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Chapter 19: the capture of Petersburg by 6th Corps

The 31st of March was spent by the 121st on the skirmish line, and on its return to camp, orders were received to hold itself in readiness for moving at a moment's notice. On the 1st of April firing was heard off to the left, and it was rumored that the 5th Corps had already begun the anticipated attack upon the enemy's works.

At 10 o'clock of April 1st the 6th Corps, under orders to leave all unnecessary accoutrements under guard in camp, and to move as quietly as possible in light marching order, moved quietly out of camp and formed in column of assault in the rear of our picket line. This was done so silently, as not to be detected by the pickets of the enemy. The position occupied by the corps was the one captured on the afternoon of the 25th of March, behind the picket line then formed, not more than two hundred yards from the works of the enemy. A fierce artillery fire had been opened along the whole line to cover the point of attack, and the roar of the cannon from both sides, and the flight of the shells distinguished by their burning fuses made the night one long to be remembered by those who saw and heard the grand duel of the artillery. The time set for the assault was 4 A. M., but on account of the darkness and fog the order was not given till 4:45.

Colonel Olcott's report gives the part of the 121st in it: “The brigade being in two lines, the 121st New York was on the right of the second ”

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