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OR XLVI P1 #174: Report of Colonel Robert C. Cox, 207th PA, commanding 2/3/IX/AotP, April 2-3, 1865

No. 174. Report of Colonel Robert C. Cox, Two hundred and seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.1

April 12, 1865.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the action of the Second Brigade from 10 a. m. 2nd instant to 10 a. m. 3rd instant:

I was put in command of the brigade at 10 a. m., at which time I was with my regiment in the works of the enemy, which had so shortly before been captured from them. The other two regiments were occupying the same line. The Two hundred and eleventh were mostly on the right and the Two hundred and fifth on the left. It is difficulty to state the exact localities of the regiments for while the charge was being made the men of one regiment became mixed, with those of others, and the peculiar position we occupied prevented me from rectifying the matter at that time. Lieutenant-Colonel Dodd, of the Two hundred and eleventh Regiment, with part of his own and part of the Two hundred and seventh Regiment, occupied Fort Mahone, and to him and Captain James A. Rogers, of the Two hundred and seventh Regiment, is due the honor of securing artillerymen to work the guns of the fort against the enemy, which so materially aided us in holding our position. during the day repeated charges were made by the enemy to drive us back, but each time they were met with such a determined resistance by my men that they were compelled to fall back to their second line with heavy loss. At on time during the afternoon they succeeded in driving the men of the First Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Army Corps, out of a fort on my left, and this recapturing gave them an enfilading fire on part of my brigade. After resisting this fire for about two hours, holding our line, part of my left was compelled to give way and fall back in disorder; but re-enforcements camp up at this time and my entire line was re-established. We then held our position until after dark, when I ordered my men to move the enemy’s chevaux-de-frise from our rear over the first line of the enemy’s works and constructed a new lie with it in our front. About 9 p. m. I received orders to establish my headquarters in rear of our old picket-line, where I remained until 2.30 a. m. the 3rd instant, when, by direction of General Hartranft, I moved two of my regiments to the picket-line and sent the Two hundred and eleventh to report to Colonel Harriman, commanding brigade of First Division, Ninth Army Corps. At 4.30 a. m. I received intelligence that the enemy had withdrawn from their lines and was ordered to push my two regiments forward. I did so and

entered Petersburg unmolested. After waiting there about two hours I was ordered by General Hartranft back to the old camp, where I arrived about 10 a. m. and turned over the command of the brigade to Colonel J. A. Mathews, Two hundred and fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Before closing my report I cannot refrain from mentioning that all of my command, both officers and men, exhibited the highest gallantry and bravery. Each one exerted himself to the utmost to accomplish the part of the work assigned him.

My loss was very heavy. Six of the enemy’s guns were captured by my men in the captured forts. The number of prisoners captured by my brigade will not fall far short of 1,000, with their arms. To determine the exact number is an impossibility.

My casualties are as follows: Commissioned officers, killed, 6; wounded, 20; missing, 1. Enlisted men, killed, 76; wounded, 310; missing, 33. Aggregate, 446.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel, Commanding 207th Pennsylvania Volunteers.

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. 1069-1070
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