No. 41. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Lewis W. Husk, One hundred and eleventh New York Infantry, of operations March 25.1
HDQRS. 111TH REGIMENT NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
March 26, 1865
CAPTAIN: In compliance with circular received, I have the honor to make the following report of the fight of March 25, in which the One hundred and eleventh participated:
On Saturday morning, March 25, at about 7 a.m. I received orders to have the regiment fall in and to pack up everything but tents. At about 9 a.m. received orders to strike tents, and be prepared to move at a moment’s notice. We remained under arms, on the color line, until about 2 p.m., when I received orders to move out by the right flank, following the One hundred and twenty-sixth New York Volunteers. We moved out through the works, and filed left past the Smith house, formed line of battle, and moved to the front; crossing our picket-line
to the left to the Smith house, moved about 200 yards to the front of the picket-line, and were halted in the open field, between two pieces of wood. We remained here about two hours, when the brigade was moved to the left about one quarter of a mile. We had just halted and were forming line of battle in the woods, when the enemy charged the brigade in our front, and for a short time the musketry was very heavy. At this time General Madill ordered my regiment to move to the left and front, and occupy the space in the open field to the right of the house, and connecting with the Third Division on my left and the Third Division on my left and the Second Brigade on my right. I ordered my men to lie down, as the enemy’s sharpshooters were very active. At about 6.30 p.m. we discovered a line of battle in our front, in the edge of the woods, and at the same time another line charged, with a yell, on the right of the Third Division. We gave the enemy in our front, who had already started on the double-quick, our particular attention, and after a few well directed volleys they broke and field in confusion. The line in front of the Third Division was for the time more successful, driving back the right of the division for a short distance. I then directed my regiment to fire to the left oblique, thus getting a cross-fire on them, and punishing them severely and holding them in check. In the meantime the Third Division rallied and charged to recover the lost ground, which they did routing the enemy and capturing a number of prisoners. By this time it was quite dark, and the firing had nearly ceased. We immediately threw out vedettes in our front, and we remained in this position until about 1 a.m. [26th], when I was ordered to post a picket in front of my line and march my regiment back to camp.
Several deserters came into my line during the evening, who reported that the enemy were badly demoralized and cut up.
My regiment was nearly all new men, who smelled powder yesterday for the first line. They fought nobly, both officers and men, and I am proud of them, knowing that when the tug of war comes they can always be depended upon.
I am, captain, very respectfully,
LEWIS W. HUSK,
Lieutenant-Colonel 111th New York Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.
Captain E. J. CHUESTON,
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), pages 205-206 ↩