No. 254. Report of Bvt. Brigadier General Ulysses Doubleday, Forty-fifth U. S. Colored Troops, commanding Second Brigade.1
HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., SECOND DIV., 25TH ARMY CORPS,
Near Petersburg, Va., April 26, 1865.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the campaign just ended:
Breaking camp March 27 at dusk, we marched by way of Varina and Broadway Landing to Humphreys’ Station, near which we encamped on the 29th. The next afternoon, with two regiments, the Forty-first and One hundred and twenty-seventh U. S. Colored Troops, I reported to General R. S. Foster, commanding First Division, Twenty-fourth Corps, then engaged with the enemy. My troops were held in reserve till dark, when hey assisted in throwing up breast-works on the ground won during the day. The next morning, with the Eighth and Forty-fifth U. S. Colored Troops, I reported to General Turner, near Hatcher’s Run, remaining in reserve until the next afternoon, when we rejoined this division. On the 2nd of April we advanced inside of the abandoned lines of the enemy to a point south of Petersburg, near Battery Numbers 45, which, by direction of General Birney, I prepared to storm. He soon after ordered me to place my men so that the enemy could see them, which was done, and they were consequently exposed for more than an hour to the fire of eleven pieces of artillery, which was only prevented from being very destructive by the want of skill on the part of the gunners and their firing mostly solid shot. Warm skirmishing was kept up till dark.
At daylight on the 3rd the Eighth U. S. Colored Troops planted its colors on the works abandoned during the night by the enemy. The rest of the brigade soon followed, and after marching through the town, started the same morning in pursuit of the rebel army, moving on the Cox road to Blacks and Whites, and thence by way of Burkeville to Farmville, where on the 7th the brigade was temporarily attached to General Foster’s division of the Twenty-fourth Corps.
On the 8th a forced march of thirty miles was made. Moving before daylight of the 9th, a position was taken on the Lynchburg road, near Appomattox Court-House, up which the command moved at 7 a. m., at which time the artillery and cavalry skirmishers were warmly engaged. These last, with their supports, were speedily driven in and pressed in a panic-stricken mob along my line, through which they vainly tried to brake. The rebel infantry followed them so closely that Major-General Sheridan ordered me to stop them. Forming the Eighth and Forty-first U. S. Colored Troops in line, I advanced against the rebel line, which no sooner perceived us than it fell back in disorder, closely followed by my skirmishers, who drove it for half a mile. Soon after I rejoined General Foster’s division, which we found advancing on the enemy’s right, but negotiations for the surrender of the rebel forces having begun, no more fighting occurred. On the 10th I reported with my command to Bvt. Brigadier General R. H. Jackson, commanding this division, and on the 11th commenced the march to our present camp, near which we arrived on the 17th instant.
I have every reason to be satisfied with the conduct of both officers and men, but desire to specially mention Captain Frank F. Newland, Eighth U. S. Colored Troops, who on two occasions, while in command of the skirmish line, engaged the enemy with skill and success and
showed himself a brave officer. My regimental commanders-Colonel L. F. Haskell, Forty-first U. S. Colored Troops; Colonel and Bvt. Brigadier General S. C. Armstrong, Eighth U. S. Colored Troops; Lieutenant Colonel James Giving, One hundred and twenty-seventh U. S. Colored Troops; and Major Theo. C. Glazier, Forty-fifth U. S. Colored Troops-by their coolness under fire and good management of their regiments, proved themselves most valuable officers. Lieutenants Morgan, Brooks, Lyon, and Schively, of my staff, conducted themselves at all times most bravely and creditably.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
Captain I. H. EVANS,
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. 1236-1237 ↩