No. 147. Report of Captain John F. Burch, Third Maryland Infantry, of operations March 25.1
HEADQUARTERS THIRD MARYLAND VOLUNTEERS,
March 28, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to report as captain of the picket, March 25, 1865.
At 4 a.m. I visited the picket-line and saw that the men were up. On visiting the line I did not notice anything unusual on the enemy’s lines. After visiting the right of the picket-line I returned to the left of that portion of the line in front of Fort Stedman and Battery 11, where the captain of the picket makes his headquarters. I had not returned but a few minutes when the man on lookout gave notice the enemy were approaching. At that moment the men on the post fired their pieces. At the same time I ran around the bomb-proof, which concealed the right of the line from my view. I had not proceeded far when I notice the enemy had crossed the picket-line and making for Fort Stedman. They demanded me to surrender, and fired a few shots at me. I ran down to the left of the line. On coming near the bomb-proof I found they were crossing over and making in the direction of Battery 11. I then made for camp through a covered-way, which came out near right of the Twenty-ninth Massachusetts. I passed down the left of the line of works in order to alarm the camps. I crossed over the works again, opposite the Third Maryland, and went down on the picket-line in front of that portion of the works where the men on that portion of the picket-line remained firm during the engagement. The portion of the line attacked by the enemy was so near to that of the enemy, and they moved with such rapidity, many of the pickets did not have a chance to reload their pieces. There were several of the men wounded, and a number taken prisoners.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN F. BURCH,
Captain, Third Maryland Volunteers.
Captain T. W. CLARKE,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Third Brigadier, First Div., 9th Army Corps.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), page 337 ↩