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four men to a post, commanded by Capt. James A. Hyde, One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers, senior officer; Capt. J. K. Holmes, brigade officer of the day. Between 11 and 12 p. m. the enemy charged on the picket-line front of Fort Morton, meeting the picket details from One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers and Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers. The Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers held their ground and stood firm except one post on the left. A part of the One hundred and twentieth New York gave way, being unable to fire but one volley. They rallied again and retook a portion of their lost posts. It was at this time reported to me that the line was re-established, and I so reported it. I sent out Capt. C. F. Gage, Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, to inspect the line, accompanied by Adjt. Michael Boucher, Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers. The latter was captured by the enemy in our pits. I ordered one company from each the One hundred and twentieth New York and Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers to retake those pits. Capt. C. F. Gage and Lieut. William Plimley, my aide-de-camp, went with them. After a hard struggle a few were retaken. I then sent two companies from the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers to report to these officers, and they fought with the others hand to hand across the pits with brave determination and gallantry. The struggle was long, and I sent two more companies from the Eleventh Massachusetts Battalion to assist. The line was re-established and the enemy beaten back, leaving 42 prisoners, including 1 officer, in our hands.
Their dead have not been counted, but are quite numerous, lying between the two lines. A part of the staff of one of their colors, guns, and cartridge-boxes, and intrenching tools were left lying in front of our pits. They came in force, and, as prisoners say, with the intention of staying. The enemy's loss must have been quite heavy as we kept a constant enfilade fire on his flanks as well as his front. The night was very dark, and as the contest was raging, fearing that the enemy was massing troops in rear of battle, I ordered the mortar batteries of Fort Morton to open and throw their shells over the fighting line into the enemy, and have no doubt it had a good effect.
Officers and men worked in this affair with a will and determination to recapture the line that merits the greatest praise.
I take great pleasure in mentioning the following officers as having borne a conspicuous part in the re-establishment of our line: Capt. Rodney B. Newkirk, Lieut. C. F. Bowers, and Lieut. William Plimley, of my staff; Capt. James A. Hyde, Lieuts. A. R. Cole, T. C. Brooks, Ambrose M. Barber, and Richard W. Clark, of the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers; Capt. C. F. Gage, Lieut. C. A. Oliver, and Sergt. E. White, commanding company of the Eleventh New Jer sey Volunteers; First Lieut. and Adjt. Michael Boucher, Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers.
My orderly, Private Thomas McBride, deserves great credit for the fearless manner in which he performed his duties. He fell while contending with the enemy near the rifle-pits.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.
Capt. J. P. FINKELMEIER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division, Second Corps,
HDQRS. THIRD BRIG., THIRD DIV., SECOND ARMY CORPS, December 15, 1864. CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command during the late movement under command of Major-General Warren, commanding Fifth Army Corps.
December 6, at about 2 p. m., I received orders from General Mott, commanding this division, to prepare my command to move at 6 a. m. on the following day.
December 7, moved at 7 a. m., marching in rear of Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps, and on arriving at the Gurley house at 7.30 a. m. orders were received to march left in front. Moved on the Jerusalem plank road to the Nottoway River, which I crossed with my command at 7.45 p. m. and bivouacked for the night near its bank. My command was in the rear of the column, and the march being a rapid one, and having many recruits and new men (unused to marching in heavy order), caused many to straggle, consequently they failed to arrive at the river before the pontoons were taken up, and they were taken to the rear by the cavalry escort. The most of these men have since been returned to their respective regiments. December 8, marched to Sussex Court-House. Flankers were thrown out at the left and right of the column. Halted from 8 a. m. to 8.30 a. m. Passed Sussex Court-House at 8.45 a. m. Halted at 9.20 a. m. and moved at 9.45 a. m. Passed Coman's Well at 11.40 a. m. Halted at 12.50 p. m. until 1.10 p. m. Resumed the march, and at 4 p. m. bivouacked near Jarratt's Station, on the Weldon railroad, my command being well closed up.
