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OR XLVI P1 #150: Report of Major Ezra P. Gould, Fifty-ninth Massachusetts Infantry, of operations March 25, 1865

No. 150. Report of Major Ezra P. Gould, Fifty-ninth Massachusetts Infantry, of operations March 25.1

Before Petersburg, March 27, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the engagement of March 25, 1865:

The regiment was, on its first arrival at the front, ordered to occupy and hold Battery 11, which it did until the lines on either side were deserted or occupied by the enemy, and the rebels’ line of battle, completely outflanking my position, was within a very short distance, when I gave the order “by the right flank, over the works, to Fort Haskell,”

which most of the men complied with and arrived safely in the fort. This position, being the only tenable and defensible part of the brigade line, was occupied by nearly all the regimental commanders with their commands and from there we opened fire on Fort Stedman with musketry and artillery, so heavy as to compel the enemy to leave the fort three several times; but finding that it was not occupied again by our troops they returned each time, till finally we were re-enforced by the Third Division and the enemy were driven from our works.

Of the men in this command, while all to my personal knowledge behaved nobly, First Sergt. Coburn S. Smith, Company D, and Sergt. John H. Kelley, Company D, made themselves specially conspicuous by the rapid and effective fire that they kept up form an exposed situation, the latter helping the batterymen work one of their guns, the most exposed and dangerous work done in the fort, a good part of the time; and Private Joshua W. Carr, Company H, though performing no special act of valor, won my admiration and that of the other officers by his steady bravery.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major, Commanding Regiment.

Captain T. W. CLARKE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.


  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 340-341
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