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[503]

Official diary of First corps, A. N. V., while commanded by Lt.-General R. H. Anderson, from June 1st to October 18, 1864.


June 1st

It was our intention to-day to make a strong movement by our right — Hoke towards old Cold Harbor, and Kershaw towards Beulah church from the position to which he had gone last night — and orders were given to that effect. Hoke did not become engaged, but took a line on the right. Kershaw puts in his own brigade supported by another. Keitt's big regiment gives way, and in the effort to rally it Keitt is mortally wounded. Pickett is closed into the right on Kershaw, and the latter on Hoke. Field closes in on Pickett. In the afternoon a furious attack is made on the left of Hoke and right of Kershaw, enemy penetrating an interval between them. Clingman's brigade gives way. Wofford's, on his left, being flanked, does the same. The Fifty-third Georgia, on Wofford's left, ditto. Kershaw brings up the Second and Third South Carolina regiments and regains Bryan's lost ground and captures prisoners and a stand of colors. Hunton is sent to Hoke's support. Field sends Gregg's brigade to aid Wofford in retaking his position. The effort, however, is not made from Kershaw's direction, but Hunton assumes Hoke's left nearly on Clingman's original line, Wofford bending back his right to connect with him.


June 2d

The preceding is the condition of affairs to-day, and we await the expected attack of the enemy. Kershaw's salient is weak, but is supported by Anderson's and Law's brigades of Field's division. Heavy skirmishing continues during the whole day on our line. In the evening the Second corps under Early moves out by its left, except Ramseur's division, and attacks the enemy's right. He gains some advantages and forces back the enemy's right. In the morning Breckinridge is posted on the heights to the right of Hoke, and A. P. Hill, with two divisions, moves to that point by Gaines' mill. The enemy gives us a furious cannonade late.


June 3d

The expected battle begins early. Early renews his attack, but appears to cease in about two hours without gaining much. Meantime the enemy is heavily massed in front of Kershaw's salient. Anderson's, Law's and Gregg's brigades are there to support Kershaw. Assault after assault is made, and each time repulsed with severe loss to the enemy. At eight o'clock A. M. fourteen had been made and repulsed (this means, I suppose, fourteen lines advanced). Law wounded. At dark a final and furious [504] assault is made on Martin, the right brigade of Hoke. Hunton also severely engaged.


June 4th

Heavy skirmishing. In the afternoon the enemy becomes unusually quiet, and from this some new movement is apprehended.


June 5th

Quiet, and affairs unchanged.


June 6th

Enemy retires from Ewell's and Field's front. Hoke removed from the command of General Anderson. Enemy's line bends back from Pickett's.


June 7th

Early engaged in finding the enemy. Pickett's skirmishers supporting and co-operating with him.


June 8th

Orders are received to attack with Pickett at daylight to-morrow morning, if the enemy should be discovered to be withdrawing.


June 9th

Enemy still in force in front. Early removed from the left, and Field and Pickett extend to fill the old trenches as far as Dickerson's house.


June 10th, 11th and 12th

No change in our line. Affairs quiet.


June 13th

The enemy is discovered to have disappeared from our front. The troops are at once put in motion. Kershaw, Pickett and Field crossing the Chickahominy at McClellan's bridge — trains by New bridge. We march by Seven Pines and over to the Charles City road, move down that, turn off at Williams' and bivouac near the battlefield of Frazier's farm. A little skirmishing at Riddle's shop by A. P. Hill.


June 14th

Quiet. No enemy immediately in front. Supposed to have crossed the James. In the evening orders are received to take position on Three Mile creek.


June 15th

Gary reports the enemy advancing and passed Nance's shop. Movement suspended in consequence.


June 16th

Pickett and Field move at 3 and 5 A. M., cross James river at Drewry's Bluff, and move down the turnpike towards Petersburg to occupy the line abandoned by General Beauregard. We found a picket of the enemy on the turnpike near Chester, and the line occupied by the enemy. Reconnoitering, and an effort to get him out, we get the left, including Howlett's.


