No. 228. Report of Captain Henry C. Adams, Eleventh Maine Infantry.1
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH MAINE VOLUNTEERS,
In the Field, Va., April 11, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of movements of the Eleventh Maine Volunteers since leaving camp, north of the James, Monday evening, March 27, 1865:
The regiment left camp under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hill, and marched until Tuesday evening, halting at different times for a short time. We encamped a few miles west of the Weldon railroad. Wednesday morning we moved out and occupied a portion of the camp vacated by the Second Army Corps. At this place 394 men, properly officered, were detailed for picket. I went in command of the detail, Major Baldwin being brigade officer of the day. Our pickets relieved the pickets of the Second and Third Brigades, Second Division, Second Corps. Thursday morning we were relieved by the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers, and returned to camp. Lieutenant-Colonel Hill was detailed as division officer of the day, leaving Major Baldwin in command of the regiment. About noon we were ordered to the front in light marching order. We advanced and formed a line to the right of Hatcher’s Run, the left the Eleventh connecting with the right of the Second Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, but resting a short distance in advance. About dark we fell back on a line with the Second Division, and lay under arms all night. Soon after daylight Friday morning, axes having been obtained, twenty men were put to work felling trees under direction of Major Baldwin, he intending to erect breast-works. Heavy firing commencing on the skirmish line, the men were ordered to fall in, leaving the breast-works unfinished. About 9 a.m. four companies-A, Captain Rolfe; B, Lieutenant Brady; G, Lieutenant Bunker; and H, Captain Maxfield-were ordered out to support the skirmish line. They remained until 4 p.m., when they were
relieved by Companies C (Captain Norris), D (Lieutenant Perkins), F (Lieutenant Scott), and G (Captain Scammon). They remained on the line until dark, when they were relieved by a regular picket detail. Our casualties during the day were 10 men wounded. Our pickets detail this evening was 150 men and four officers.
At a few minutes past 4 Saturday morning the enemy attacked our pickets and drove them in. Our regiment, having but just formed in line, was ordered forward by Major Baldwin. He had but just given the command when he fell dangerously wounded in the shoulder by a musket ball. Lieutenant-Colonel Hill took command of the regiment at once, although he had not been relieved from duty as division officer of the day. He ordered the regiment forward to the breast-works which had been erected during the night. The pickets came in on the left and reported that the picket-line of the Second Division had not fallen back. Lieutenant-Colonel Hill immediately sent Companies C and G out to reoccupy the pits vacated by our pickets, which was done without opposition, the enemy having fallen back to their works. A portion of the regiment remained on the picket-line during the day until relieved by a detail toward night. The rest lay in line in rear of the works. Our loss during the twenty-fours ending Saturday evening was, 2 commissioned officers and 4 enlisted men wounded and 1 enlisted man killed, 1 commissioned officer and 16 enlisted men taken prisoners.
Sunday, April 2, we formed in line at 4 a.m., and stood in line until daylight. Soon after this we were ordered to the right with the rest of the brigade. We moved a few miles to the right, and passed through the outer line of works in front of the Sixth Corps. We formed a line of battle and advanced to the Petersburg plank road, by order of Colonel Dandy. After arriving at the position designated Lieutenant-Colonel Hill deployed Companies A and B as skirmishers. They advanced on the double-quick to the road across the hill which leads down in front of Fort Gregg, the regiment following as soon as possible. We remained there but a few moments. Captain Sellmer came up and ordered us farther to the right. We marched across the hill by the right flank, under a terrific artillery and musketry fire, and halted in rear of a high bank, which sheltered us from the enemy’s fire. Lieutenant-Colonel Hill soon ordered the regiment to move across the open field upon Fort Baldwin. We advanced to some old barracks a little to the left of the fort and remained there, our men preventing the sharpshooters from firing. The enemy soon gave up the fort, companies A and B being among the first to enter the works.
As soon as it was known that both Forts Baldwin and Gregg had surrendered, the regiment was ordered to join the brigade near the latter fort, where we remained until Monday morning. Our loss Sunday was 3 men killed and 25 wounded.
Monday morning, the 3rd, we started with the rest of the troops on the march toward Burkeville, marching with nothing unusual occurring, until Thursday afternoon the Eleventh was sent to communicate with a portion of General Sheridan’s forces. They marched two miles and a half, meeting with no opposition, and found the cavalry vedettes; returned immediately, joined the brigade, and moved to the front. That evening the regiment was ordered to support a battery. Friday morning, the enemy having fallen back, we advanced and marched through Farmville, encamping near the town. About 3 p.m. we moved forward on the Lynchburg road; Companies A, B, D, and E were deployed as skirmishers; advanced about six miles, meeting with no
opposition, and halted at the Appomattox River, where the bridge was burned. Saturday morning we moved back to the Lynchburg road and joined the division. Marched all day until 12 o’clock midnight; encamped near the South Side Railroad. At 3 a.m. moved out of camp and advanced some three miles, halted and got breakfast; we soon moved forward and came into action on the double-quick. Captain Norris formed line, under direction of General Foster, Lieutenant-Colonel Hill being absent looking for a position. We advanced, intending to join the left of the First Brigade, but did not, as they moved forward before the Eleventh formed in line, and by the time it got up with it on a line the regiment next to the Eleventh gave way and could not be found. Lieutenant-Colonel Hill ordered the regiment forward and we advanced across the field to within thirty rods of the enemy’s battery under a very heavy fire. We remained there until we were flanked both on the right and left by the enemy. Lieutenant-Colonel Hill was wounded before he had got to the extreme front; many of our men were captured some ways in rear of our colors while going to the rear after the order was given to fall back. We finally got back into the road in front of a regiment of the First Brigade and formed a line to the left, under direction of Colonel Osborn, commanding First Brigade. Colonel Dandy soon ordered me to place the regiment on a line with the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers, which was done. The command forward was soon given, when we moved forward and advanced through the woods into the open field. As soon as we arrived there it was understood that General Lee had surrendered. We formed and moved by the right flank into the woods, advancing to the road near which we are now encamped.
Our loss during the day were 5 enlisted men killed and 26 wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Hill was wounded. Captain Maxfield and 24 enlisted men were missing, supposed to be prisoners; of these Captain Maxfield and twenty men have returned, whether as paroled prisoners or not is not known.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY C. ADAMS,
Captain, Eleventh Maine Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.
Captain GEORGE H. STOWITS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
- 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. 1198-1200 ↩