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Seventh Corps.
(Department of Virginia.)

  • Deserted House
  • -- Siege of Suffolk.

This corps was organized under General Orders No. 84, War Department, dated July 22, 1862, and was formed from the troops then under command of General John A. Dix at Fort Monroe, Norfork, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and vicinity. Soon after its organization, its returns showed a strength of 9,574, “present for duty, equipped,” with an aggregate of 11,738, “present and absent.” In April, 1863, it comprised the divisions of Corcoran, Getty, and Gurney, including, also, two brigades which were stationed at Yorktown, under General Keyes, and one brigade at Norfolk, under General Viele; in all, 52 regiments of infantry, 9 batteries of light artillery, and 5 battalions of cavalry. The corps return for March 31, 1863, showed an aggregate of 32,741 present and absent, with 24,127 present for duty, equipped.

Corcoran's Division was in action, January 30, 1863, in an affair at Deserted House, Va., in which it lost 23 killed, 108 wounded, and 12 missing. Both Corcoran's and Getty's Divisions were engaged in the defence of Suffolk, losing 41 killed, 223 wounded, and 2 missing, the principal loss falling on Getty's Division.

In July, 1863, the brigade known as the Corcoran Legion was ordered on duty in the defences of Washington; a part of the troop which had been engaged on tlie Peninsular march of June, 1863. were ordered to join the Army of the Potomac; other detachments were also made after which the remaining troops were ordered transferred to the Eighteenth Corps, and the Seventh Corps was discontinued August 1st, 1863. On May 31, 1863, the Seventh Corps

1 [79] General Russell was killed at the Opequon, and the gallant Bidwell at Cedar Creek. The casualties of the corps at the Opequon aggregated 211 killed 1,442 wounded, and 46 missing total, 1,699. At Cedar Creek, it lost 298 killed, 1,628 wounded, and 200 missing; total, 2,126. Its total loss in the Shenandoah campaign, Aug. 22d to Oct. 20th, was 4,899, out of 12,615 “present for duty,” in August. General Wheaton succeeded to the command of the lamented Russell, while General Truman Seymour was assigned to the command of the Third Division, in place of General Ricketts, who was seriously wounded at Cedar Creek. In December. 1864, the Sixth Corps returned to the Petersburg trenches, built their winter-quarters, and went into position near the Weldon Railroad. On the 2d of April, 1865, occurred the grand, final, and successful assault on the fortifications of Petersburg, in which the corps was assigned a prominent and important part. Then came the hot pursuit of Lee's retreating veterans, during which the corps fought at Sailor's Creek. This, the last battle of the Sixth Corps, was marked by the same features which had so largely characterized all its battles,--dash, hard fighting — some of it with the bayonet,--victory, and large captures of men, flags, guns, and material.

The history of the Sixth Corps, more than any other, is replete with fascinating interest. Its record is invested with more of the romance and brillancy of war. There was the successful assault of Marye's Heights; the brillant dash into the rifle pits at Rappahannock Station; the deadly hand-to-hand fighting in the gloomy thickets of Spotsylvania; the breathless interest which attaches to their lone fight at Fort Stevens, where, under the eye of the President, they saved the National Capital from the hand of the invader; the victories in the Valley, with the dramatic incident at Cedar Creek; and the crowning success at the storming of Petersburg. Over all these scenes the Greek Cross waved proudly on the banners of the corps, while its veteran legions wrought deeds which linked that badge with an unfading glory and renown.

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George W. Getty (3)
Corcoran (3)
Frank Wheaton (1)
Viele (1)
Truman Seymour (1)
Charles L. Russell (1)
Ricketts (1)
Francis Lee (1)
E. D. Keyes (1)
Gurney (1)
John A. Dix (1)
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