December 9, marched at 6.30 a. m., passing Jarratt's Station at about 8 a. m., halting about two miles south of the station, where my brigade was formed in line of battle on the railroad. Received orders from General Mott to have pickets well thrown out. Arms were stacked and orders given to destroy the railroad, at which the whole command commenced with a will. At 11 a. m. the pickets of the Seventh New Jersey Volunteers, in front of the brigade line, south of Jarratt's Station, captured 1 prisoner, 19 head of cattle, and 3 mules, all of which were taken in charge by the officers of the quartermaster and commissary of subsistence departments. p. m. moved, halting at 3 p. m., and resumed our operations, destroying the line of the railroad south of this point. My brigade was formed in single line of battle along the road. When orders were given to destroy the same they commenced and soon had the entire length of the road in front of our command utterly demolished. Thus the men worked, and at three different times and places the command was put at work and nothing left undone toward destroying the enemy's communication by rail. We then bivouacked midway between Jarratt's Station and Hicksford. At 12 midnight received orders from General Warren that the object of the expedition had been fully accomplished and that the command would return at daylight in the morning. The weather was very inclement at the time; the ground was covered with sleet and snow.
December 10, marched at 8.30 a. m., leaving the Weldon railroad to the left, taking the road leading to Sussex Court-House. Passed a church at 10 a. m. Halted at 11.10 a. m. At 11.25 a. m. resumed the
march and at 12.30 p. m. rested the column. At 1 p. m. resumed the march until 2.10 p. m., when we halted and at 2.40 p. m. again took up the line of march until 6 p. m., when the command was halted and we bivouacked for the night. Heavy rain setting in during the night rendered our situation very uncomfortable.
December 11, resumed the march at 7.10 a. m., passing Sussex Court-House at about 10 a. m., halting near the Nottoway River at 12 m. to refresh the troops. The Third Division of the Fifth Corps passed us, leaving us to cover the rear of the whole command. The Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers (Lieut. Col. C. C. Rivers commanding) deployed across the Halifax road, holding the enemy in check, their vedettes following in proximity of the Third Division, Fifth Corps. The Eighth New Jersey Volunteers, Bvt. Brig. Gen. John Ramsey commanding, were deployed to the right of the road running at right angles with the Halifax road, where a squad of the enemy's cavalry was held in check until the whole command had crossed the river with the exception of one section of Battery B, Fourth U. S. Artillery, which after the above-named regiments were drawn in and assembled near the section of artillery, two rounds were discharged on the enemy's front, after which the guns were quietly withdrawn, the Eighth New Jersey and Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers bringing up the rear. At 5 p. m. crossed the river and bivouacked for the night about three miles distant on the Jerusalem plank road.
December 12, resumed the march at 7 a. m., arriving at the Yellow House at 1.30 p. m. Bivouacked in front of the rear line of intrenchments west of the Halifax road.
I am happy to say that the conduct of both officers and men of this brigade was highly satisfactory-the former without an exception; the latter did all that was desired of them, and all deserve great credit. Appended is a list of casualties occurring in this command.* I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant, R. MCALLISTER,
Brevet Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
Capt. J. P. FINKELMEIER,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Division, Second Army Corps.
HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, THIRD DIVISION, SECOND CORPS,
OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS OF THE THIRD BRIGADE:
With pride and gratification the colonel commanding the brigade returns his thanks to the officers and men of this command for the noble bearing and gallant conduct in the affair of the evening of the 5th instant. Special credit and praise is due the three companies of the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers and one company Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, and staff and line officers, who so nobly led these gallant bands of brave soldiers to a successful recapture of the lost works against an overwhelming force of the enemy. The skill, bravery, and determination of the officers and men thus engaged representing these (the Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers and nearly all the regiments in this brigade) is worthy of note, and should be placed side by side with the heroic deeds and gallantry displayed in other and greater battles.
By a firm reliance on God and by His blessing and a firm determination to do our duty, this contest for our glorious Union will soon be ended in favor of its restoration.
* Shows 1 officer and 1 man wounded.
Report of Maj. Charles C. Rivers, Eleventh Massachusetts Infantry, of operations October 1-5.