June 17th

During the day we possess ourselves of the line by an advance of Pickett and Field. On the night of this day there is heavy fighting at Petersburg, and urgent calls are made by General Beauregard for aid. Kershaw arrives near Perdue's.


June 18th

At 3 A. M. Kershaw moves for Petersburg, followed [505] by Field. Pickett occupying the whole line. We arrive at Petersburg, and Kershaw relieves Bushrod Johnson's division — Field taking position on Kershaw's right. A feeble attack is made in the afternoon on Elliott's brigade of Johnson's division.


June 19th

Sharp skirmishing during the day, and a sort of advance on Kershaw's right and Field's left during the night.


June 20th and 21st

Affairs unchanged.


June 22d

A. P. Hill goes out with Mahone and WilcoxB. R. Johnson supporting — and drives the enemy from our right. It is a handsome affair--two thousand prisoners, four pieces of artillery, seven colors, being among the captures.


June 23d

Preparations made for the contemplated attack tomorrow. Field at night withdraws from the trenches — Bushrod Johnson relieving him — and moves to the left in support of and co-operation with Hoke. Field did not get out clear until dawn the next morning.


June 24th

At 7.05 A. M. our artillery opens, followed in a half hour by an advance of Hagood's brigade. The affair is a fiasco, and is not continued. Field leaves a brigade in Hoke's trenches, and returns with the balance of his division to be in reserve.


June 25

Usual skirmishing. At night two of Kershaw's brigades — Humphreys' and Kershaw's — are relieved by B. R. Johnson.


June 26

The enemy shows some disposition to dig up to us. Anderson's brigade of Field's division still with Hoke.


June 27

Some mortar firing.


June 28

Orders given to Field to go on the line to the left of the Rives house, the disposition being thus: Hoke on extreme left; Johnson on his right, and Field on right of Johnson. The change takes place on the night of the 28th, and Field does not get on the line until near morning. Until G. T. Anderson can be brought from the left of Hoke, Wofford occupies that portion of the line near the Rives house. Field's brigades are posted as follows, from left to right: Bratton, Benning, Gregg and Law.


June 29

Kershaw in reserve. Wofford taken out of Field's line and G. T. Anderson is retained in reserve for Field. At 12 M. orders are sent to Kershaw to move with three brigades to Reams' station to aid Mahone and the cavalry operating against the raiders. He returned about 11 P. M.


June 30

Unchanged.


July 1

At 2 A. M. Kershaw moves to the intersection of the [506] Weldon railroad with the line of breastworks to support Hill, who is to attack the enemy's force at Reams' station (Sheridan and the Sixth corps). That force, however, has disappeared in the night, and our troops returned to their positions.


July 2

Field still on the line, prefering not to be relieved.


July 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

All pass without change or incident.


July 8

We made in the afternoon something of a Chinese demonstration in the way of shooting and artillery firing to ascertain the enemy's strength.


July 9

No change.


July 10

Kershaw moves out on the railroad at night to cover the movement of some railroad trains laden with corn.


July 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Are passed without change or incident.


July 17

General Anderson makes a personal reconnoissance for an assault. At night two men desert from Law's brigade.


July 18

Further reconnoissance and preparation, in the course of which the desertions of the previous night are learned. The contemplated attack is in consequence abandoned.


July 19, 20, 21, 22

No change. Usual shelling and picket firing.


July 23

Kershaw moves at 6.30 A. M. for Chaffin's Bluff.


July 24, 25, 26

Affairs unchanged.


July 27

At 1.30 o'clock P. M., we received orders to move our headquarters to the north side of James river. Heth's division moved over. We arrived at Chaffin's at 8.30 P. M. Before our arrival four guns of the Rockbridge artillery, on the left of Kershaw, had been captured by the enemy.


