OR 87:712-713

In the Field, Laurel Hill, Va., October 9, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers in the recent engagements of September 29, October 1, and October 7:

The regiment left camp before Petersburg on the afternoon of the 28th of September, with the rest of the Second Brigade, and bivouacked at Deep Bottom at about 2 a.m. of the 29th. At daybreak the regiment, numbering 9 officers and 125 men, resumed the march, in connection with the rest of the brigade, passing through our earth-works and in the direction of the enemy for nearly a mile, when I received orders from Colonel Abbott, commanding brigade, to deploy my regiment as skirmishers and advance toward the enemy's works. After passing an open field and through a deep ravine, through a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries, together with musketry from their sharpshooters, we were ordered to halt, being about 800 yards from the enemy's works, and I ordered the men to lie down in the line so as to conceal them as much as possible from the view of the enemy's sharpshooters. We lay in this position for about half an hour, and were ordered to advance, the Third New Hampshire Regiment having been ordered up to our support, when I moved forward with my command and entered their works without further resistance. Our loss in this skirmish was I commissioned officer and 7 enlisted men wounded. After halting for about an hour, we again resumed the march with the brigade toward Richmond, arriving at the second line of the enemy's works at about noon, and again halted. About 2 o'clock we marched with the brigade on a reconnaissance toward Richmond, but returned at night-fall, without further fighting, to the enemy's second line of works, and bivouacked for the night.

On the afternoon of October 1 we were marched over the same road toward Richmond and were deployed as skirmishers, with the rest of the brigade, and ordered to advance on the enemy's line of works. In doing so it was necessary to cross an almost impassable ravine in the face of a terrible fire from the enemy's batteries, but notwithstanding the difficulties the line moved on in good order for a distance of about three-quarters of a mile, when we were halted within about 600 yards of their works, and soon ordered to fall back, when we retreated slowly and in good order, the enemy still firing upon us from their batteries, until we were out of range of their guns. We arrived at the place from whence we started at 10 p.m., and bivouacked for the night. Our loss in this skirmish was 1 killed, 4 wounded, and 10 missing.

On the morning of the 7th my regiment was ordered out of our intrenched position that we had occupied for four days on the right flank of our works, to move, with the rest of the brigade, to a position farther to the right and rear, in order to check the advance of the enemy, who had made a vigorous attack on the cavalry in front of us, and driven them in. After getting into our position in the brigade, and in line of battle, I was ordered to send fifty men forward as skirmishers, which I placed under command of Captain Thompson. Soon after I was ordered to send twenty-five more, but before they had time to deploy the enemy advanced in force, and I immediately opened fire upon them, directing my line of fire to the front, and to the right and left oblique, as the enemy showed themselves to be in strongest force, and they were soon repulsed. Our loss in this engagement was I killed, 13 wounded, and 1 missing.

The behavior of both officers and men in this engagement was perfectly satisfactory. All orders were promptly and cheerfully obeyed, and where all have done so nobly, it is difficult to mention any as especially worthy of honorable mention.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Seventh Connecticut Volunteers.


Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 2d Brig., 1st Div, 10th Army Corps.

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