HDQRS. ELEVENTH MASSACHUSETTS VOL. BATTALION,
Camp near Petersburg, Va., October 7, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with instructions from headquarters Third Division, Second Army Corps, I have the honor to forward the following report of the proceedings of this battalion during the operations on the left of the army:
At 6 o'clock on the morning of the 1st instant this command received orders to march, and about 7 a. m. broke camp at Fort Davis and joined the brigade, then camped in the vicinity of division headquarters. Remained here until about 2 p. m., when we embarked on the cars and proceeded to Warren's Station, and from there marched about two miles, when we bivouacked for the night. About 7 a. m. on the 2d instant the line of march was resumed, and after proceeding about a mile halted in a piece of woods. Here the brigade was formed in column of battalions and moved forward. After moving a short distance this battalion was ordered to the left, which was done, the line of march taking us down a small road and along the line of works previously held by the enemy. After moving a short distance in this direction skirmishers were thrown out in our front (the detail from this battalion being fifty men). Halted in a ravine, where we remained under fire from the enemy's artillery for a short period, losing 1 enlisted man killed and 1 mortally wounded by a shell. About 3 p. m. the command moved a short distance to the left and in advance of that part of the line held by General De Trobriand's brigade, with instructions to co-operate with the Second Brigade of this division in capturing one of the enemy's batteries. Before this battalion could take up position required to make this advance the Second Brigade charged. The battalion did not advance, but maintained its position under a heavy fire from the enemy's skirmishers, losing 1 enlisted man mortally wounded. About 5 p. m. the battalion received orders to fall back and join the brigade, and moved to the line of works occupied early in the day. The command remained here until the afternoon of the 5th instaut, when orders to march were received. Marched back to the position held by a colored division of the Ninth Army Corps, in the line of works to the left of Fort Davis. After some little delay this battalion was moved back toward the railroad and went into camp, where it remained.
CHAS. C. RIVERS, Major, Commanding Battalion. Capt. T. H. DUNHAM, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brigade.
Report of Capt. Thomas C. Godfrey, Fifth New Jersey Infantry, of operations August 13-21.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH NEW JERSEY VOLUNTEERS,
Camp near Petersburg, Va., August 24, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor, in compliance with circular dated headquarters Third Division, to forward the following report of the part taken by the Fifth New Jersey Volunteers from the 13th to the 21st instant: On the afternoon of August 13 embarked on steamer at City Point, Va., and sailed down to Light-House Point, and there remained until 10
26 R R-VOL XLII, PT I
in the evening, when we again steamed up the river to Deep Bottom and disembarked about 6 o'clock on the morning of 14th. At 11 a. m. marched across Strawberry Plains and remained until 5 p.m. Marched to the front and joined the left of the Second Division. About 8 a. m. [15th] were sent on picket, relieving the Fifth New Hampshire. On the morning of the 15th [16th] were relieved from picket at 9 a. m. Under a severe fire of the enemy were relieved by the Fourteenth Connecticut Volunteers, and joined the brigade about 11. a. m., lying between the First and Second Divisions, and there remained the balance of the 15th [16th], during the 16th [17th], and on the evening of the 17th [18th] took up line of march for James River. About 10.30 p. m. recrossed that river and marched until 7 a. m. on the morning of the 18th [19th], and remained until 2 p. m., when we took position in the first line of works in front of Petersburg, relieving the Twenty-second U. S. Colored Infantry. Remained in this position until the afternoon of the 21st [20th], when we were relieved by a part of the Eighteenth Corps, and marched to the left, near Jones' house, where we threw up line of breast-works. During this time only one man was wounded. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. C. GODFREY, Captain, Fifth New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding Regiment. Capt. J. P. FINKELMEIER,
Report of Lieut. Col. Francis Price, Seventh New Jersey Infantry, of operations October 1-5.
HDQRS. SEVENTH REGIMENT NEW JERSEY VOLUNTEERS,
October 7, 1864.
SIR: In compliance with circular, dated October 7, 1864, from headquarters Third Brigade, Third Division, Second Corps, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my command (Seventh Regiment New Jersey Volunteers and Fifth Battalion New Jersey Volunteers) in the late movement west of the Weldon railroad:
My command, then consisting of the Seventh New Jersey Volunteers, Fifth Battalion New Jersey Volunteers, and Eleventh Massachusetts Battalion, comprising the infantry garrison of Fort Davis, on the Jerusalem plank road, was relieved by a portion of the Third Brigade, Second Division, Second Corps (Colonel Smyth, First Delaware Volunteers, commanding), at about 7 a. m. on the 1st instant. Pursuant to instructions I marched to the trestle bridge on the Weldon branch railroad, at the point where the Weldon crosses the Norfolk railroad, and joined the balance of the brigade. Here I remained until about 3 p. m., when the Seventh Regiment and Fifth Battalion New Jersey Volunteers were embarked upon the cars and transported to the Yellow House, on the Weldon road. Disembarking, I marched on the road leading toward the Poplar Grove Church, passed the same, and encamped for the night three-quarters of a mile beyond it. My command was under arms at 5.30 a. m. on the 2d instant, according to orders. About 9 a. m. moved with the brigade to the support of Brigadier-General Pierce, commanding Second Brigade, Third Division,