July 28

In the morning we move with four brigades-Conner's, Lane's, Kershaw's and Wofford's — to dislodge the enemy from the Long Bridge road. The three first become engaged near Whitlock's and Darby's house, capturing one piece of artillery and about seventy-five prisoners, but without gaining the Long Bridge road. Our loss is about two hundred and fifty in killed, wounded and missing. At night the troops are returned to their positions about Fussell's mill. W. H. F. Lee's cavalry arrived at night on the north side of the James.


July 29

Nothing done in the morning. In the afternoon Kershaw and Conner move down to Darby's to occupy, with skirmishers, the junction of the Long Bridge and Darbytown roads. Field's division is sent to us from the south side and arrives at Tussell's mill about sundown. He came to Rice's turnout by rail. Fitz. Lee's division of cavalry is also sent to the north side.


[507]

July 30

In the morning the enemy is discovered to have abandoned the Long Bridge road and retired to the other side of the river, leaving a force at Deep Bottom on the right of our line. Heth's division is sent back to Rice's turnout. His trenches are occupied by Field. In the evening Kershaw recrosses to the south side by Chaffin's Bluff to halt for the night near the Clay house.


July 31, August 1 and 2

Affairs unchanged.


August 3

Colonel Carter, with some artillery, moves down the river, escorted by two regiments of cavalry, to annoy the enemy's transports.


August 4, 5

Quiet and without change.


August 6

General Anderson visits Richmond to meet the President and General Lee. Soon after I receive orders to join him with the staff.


August 7

Leave Richmond at 7.30 A. M. by rail and arrive at Mitchell's station at dark.


August 8

Last of Kershaw's division arrives to-day.


August 9, 10

Quiet. Waiting for our transportations.


August 11

Cuttshaw's artillery horses and Fitz. Lee's cavalry division arrive. Hear of Early at Bunker Hill.


August 12

With Kershaw's division and Cuttshaw's battalion of artillery, we move from Mitchell's station soon after sunrise and halt at Culpeper at midday. At 4. P. M. Kershaw moves for Hazel run, on the Graded road, followed by the artillery battalion, and camped for the night on Hazel river. Fitz. Lee's division moves from Culpeper Courthouse, and passes the infantry at night.


August 13

March resumed. Camp two miles north of Flint Hill.


August 14

March continues at sunrise. Troops arrive at Front Royal in afternoon. Kershaw posts a regiment on picket at the ford on the south fork on the Winchester road and one on the Berryville road, a mile from town.


August 15

Enemy reported to have a brigade of cavalry at Cedarville, on the Winchester pike, and an infantry force on the Berryville road. The enemy sends a scouting party across Island ford, which, however, soon retires.


August 16

About 12 noon information is received of the advance of four brigades of the enemy's cavalry to Cedarville. To hold Guard Hill and cover the passage of the Shenandoah, Wofford's brigade of infantry and Wickham's of cavalry and artillery are sent to seize the position, which is done with the loss of but [508] eight or ten men. Wofford, however, moves off to the right to attack the enemy's cavalry, which had now come up in force, and just at that moment, having charged and driven back our own cavalry, pitches into Wofford and drives him back in confusion and with loss. Brigade is subsequently moved across the river.


August 17

Our whole force moves across the river and follows the enemy down the Winchester pike. The enemy retired, burning the grain, barns and grass as he marched. Passing through Cedarville, Ninevah and Ragtown, we encounter, with the squadron of cavalry at our head, a detachment of the enemy's cavalry, and give chase to them for four or five miles. Wickham, with the two brigades of cavalry, had turned off to the right and followed towards Whitepost the bulk of the enemy's cavalry. We camp on the Opequon near Frederick's mill, and Wickham is ordered across from the vicinity of Berryville.


August 18

Move soon after daylight for Winchester, where we meet General Early. Fitz. Lee's cavalry is thrown out to the front and Kershaw camped in woods to the right of the Berryville road.


August 19

No change in the position of our troops. Early moves with his force to the vicinity of Bunker Hill.


August 20

Without change.


