91st PA--letters and orders, 9 August 1864

Letters and orders, 9 August 1864

[source: regimental letters book]
[for a published edited version, see Offical Reports series 1 volume 40 part 1 pages 461-462]

[stamped at left:] COPIED
Head Quarters 91st Reg. Pa Vet Vols
in the trenches near Petersburg Va. August 9nt 1864

In Compliance with directions of Special Order No 209 Hd. Qrs Army of the Potomac I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this command in the several operations of this campaign from the crossing of the Rapidan May 4th 1864 to the assualt [sic] on the Enemys [sic] works in front of Petersburg Va July 30th 1864

First epoch = The Regiment with 1st Brig. 1st Division (Brig. Genl. R. B. Ayer Commanding) took up the line of March 8 1/2 A.M. May 4th crossed the Rapidan at Germania Ford moved in the direction of the Plank Road towards Mine Run. Halted 1 1/2 P.M. established a Picket line. 12 M the 5th formed line with Brigade advanced on the enemy were repulsed. On the 6th the Regt. moved to the left of the plank road towards the front relieved a Division of reserves; left the works 1 A.M. 7nt for the rear and halted within the lines. relieved the 15nt Artillery 8 A.M. the 7nt moved 11 P.M. on the Plank Road passing the Cavalry at "Todds Corner": making a forced march all night; reaching Laurel Hill. Charged the enemy at 10 A.M. The 8th The Brigade was repulsed leaving this command holding its position. A new line was formed under the Command of Col. Hoffman 56th Regt. Pa. Vet. Vols. 2nd Brig. 4th Division This Regiment joining in the 2nd charge reached the Burnt House and held the ground. Ordered to retire about 200 yards and built Breast Works Bivouacked for the night. Remained quiet during the 9nt in the Afternoon sent pickets to the front holding the "Burnt House" Sharp firing on the line during the night, and occasionaly cannonading during the day following. Nothing of interest occured untill [sic] the 12th A charge was made about 8 a.m. and owing to some confusion in the 9th Mass. Vols. was unsuccessfull. Received orders to fall Back by an Aid from Genl. Ayre

Second Epoch = At 3 P.M. 12th took up the line and marching slowly through Rain and Mud halted: formed line to support the 6th Corps bivouacked for the night Moved at daylight 13nt Built Breast Works, at 10 P.M. moved again reaching Spottsylvania a [sic] daylight 14nt 8 A.M. the 140th N.Y. and this Regt. under the command of Lt. Col. Otis 140th N.Y. Vols. started on a reconaisance [sic] to the Front. discovered a Battery of the enemys [sic] near the Myers or Galt House a sharp fire ensued lasting about 1/2 an hour when a charge was made driving them from their position taking the hill and house [crossed out: one how (?)] one hour after was relieved by a brigade of the 6 Corps who held the place but a few hours, the enemy driving them from the hill and reoccupied it. Where upon this regt with brigade again charged. drove the enemy back the second time taking the house A short time after recovering the place a brigade of the 6 Corps (Col Penrose Commdg) appeared [?] but found the enemy had been already driven back, and the hill again in our possession. Relieved the second time and retired to the rear the command needing rest was permitted to bivouac for the night: 6 A.M. 15th moved again. raining and muddy. 17th found us opposite Spotsylvania C.H. Worked all night throwing up breast work. heavy firing during the 18th on the 19th after maneuvering for some time halted in the woods on the left of rifle pits remained near this place till the 21st [part of the first sentence of the third epoch report is printed here and crossed out]

Third Epoch At 10 A.M. 21st prepared for a long march moved at 1 pm taking the Richmond and Fredricksburg R.R. passing Guineas [?] Station. Crossed the Matapony halted at "Edge Hill Seminary" we resumed the march to Hanover Junction skirmishing with rear of the enemy. Forded the "North Anna", at 2 1/2 p.m. formed line of battle. about 6 p.m. the enemy attempted to effect a surprise by a sudden attack causing some wavering, and as our line was in the advance we were directed to fall back on the line established by Switzers Brigade. the fighting continued for one hour, built breast works during the night the enemy making several attempts to cut through our lines but failed. at 4 1/2 p.m. 24" moved again and rested near the Gordonsville RR. Time occupied in strengthening the position establishing the picket line and occasional skirmishing. At 4 1/2 AM 25 moved to the left. threw up breastworks in the woods established a picket line and bivouacked for the night. 8 pm 26 the brigade moved quietly and recrossed the North Anna

4th Epoch = Crossed the "Pamunky" 28th and bivouacked for the night 29nt resumed the march moved about 2 miles skirmishing untill [sic] near Sundown threw up Breastworks, bivouacked for the night. 29nt resumed the march advanced towards Bottom Bridge 2 P.M. threw up Breast works the enemy commenced shelling changed Front to the rear in double quick second line of Breast Works formed bivouacked for the night 7 AM 31st relieved by 9nt Corps retired to the left Remained during the day and bivouacked for the night. June 1st at 11 A.M. moved to the left driving the enemy about 2 miles Halted on the Mechanicsville pike moved across the Road formed in the works of Cutlers Division 1/2 [?] A.M. 2nd recrossed the Road built Breast Works again and [sic] Interval being made in the line by withdrawing the 9nt Corps and Bartelts [?] Brigade without notice this Regt was moved suddenly to the rear the Balance of the Brigade not leaving in time the enemy appeared and captured those that remained. moved to the rear double quick and reformed the enemy Keeping up a heavy fire remained untill [sic] day light 3rd men under arms at day light the 4th & 5th 10 P.M. 5th moved again reaching near Allens Mills "Cold Harbor" A Slow and tedious march skirmishing with the enemy forcing him at each conflict to retire. Encamped and Brigade re-organized. Genl Ayre Commanding Division Col. Gregory the Brigade designated 1st Brig. 2nd Division

