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OR XLVI P1 #234: Report of Colonel John B. Murray, 148th NY, Mar 27-Apr 9, 1865

No. 234. Report of Colonel John B. Murray, One hundred and forty-eighth New York Infantry.1

In the Field, Va., near Appomattox Court-House, April 14, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report as follows, in compliance with instructions received from headquarters Fourth Brigade, First Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, April 12, 1865, viz:

This regiment broke camp at Deep Bottom, Va., on the 27th of March, 1865; formed with the brigade at 10 a. m. At 9 a. m. took up the line of march, forming on the left of the Fourth Brigade. Crossed the James River at Deep Bottom at 11 p. m., and halted at Jones’ Landing until 3 a. m. of the 28th, when we again resumed the march, crossing the Appomattox River at daybreak. Continued the march until 8 p. m., passing Petersburg to the left; halted for the night in rear of the Ninth Corps line. Resumed the march again at 4 a. m. of the 29th, following the line of the Second Corps to the left of Petersburg for about three miles. halted at 9 a. m., and relieved the One hundred and twentieth New York State Volunteers, being a portion of the Second Corps. Sent 120 men forward at once on the picket-line; the remainder of the regiment occupied the camp of the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers. At 7 p. m. of the 30th of March the remainder of the regiment went out as reserve for the picket-line, where we lay upon our arms until 5 p. m. of the 31st, when we returned to the works. The picket-line, 120 strong, advanced at 8 a. m. on the 31st, under my personal command as brigade officer of the day, tow thin 200 yards of the enemy’s works, capturing their entire picket-line in our front, consisting of 125 men of the Forty-sixth and Forty-eighth North Carolina Battalions. From this position a sharp fire was kept up through the day.

The casualties on this occasion were as follows, viz.*

During April 1 the regiment was under arms at the works, 120 men on the picket-line. At 7 a. m. of the 2nd marched to the right about two miles to the breach in the enemy’s works in front of the Sixth Corps. After passing to the rear of the enemy’s works we moved to the right in the direction of Petersburg; were support to the carding column upon Forts Gregg and Baldwin; where the casualties were, viz.+

At 4 a. m. the picket-line, in command of Henry Parsons, captain Company H, advanced and captured the enemy’s works in their front, together with about 300 prisoners, 1 six-gun battery, the horses, harness,


*Nominal list (omitted) shows 1 officer and 3 enlisted men wounded.

+Nominal list (omitted) shows 4 enlisted men wounded.


and appurtenances thereto belonging, 1 battle-flag (the colors of the Eighth Mississippi Regiment), and other property, which was duly turned over to the provost guard of the Sixth Corps. The loss was one killed, viz: George L. Matthews, private, Company A. At 11 a. m. the pickets rejoined the regiment, and at 5 p. m. the regiment moved into Fort Baldwin, which we occupied until 4 a. m., April 3, when we again resumed the march, which we continued until 8 p. m., when we halted for the night near the South Side Railroad. On the 4th my command was detailed as guard to the First Division wagon train; camped for the night at the park of the train; joined the brigade at 9 a. m. April 5 and continued the march during the entire day.

April 6 [5?], resumed the march at 4 a. m. and reached Burkeville at 11 p. m., where we camped for the night. Left Burkeville at 10 a. m. April 7 [6?]; marched to Rice’s Station, which we reached at 3 p. m., at which place we came up with the enemy and engaged him. Our losses were as follows, viz: Caleb G. Jackson, second lieutenant, Company I, killed; James Tuttle, private, Company B, wounded. At dark my line was thrown forward some 500 yards to the crest of the hill, and the regiment was engaged during the night in entrenching in that position. On the 8th (the enemy having retreated during the night) we moved forward at 5 a. m., and continued the march along the South Side Railroad until 11 p. m., when a halt was made for the night. At 3 a. m. April 9 moved forward again, and at 7 a. m. engaged the enemy near Appomattox Court-House. Here the enemy found himself so hardly pressed by the superior marching and fighting of our front, and realizing that we were there, he proposed a surrender, which was duly executed and carried out by turning over his arms, colors, and property to the Fifth Corps, who arrived upon the ground just in time to receive the same, while, we who really prevented his escape, lay in our present position waiting for something to turn up, where we have remained up to this date.

Too much credit cannot be given to the officers and men of this command for the gallant manner in which they, together with their comrades of the brigade and corps, have entered to fight and endured the march. Were all have done so well it would be invidious to attempt to mention any one individual.

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

Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

Captain S. C. ROOF,
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. 1207-1208
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