August 21

At daylight we move with Kershaw and Cuttshaw by the old Charlestown road for Charlestown. Lomax's cavalry moves from Bunker Hill in the same direction via Leetown; Early's infantry by Smithfield and Fitz. Lee's cavalry by Berryville. About six miles from Summit Point we encounter the advance of Wilson's division of cavalry and drive it before us, skirmishing as far as Summit Point, where we arrive at 3.30 P. M. and camped, picketing all the roads. Fitz. Lee encounters Torbert's division and drives him through Berryville, and encamps one mile north of the town, on the Berryville and Winchester pike. Early arrives within two miles and a half of Charlestown and halts for the night. Casualties in all the skirmishes light.


August 22

March resumed at daylight for Charlestown. Meet General Early. Latter's troops encamped in front of Charlestown, ours back on the road we came, about two miles and a half from town.


August 23

Without change.


August 24

In the afternoon the enemy makes a slight demonstration with his cavalry on Early.


August 25

Kershaw moves at daylight with Cuttshaw to relieve [509] Rodes and Ramseur. Early's force moves to threaten Martinsburg, and Fitz. Lee (who has resumed command of all the cavalry) towards Williamsport.


August 26

Enemy in position and quiet until afternoon about 5 o'clock, when he advances four or five regiments of infantry and one of cavalry to feel our lines. The picket line of the Fifteenth South Carolina regiment, Kershaw's brigade, breaks, and about a hundred men of it are captured. The enemy soon retires. During the night we hear from Early, who is at Leetown, and it is determined to move for Brucetown at early dawn.


August 27

Move at day via SmithfieldMcCausland's and Lomax's brigades of cavalry in our rear. Camp near Brucetown. The two cavalry brigades picket the line of the Opequon. Early moves to Bunker Hill.


August 28

McCausland moves his brigade towards Leetown, under orders from Fitz. Lee.


August 29

Early drives the enemy's cavalry through Smithfield. His troops afterwards return to camp.


August 30

Without change.


August 31

Bryan's brigade moves at daylight into Winchester to watch a probable movement of the enemy on Winchester from Berryville, where he seems to be in force. In the afternoon the whole division moves and takes its former camp near town.


September 1

Some cavalry skirmishing on the Berryville road. A small party of enemy's cavalry reported to have crossed Front Royal road towards Newtown. Humphreys' brigade is sent down on Berryville road to support the cavalry; but the enemy's force having been exaggerated, it returns to camp. Wofford is posted near town on the Valley pike.


September 2

Enemy's cavalry at Berryville. It is proposed for Kershaw and Fitz. Lee to surprise. him. As it is about being executed it is abandoned, the enemy having retired towards Charlestown. Early gets up towards Stone chapel and a small body of enemy's cavalry attack his rear.


September 3

Move at 12 M. from Winchester for Berryville by the pike. Strike the enemy about four miles from Berryville, and encounter the Eighth corps, which, after a short engagement, we drive away. The Sixth corps is meanwhile at Longmarsh run near Summit Point. General Humphreys wounded.


September 4

Between 9 and 10 A. M. General Early arrives to aid us, and proposes to attack by his left. Agreed to and he starts [510] to execute it. He accomplishes nothing, however, deeming the enemy's position too strong to be forced.


Septembr 5

Retire towards Winchester. Some skirmishing at the Opequon between Early's rear guard and the enemy's advance. Troops camp in same place on Berryville pike.


September 6

Without change.


September 7

A division of Yankee cavalry moves up as far as White Post and returns towards Berryville. Enemy's infantry reported crossing the Opequon and advancing; Our troops turned out to meet them. Enemy retire across the Opequon. Object of the movement supposed to be a reconnoissance.


September 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Without change.


September 15

Move at sunrise with Kershaw and Cuttshaw up the Valley pike and camp on North fork of Shenandoah, opposite Buckton.


September 16

Move at sunrise, cross North fork at Buckton ford, cross South fork at McCoy's ford, and camp at Bentonville.


September 17

Move at sunrise on the Mud turnpike, from which we turned off four miles north of Luray and camped four miles from Luray on the Sperryville and Luray pike.


