanced against the Eighteenth New Hampshire Volunteers were advanced against the works on the (our) right of spring Hill, receiving a strong fire and stopping the further weakening of the line on our front.

At about 9 p. m. this day the undersigned assumed command of the brigade, relieving Colonel G. P. Robinson, and at shortly after midnight, April 3, Colonel Robinson forwarded a report that the enemy had evacuated. I directed him to take possession of the works and move cautiously to Cemetery Hill, sending for orders to division headquarters. At 2.15 I received a report from Colonel Robinson that the was at the white house on the hill, and soon after received permission to push forward into the city. At 5 a. m. the brigade moved from its old camp and reported to the major-general commanding at the court-house at 6. After marching through the city it returned to camp and moved again at 10 a. m., crossing the Appomattox and proceeding by the Richmond turnpike toward old Town Creek, establishing headquarters at Violet Bank.

On the morning of the 4th we again received orders to move, and recrossed the river about noon, and, taking the Cox road, moved to the old line of rebel works near McIlwaine’s house, extending from the Appomattox to the plank road.

At 12 the next day the brigade moved to Sutherland’s, and from there, at five minutes past midnight, April 6, again started on the Cox road, relieving the pickets of the Third Division from Poole’s house, below Ford’s, to a mile beyond Beasley’s.

On April 8 the line of the brigade was altered to extend from Ford’s to one mile beyond Wilson’s. Lists of casualties accompanying this* and lists of captures of colors and guns have already been forwarded.

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

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

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. 1049-1051
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