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OR XLVI P1 #153: Report of Major Thomas Mathews, 17th MI (Actg Div Eng), March 25, 1865

No. 153. Report of Major Thomas Mathews, Seventeenth Michigan Infantry (Engineers), of operations March 25.1

Before Petersburg, Va., March 27, 1865.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment during the engagement of Saturday, the 25th instant:

That portion of the regiment in camp (about 100 men) was under arms and reported at division headquarters at 5 a.m. About 5.30 o’clock, as soon as daylight revealed the position of the enemy’s advance, I was ordered by General Willcox to deploy the regiment and oppose his skirmishers, then advanced nearly to the creek, in front of the Dunn House Battery. At this moment one of the regiments of the Third Division advanced on the double-quick and formed on the bank of the creek in front of the battery. I deployed the Seventeenth on the right of this regiment, covering the space between it and the Petersburg and City Point Railroad, and advanced on the double-quick to an old line of works extending across the plain nearly at right angles with the railroad. As we advanced the skirmishers of the enemy threw down their arms and gave themselves up. The enemy being in strong force in the road between Batteries 9 and 10, we were compelled to halt in the works above mentioned, where we engaged him at easy range. When the enemy finally gave way my line advanced with the line on its left and reoccupied the works taken early in the morning, at about 8 a.m. Here we captured a number of prisoners. The entire number captured by the regiment is between fifty and sixty.

The regiment suffered a loss of but one man killed-Private Wellington Henderickson, of Company G. This small loss in owing chiefly to the regiment having been deployed to cover so long a line.

The officers and men under my command behaved with admirable coolness during the entire engagement.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major, Commanding Regiment.

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, First Division, Ninth Army Corps.


  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), page 343
{ 1 comment… add one }
  • deborah a zilnicki July 15, 2012, 4:18 pm

    Was so happy to read this letter of my ggggpa..

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