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Twenty-Fourth Corps.

The white troops of the Tenth and Eighteenth Corps were assembled in one command, and organized, December 3, 1864, as the Twenty-fourth Corps, with Major-General Edward O. Ord in command. The troops of the Tenth Corps were assigned to the First and Second Divisions, while the regiments of the Eighteenth Corps were placed in the Third Division. The three divisions were commanded by Generals Foster, Ames and Devens, and were stationed on the north bank of the James, in front of Richmond. As before the consolidation, these troops remained in the Army of the James.

Ames' (2d) Division did not remain long in the corps In December, 1864, it left its quarters and embarked for North Carolina, forming part of Butler's expedition to Fort Fisher. Butler's troops returned without having accomplished anything; but, in January, Ames' three brigades were ordered to return to Fort Fisher, this second expedition being entrusted to the command of General Alfred H. Terry, the former commander of the Tenth Corps. Abbott's Brigade, of the First Division, also accompanied Terry's Expedition. These troops — Ames' Division and Abbott's Brigade — were the ones which won the famous victory at Fort Fisher, January 15, 1865. They never rejoined the Twenty-fourth Corps, but remained in North Carolina, where they formed a nucleus for a revival of the organization of the Tenth Corps.

In December, 18664, while Ames' Division was absent on the first expedition to Fort Fisher, the Twenty-fourth Corp;s was reinforced by the First Division, Eighth Corps. This was a veteran body of troops — formerly Thoburn's Division — which had seen long and active service in West Virginia and in the Shenandoah Valley. It was transferred to the Twenty-fourth Corps, the fighting in the Valley having ended, and arrived December 25th on the banks of the James, where it took possession of the abandoned quarters of the Fort Fisher division. These troops from West Virginia (9 regiments) were designated an Independent Division, and General John W. Turner, formerly a division-general in the Tenth Corps, was assigned to its command. The Twenty-fourth Corps now consisted of three divisions, Foster's, Devens' and Turner's, containing 42 infantry regiments, and numbering 18,148 present for duty, equipped.

On January 1, 1865, General Butler was relieved from the command of the Army of the James,--Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Corps--and General Ord was appointed in his place. Major-General John Gibbon, an able and distinguished division-general of the Second Corps, became the commander of the Twenty-fourth. But little fighting had occurred on the north bank of the James since the organization of the corps, except a minor affair at Spring Hill, December 10, 1864, in which Longstreet made a sortie against the extreme right of the Union line.

On the 27th of March, 1865, Foster's and Turner's Divisions of the Twenty-fourth Corps, with one division of the Twenty-fifth, all under command of General Ord, Army of the James (General Gibbon commanding his corps), crossed to the south banks of the James and Appomattox Rivers, and joined the main army at Hatcher's Run, where they participated in the prelminary movements of the final, grand campaign. In the general and victorious assault on Petersburg, April 2, 1865, the Twenty-fourth Corps was assigned to the duty of assaulting Forts Gregg and Whitworth, which they carried by a determined and brilliant attack; but not without a serious loss, and a final struggle in which bayonet; were used. General Gibbon describes this assault as one of the most desperate in the war.

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