No. 95. Report of Colonel Allen L. Burr, One hundred and eighty-ninth New York Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations February 5-7.1
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, FIFTH CORPS,
February 13, 1865.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with circular from headquarters Army of the Potomac, February 11, 1865, I have the honor to transmit the following
report of operations of this brigade during the late engagements on the 5th, 6th and 7th instant:
Sunday, February 5, 1865, broke camp near Parke’s Station and marched to the left, reaching Hatcher’s Run about 11 a.m.; drawn in line of battle, and finally crossed the run and halted in the vicinity of Dinwiddie Court-House, about six miles from Hatcher’s Run. Brigade placed in line of battle, its right resting on the right of the First Brigade. Our pickets were about half a mile in advance. We were ordered back at 10.30 p.m., and marched until striking the Vaughan road, which we followed to the earth-works of the Second Corps, near Kettle [Cat-tail?] Creek.
On the 6th instant we occupied these works, relieving the Second Corps. The Third Division becoming engaged in the afternoon, we were ordered to follow the First Brigade to the scene of action and support of cavalry who were charging the enemy. This order was countermanded, and an order given to follow a brigade of the Sixth Corps to the scene of action on the left of Hatcher’s Run. We formed in line of battle in open filed opposite enemy’s breast-works, where a vigorous fire was going on. A portion of the Sixth Corps and Crawford’s division of the Fifth Corps were forced back and we were ordered to hold them in check until they were rallied. This was done until our brigade was ordered to close up an interval on the left flank, and in facing to the left to obey that order, the disordered mass broke through and succeeded in breaking our ranks. We again rallied the brigade and forwarded to the front, driving the enemy and doing good execution in the premises. From this position we were finally ordered back to the Vaughan road by an order from General Meade. The brigade was formed anew in works and remained there over night.
Tuesday, the 7th instant, it rained. About 10 a.m. brigade was ordered to the field occupied the previous day to relieve General Winthrop’s and to do picket duty. We so relieved him, forming the brigade in line of battle, and constructed earth-works. The right of our picket-lines joined General Ayres and the left rested on the Vaughan road. There was a good deal of musketry in front of our lines and the woods we occupied were shelled by the enemy during the day. We were undisturbed during the day, and remained in same position the three following days.
A. L. BURR,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain WILLIAM FOWLER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
February 18, 1865.
The major-general commanding believes from his own observation that to this brigade is due the report of the First Division, Sixth Corps, firing into the Fifth Corps. He saw them fire into, or more properly over, General Ayres’ division that was reforming, and also into the brigade of the Sixth Corps in their front, but fortunately at so great an elevation as to be nearly harmless. The men fell out of line rapidly and joined the fugitives from other brigades that they were formed to stop and give cover to while reforming. The newness of the organization
is the best excuse that can be given for such conduct and demands the most earnest efforts of its officers to discipline the men and make them more steady in the excitement of battle.
By command of Major-General Warren:
FRED. T. LOCKE,
Brevet Colonel and 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 268-270 ↩