No. 195. Report of Colonel Jacob B. Hardenbergh, Eightieth New York Infantry (Twentieth Militia).1
HDQRS. TWENTIETH REGIMENT NEW YORK STATE MILITIA,
City Point, Va., April 5, 1865.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements and operations of my command on the 2nd and 3rd instant:
In obedience to orders received from Brigadier General H. W. Benham I moved at 8 a. m. on the 2nd instant, to the outer line of defenses to this place, and was placed in that of the works just to the left of City Point and Petersburg Railroad. Remaining there about one hour I received an order General H. W. Benham to move immediately to Meade’s Station and await further instructions. Arriving at Meade’s Station about 1 p. m., General H. W. Benham directed that the command move to the Avery house, just to the right and rear of Fort Sedgwick, commonly known as Fort Hell, where an officer wound be found who would designate what position in the works we should occupy. This was the last order of any kind received from Brigadier General H. W. Benham. Before arriving at the Avery house an order was received from Bvt. Brigadier General C. H. T. Collis to move the command to Fort Sedgwick. Upon arriving there General Collis directed the command to report to Brigadier-General Griffin, whose headquarters were in Fort Sedgwick. Upon reporting General Griffin immediately directed that the command move to a work captured from the enemy in the morning and known as Battery No. 27, or Fort Damnation. In order to do this an open field had to be passed over which would subject the command to a very heavy fire from the enemy, as it was entirely commanded by his guns. The movement was promptly and admirably executed, with the loss of but three men wounded. Directly after the work designated by General Griffin was occupied by us we assisted in repelling a very desperate assault made ;upon it by the enemy. Almost an unceasing musketry fire was kept up with the enemy until quite late in the evening, when it died away as if by mutual, consent, and we rasped on our arms until about 4.45 a. m. the next morning, when orders were received from General Collis directing this command to support the skirmish line about to move in the city of Petersburg. We
arrived in the city half an hour afterward, and immediately the regimental colors were hoisted upon the house of William Cameron. I think I can safely say that this was the first American flag that floated over the city after the foul rebel rag ceased to wave there. The command remained in the city until about 12 m., when orders from General Collis were received to move to City Point. Our camp was reached about 4. p. m.
I cannot speak in too high terms of the conduct of my officers and men. No instance of misbehavior occurred, and each seemed to vie with the other in doing his whole duty.
This is gratifying, especially on account of the fact that there were only four line officers present, and a very few of the old men. Most of the officers and a majority of the old men had been detailed on other duties.
The greater part of the men present were new men who were never before under fire.
The officers present with the regiment were Captains Snyder, Hoysradt, France and Woodworth, and Adjutant Masten, all of whom behaved with much gallantry. Captain Snyder, during a temporary absence on my part, the first day was in command of the regiment
It is but justice to the men to state that the order to march to Meades’ Station came very unexpectedly, and they were unprovided with haversacks, canteens, and overcoats; that they marched twelve of fourteen miles on a dusty road, a portion of the way on a double-quick, and endured fatigue, hunger, and cold without a murmur.
The following is a list of the casualties servant,
J. B. HARDENBERGH,
Captain J. M. SCHOONMAKER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
* Embodied in table p. 590.
- 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. 1096-1097 ↩