SOPO Editor’s Note: This report was transcribed by 7th Wisconsin researcher Roy Gustrowsky and is provided here with his written permission. This transcription may not be reproduced without Mr. Gustrowsky’s written consent. All rights reserved.
February 6-7, 1865 Battle at Hatcher’s Run, aka 2nd Hatcher’s Run, Dabney’s Mill, Rowanty Creek-
Report of Lt. Col. Hollon Richardson, commanding Regt:*
Addressed to Lieutenant (Charles) W. Atherton, Acting Assistant Adjutant General, 1st Brigade-3rd Division-5th Corps
“FEB.14th,1865 SIR: I have the honor to submit the following as my report of the part taken by the troops of this command in the battle on Hatcher’s Run near Dabney’s Mill VA on the 6th & 7th inst.
At about 1 o’clock P.M. of the 6th inst. [aka February 6, 1865] the [7th Wisconsin] Regiment was by order of Brigadier General Bragg commanding 1st Brigade 3rd Division deployed as 2 lines of skirmishers with the right resting near Hatcher’s Run.
After advancing about 200 yards they engaged the skirmishers of the enemy; pressing forward to the first line of skirmishers with that line drove the enemy’s skirmishers to and out of their well-entrenched picket pits. The enemy leaving in such haste as to abandon muskets, rations, and knapsacks that fell into our hands.
We drove the enemy about 1 mile to their entrenchments capturing 2 prisoners who were turned in to the Provost Marshall of the Division [3/V/AotP], at which time our supports moved up in line of battle and engaged the enemy in their entrenchments. The left wing of our line of skirmishers under Major Hoyt was by order of General Crawford, commanding Division, ordered in rear of the line to prevent retreat of stragglers of the Division.
The right wing still maintained and covered the right flank of the Division, which position they maintained until about 5 1/2 o’clock P.M. at which time with the other troops of the Division (ammunition having been exhausted, the left driven back) I ordered the command to retire which order was executed without any confusion and in good order until we had fallen back to within 400 yards of our line of entrenchments, being flanked on the left, then on our right, with the enemy well in our rear. I ordered a hasty retreat under cover of the bank of the creek, reached our line of earthworks, reformed the command, maintained our position without ammunition until such time as the line of works was manned when we were ordered to withdraw.
The command sustained the following loss:
Captain William Gildersleeve Company E wounded in left breast & arm, severe.
Captain Walter Peck Company G wounded in right hip, severe.
1st Lieutenant Thomas C. Alexander Company H wounded & taken prisoner.
3 enlisted men killed, 14 wounded and 2 missing.
Total Commissioned 3 Total enlisted 19
At 9 o’clock A.M. of the 7th inst. [aka February 7, 1865] we took position in line of battle on the right of the Division, the right resting on Hatcher’s Run near the point on the line where the skirmishers deployed the day previous. By my order deployed a line of skirmishers covering our Regimental front, which line of skirmishers engaged the enemy and drove them from their entrenched skirmish pits sustaining a loss of one man wounded until such time as the regiment by order of the Brigade Commander constructed a formidable line of earthworks. When completed the Regiment was by order of the Division commander advanced to the brow of the hill in a continuation of the line of the 2nd Corps where a new line of works was constructed. When completed the troops were relieved by a Brigade of the 6th Corps and ordered to advance upon the enemy. This Regiment, moving by order by the left flank with a view as was alleged of covering the right flank of the Brigade in which order they advanced upon the enemy under severe fire, maintained their position without firing a shot until such time as the troops on the left gave way when the command with the troops of the Brigade broke and fell back about 50 paces where they were reformed. A dress parade had, when the command was marched back in line of battle to join the troops of the Brigade by my order at a support arms. The Brigade [1/3/V/AotP] line reformed, we taking position on the right of the 6th WIS Vet. Vols. The line having been reformed was advanced to the left of the Brigade, joining the troops on the left the right retiring when a third line of works was constructed which line was held until 2 P.M. when by order they retired across Hatcher’s Run. The command sustained a loss of 4 enlisted men wounded.
The conduct of officers and men was all that I could ask or expect of the 220 men that went into the engagement. 100 were raw men who had never fired a musket. The services of Major George S. Hoyt and Captain E.A. Andrews, Company C, AAAG 1st Brigade 3rd Division merit my special recognition.”1
*The report is unsigned, a similar report, printed in Wisconsin State Journal February 27, 1865, was signed by Lt. Col. H. Richardson, 7th Wisconsin Infantry.
February 5-7, 1865 Battle at Hatcher’s Run, aka 2nd Hatcher’s Run, Dabney’s Mill, Rowanty Creek
Report of Lt. Col. Hollon Richardson, commanding Regt
“LETTER OF THE SEVENTH REGIMENT IN THE RECENT BATTLE IN VIRGINIA. The following communication, relative to the losses of the 7th Regiment in the recent battle at Hatcher’s Run, the receipt of which has been strangely delayed, has been sent us:
HEADQUARTERS 7TH WIS VET. VOLS.. NEAR HATCHER’S RUN, Va., Feb. 8, 1865
Gen. Augustus Gaylord, Adjutant General:
SIR: We have just concluded two days’ hard fighting on the south side of Hatcher’s Run, near Dabney’s Mills. Of the two hundred and twenty of this command who were engaged, a very heavy per cent. were new men who had never before discharged a musket. I must say they did well. Officers and men behaved as well as I have ever seen them. The regiment sustained the following loss, viz:
Capt. Wm. H. Gildersleeve, Co. E, left breast and left arm, severe.
Capt. Walter B. Peck, Co. G, left hip, severe.
1st Lieut. T.C. Alexander, Co H, right hip, taken prisoner.
ENLISTED MEN KILLED
Corp. Francis E. Whitcomb, Co I.
John Wanyack, Co. H.
ENLISTED MEN WOUNDED
Augustus Kerst, Co. A, right shoulder.
James Clark, A, in wrist.
Chancy Elthorp, A, left leg.
Alvah Daggett, C, left breast.
Washington R. Glenn, C, left hand.
Charles C. Bean, D, left hand.
William Kestner, D, left arm.
Andrew Morse, D, left hip.
1st Sergt. C.A. Osborne, E, head, a prisoner, supposed to be dead.
Corp. Geo. Atkinson, F, left hand.
Sergt. Marcus G. Grover, G, right arm, slight.
Corp. Benson Peck, G, left hand and left leg, severely.
George Grover, G, left shoulder.
Julian W. Hardkee, G, left shoulder.
Thomas Howard, H, left eye.
E.L. Riley, H, shoulder.
Joseph Hobicorn, I, right leg, amputated.
Louis Lipman, I, right shoulder.
MISSING IN ACTION
Sergt. Randolph Swanenberg, A.
Henry A. Cook, C.
Joseph Bullock, D.
Respectfully, &c., H[OLLON]. RICHARDSON, Lt. Col. Commanding Regiment.”2