5th Epoch = At 4 1/2 am struck tents and moved in the direction of the Chickahominy Crossed on Pontoons. at daylight 13nt resumed the march in an easterly direction halted and threw up Works marched at 7 1/2 oclock P.M. South easterly reaching a field near Charles City C.H. and pitched Tents. Received orders with 155nt Pa Vols to leave the Brigade. Transferred to 2nd Brig. 1st Div near Charles City C. H. June 15nt 1864. left 4 a.m. the 16nt crossed the James River at 9 a.m. reached an Old Rebel Camp 3 Miles South of Petersburg about 12 P.M. bivouacked for the night 11 a.m. the 18nt formed line of Battle with 32nd Mass. 21nt Pa (Dismounted) Cavalry and 155nt Pa Vols. all placed under the command of Col. E. M. Gregory 91st Reg. Pa. Vet. Vols. advanced upon the enemy drove him across the Petersburg and Norfolk R.R. remained on the North Bank of the R.R. a short time advanced again driving him into his entrenchments about 1/4 of mile from R.R. and [crossed out: bivouacked for the night] threw up Breast Works Was attacked about 11 p.m. drove him back kept up the firing during the Night Relieved by a portion of Crawfords [sic] Division. 4 1/2 A.M. retired on the R.R. and bivouacked for the night. left the R.R. 9 1/2 P.M. the 20th moved S.E. of the R.R. half a mile and bivouacked for the night. Left again 10 a.m. 21st moved towards the left of the line halted 12 M. on the Cheeses farm. The left wing of the Regiment sent out as skirmishers on the right of the Jerusalem plank Road the balance of the Regt. with 62nd Pa Vols. following about 3 P.M. and took position to support Skirmish line. advanced about 1/2 mile driving the enemys [sic] Picket line before us and establishing the line. threw up Breast Works and remained untill [sic] about 4 A.M. 23rd were relieved by the 1st Brigade ordered to the left of the Plank Road in Position on the Ground where a portion of the 2nd Corps had been driven from the night previous remained untill [sic] 9 AM was relieved by the 4th N.Y. Heavy Artillery and returned to camp half a Mile east of Cheeses House near the Jerusalem Plank Road Struck Tens at 6 P.M. on the 24th and moved to the left of the line about 2 miles south of Cheeses Farm-House near the Jerusalem Plank Road-to support the 6th Corps Threw up Breast-Works remained untill [sic] 6 P.M. on the 25th were relieved by the "Corcoran Legion" and returned to camp again where we remained sending details for working parties from the 6th to 20th of July 3 A.M. 21st relieved the 21st Pa. Cav. (dismounted) in the front (on the left of the Jerusalem Plank Road) found the Works and Camp in a filthy Condition devoted all spare time in cleaning up and reconstructing the Works leaving a detail at Old Camp for guard. 26th commenced a new line of Breast Works to the right of the Road 8 A.M. 27nt discontinued working and moved 8 P.M. 28th relieved 1st Brig. 2nd Division about 1 mile to the right reaching the works at 10 P.M. The Front line being occupied by 155th Pa Vols. and 21st Pa (Dismounted) Cavalry this command with 22 Mass. Vols bivouacked in the rear for the night. On the 29nt formed a new line and Built Bomb Proofs. 1 AM 30th packed Head Qr Wagon left the Camp with the Guard and joined the Command at the Front Action commenced at 4.20 A.M. the 30th by destroying the enemys [sic] Front in Front of 9nt Corps, followed by heavy firing along the line untill [sic] 10.30. the Regt taking no part in this action

The casualties from May 4th to July 30th is [sic] herewith transmitted

I am Captain
Very Respectfully
Your Obdt. Servt
John D Lentz
Major Commdg
To [?]
Capt L D McFarland
Asst Adjt Genl
2nd Brig 1st Div 5th corps

[written vertically to the left of the signature:] Forwarded Aug 9th 1864
[source: regimental letters book]

Head Quarters 91st Reg. Pa Vet Vols
August 9nt 1864
Capt. J. D. McFarland
Asst Adjt. Genl.

In compliance with Special Orders No 209 from Hd. Qrs Army of the Potomac. I have the honor to submit the following nominal statement of Casualties in this command from May 4th (the date of Crossing the Rapidan) to July 30th /64

Commissioned officers Enlisted Men Aggregate Remarks
KilledWoundedMissingTotal KilledWoundedMissingTotal   
0 6 06 441282174 180 

I am Captain Very Respectfully
Your Most Obdt. Servt
John D. Lentz
Major Commdg

[Written vertically to the left of the signature:] Forwarded Aug 9th 64
duplicate Copy forwarded Sept 21st /64
[source: regimental orders book]

Head Qrs 91st Regt. Pa. Vols
Aug 9nt 1864
Special Order No 70

Lieut J. A. Gregory actg. Regt. Qr. Mr. 91st Regt. Pa. Vols will take charge of all surplus Ordnance and ordnance Stores and turn them in at the nearest Post

By Order of
Eli G Sellers
Capt Commanding
B. J. Tayman

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revised 1 Aug 02
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