September 18

Move at sunrise, cross Thornton's gap, pass through Sperryville, Woodville and camp two miles east of the latter.


September 19

Move at sunrise and arrive at Culpeper in time to meet a Yankee raiding party, Sixteenth New York cavalry, which is found to have passed down to Rapidan bridge and burnt it. We intercept the party on its return by Bryan's brigade near Poney mountain.


September 20

Move at 12 M. for Rapidan station.


September 21, 22

At Rapidan station awaiting the completion of the bridge.


September 23

Bridge finished. Move to Gordonsville.


September 24

Kershaw moves at sunrise to join Early, via Swift Run gap.


September 25, 26

We take up the march (headquarters) for Richmond, where we arrive on the 26th.


September 27

Move from Richmond to Swift run.


September 28

General Anderson receives orders to move to north side and assume command.


September 29

Move to north side early and find the enemy holding Fort Harrison, which he had taken by a coup de main. [511] One battalion of reserve, one hundred and fifty men, were in the fort. Gregg had previously repulsed an attack near Four-Mile run. In the afternoon Field arrives with Law's brigade just in time to aid Gregg's and Benning's brigade in repulsing a most violent assault on Fort Gilmer. Many negroes were killed in the ditch. General Lee arrives, and Bratton's and Anderson's brigades come over, making Field's full division. In the afternoon Colonel Montague with four regiments of Pickett's troops, pushes up towards Fort Harrison.


September 30

During last night Hoke came over with Kirkland's, Clingman's and Colquitt's brigades and Scales'. After reconnoissance, Fort Harrison is attacked by Law, Anderson and Bratton, and Clingman and Colquitt. The attack is repulsed.


October 1

Dispositions made for taking up a new line. A movement of the enemy to our left up the Darbytown and Williamsburg roads is discovered. Field, with Law's brigade and Montague's four regiments, is hurried off. On arriving at the point we find Moore's and Barton's brigades of reserves in the fortifications and the artillery at work. Montague is left on the New Market road and Law is posted in the salient on the Darbytown road.


October 2

Law and Montague are moved back to Chaffin's farm.


October 3, 4, 5

No change of note.


October 6

No change during the day. At night Field and Hoke are taken out of the trenches and sent to the vicinity of Curry's house, on the Darbytown road. Law's brigade was previously sent over to Gary.


October 7

At sunrise we move down the Darbytown road with Field and Hoke. The former encounters Kautz's cavalry in the exterior trenches. With Anderson's and Bratton's brigades and Gary and Law on the Charles City road, the cavalry is drawn off, leaving us nine pieces of artillery, ten caissons and prisoners. Field's division is then thrown to the left, on the outside of the exterior line, and Hoke on the inside of it. After crossing a thick abatis and an almost impenetrable swamp, the enemy is found in position near the New Market road. Field at once attacks him, and Major Johnson has a spirited artillery combat. Field's attack fails. Hoke cannot get at the enemy out of his trenches and does not move. In the afternoon the troops are posted behind Cornelius creek General Gregg killed; Bratton wounded.


October 8, 9

Quiet and without change.


[512]

October 10

Field and Hoke move down in front of Cornelius creek and a line of rifle pits formed. Gary puts two regiments on the left of Field.


October 11, 12

Quiet. Troops occupied in strengthening their defences.


October 13

Early in the morning Gary's pickets are driven in on the Charles City road. He has hastily to send for the mounted regiment he had on the Nine-Mile road. A force of the enemy presses Field's left and endeavors to turn it. The Texas and Law's brigade are thrown rapidly to the left of the Darbytown road and the others moved up to it, Hoke closing in on Field. The day passes in efforts of the enemy to feel our lines or break through them. The enemy's cavalry on the Charles City road disappears and by night everything is again quiet, the enemy having retired. Gary's two dismounted regiments were sent to him in the morning, two regiments of Bratton relieving them. At night Field has four brigades on left of Darbytown road and Bratton on the right of it, Hoke touching his right, and Colquitt's brigade of his division extending to New Market road.


October 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Are all without change of note.

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