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OR XLVI P1 #83: Reports of Major Henry Hartford, 8th NJ, Feb 5-7 and Mar 25-26, 1865

No. 83. Reports of Major Henry Hartford, Eighth New Jersey Infantry, of operations February 5-7 and March 25-26.1

Near Hatcher’s Run, Va., February 13, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to report the operations of this battalion on the 5th, 6th, and 7th instant:

On the 5th instant, at 6.30 a.m., we broke camp, marched to the right of the division camp-ground, and took our position in order of march. In conjunction with the brigade we proceeded along the

Vaughan road, passed the original picket-line, and went into line of battle to the right of Hatcher’s Run, where we constructed breast-works. In the afternoon were relieved by a portion of Brevet Brigadier-General Ramsey’s brigade, and were passed in his rear. A few minutes past 4 p.m. we moved to the left of our former position, and went into line of battle behind the extreme left of the works, with the exception of the left wing, which was without any protection and formed the left of the brigade. Before the battalion had got into position the skirmishers were driven in, and the enemy, keeping up a desultory fire, soon made their appearance. They were greeted with a terrific volley of musketry from our men, and thrown into confusion. Again they advanced in strong force, and, notwithstanding the destructive fire poured into them, succeeded in gaining the shelter of stumps and fallen timber on our left front and for a time kept up a fatal fire on the exposed wing of the battalion, but they were forced to retired. They again made their appearance, seemingly determined upon carrying the line, but the well-directed fire checked them when within eighty yards of our works; they fought for some time quite determinedly, but eventually gave way in confusion, suffering severely for their temerity. The last repulse was after dark, and was the end of the engagement. Our loss was 11 killed and 38 wounded. Pickets were established, and the night passed in quiet, the enemy making no further demonstration.

On the morning of the 6th seven rebel prisoners were brought in who could not succeed in getting away during the night. The 6th and the 7th instant were occupied by us in cutting slashing in our front.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major Eighth Battalion New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding

Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.

Near Petersburg, Va., March 27, 1865.

SIR: In compliance with circular from headquarters Third Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps, of this instant, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this command in the operation of the 25th and 26th instant:

The battalion was formed soon after daybreak, and stood under arms at the breast-works until ordered out as support to the advance. Several changes occurred in our position during the day. A little after dark the left wing of the battalion advanced, under fire of the enemy, and occupied the line of rifle-pits, suffering the loss of 1 killed and 2 severely wounded. Connection was made on the left with the Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, on the right with the Seventh New Jersey. Subsequently the remainder of the battalion joined the left wing and extended along the line of the Seventh New Jersey Volunteers, connected on the right with the Seventeenth Maine. A few shots were exchanged during the night, resulting in no casualties to us. New pits were made and old ones repaired.

The battalion was relieved about dark of the 26th instant, and returned to camp.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major Eighth Battalion New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding.

Captain J. P. FINKELMEIER, 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), pages 244-245
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