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Operations around Petersburg-General Hagood's report of 16th, 17th and 18th of June, 1864.

headquarters Hagood's brigade, Hoke's division, 15th July, 1864.
Capt. John A. Cooper, A. A. G.:
Captain,—I am instructed to report the operations of my brigade on the 16th, 17th and 18th ulto.

On the evening of the 15th, about dark, my brigade arrived at Petersburg, by the Petersburg & Richmond railroad, and I was at General Beauregard's headquarters, reporting for orders, when a courier announced that the enemy had carried the defences from No. 3 to No. 7, inclusive, and that our troops were retreating. I was ordered to move out immediately upon the City Point road and take a position to cover that approach to the city, and upon which a new defensive line could be taken. It was after dark, and being unacquainted with the country and unable to learn much from the confused and contradictory accounts of the volunteer guides who accompanied me, I halted my command at the junction of the City Point and Prince George roads, and rode forward myself to reconnoitre the country. With the aid of a map opportunely sent me by Colonel Harris, Chief of Engineers, I finally determined upon the line of the creek, which empties into the Appomattox in rear of No. 1, and the west fork of which crosses the lines near No. 15, and established my command upon it. General Colquitt's brigade and the other brigades arriving shortly afterwards were established upon this line, General Hoke having approved the selection, and by daylight the position was partially entrenched. Colonel Tabb's regiment of Wise's brigade held the lines from No. 1 to No. 2, and was relieved by one of my regiments (Twenty-seventh South Carolina). This made my line en echellon, with the echelon thrown forward on the left. Discovering this fact at daylight, and that this portion of the line was completely enfiladed by the guns of the enemy established [322] at No. 7, I withdrew this regiment also to the west side of the creek. The new line now held by our forces was the chord of the arc of the abandoned works. I also brought in and sent to the ordnance officer two field-pieces, spiked, that had been abandoned by our troops the day before.

The enemy shelled our position furiously during the day, and the skirmishers were constantly engaged. They ostentatiously formed for battle several times during the day, beyond musket range, there being no artillery on our portion of the line, and about dark a feeble effort at assault was made upon my centre, none getting nearer than seventy-five yards to our line. It was kept up for an hour or more, but they were kept at bay without trouble, and finally retired.

Captains Hopkins and Palmer and Adjutant Gelling, of the Twenty-seventh regiment, were killed by the same shell, and several enlisted men were killed and wounded during the day. Lieutenant Alleming was wounded, and has since died. I grieve to add the names of these gallant officers to the bloody record of the last two months. In this short time the best and bravest of my command have been laid beneath the soil of Virginia.

On the 17th nothing occurred with me except pretty heavy shelling from the enemy. Having no artillery to reply to them, their practice was very accurate, and inflicted some loss upon us. Our earthworks were diligently strengthened, and assumed a respectable profile.

At 1:30 A. M. on the 18th I received orders to withdraw to a line some eight hundred yards in rear of our position, which had been partially prepared for occupation. This new line rested upon the Appomattox some two hundred yards west of the house of the younger Hare, and ran nearly at right angles to the river, passing over the western end of the eminence upon which the elder Hare resides, known as Hare's Hill. I was to occupy again the extreme left. This movement was executed safely, and the troops again in position before daylight.

Shortly after daylight, the enemy advanced upon our old line and finding it abandoned, came on with vociferous cheers. As soon as these skirmishers encountered our new picket line, their line of battle halted and heavy skirmishing commenced. This continued until about 2 P. M., the skirmishers alternately driving each other. We lost several killed and wounded and a few prisoners, but inflicting an equal or greater loss upon the enemy, and capturing between 25 and 30 prisoners. [323]

At 2 P. M. the enemy formed for an assault upon the portion of my brigade between the river and the City Point road. A regiment was pushed up in column along the banks of the river, under cover of the grove and buildings of the younger Hare, and when its head became uncovered attempted to deploy. The rest of their force attempted to come forward in line of battle, but never got closer than 250 yards. Our fire was opened upon the column as soon as it showed itself and upon the line at about 300 yards. The enemy attempted to rally, but were driven back in confusion. The Twenty first, Twenty-seventh and Eleventh regiments repulsed this attack. South of the City Point road the skirmishing was heavy, but our line was not attacked. Later in the afternoon, when Colquitt's brigade was assailed, my right regiment fired a few volleys obliquely upon the attacking column.

Lieutenant Harvey, Seventh battalion, was killed to-day, and Lieutenant Felder, Twenty-fifth, and Major Rion, Seventh battalion, were wounded.

I am unable to give an accurate statement of casualties on these days, as in the record preserved by my A. A. G. the casualties of a later day and of some preceding skirmishes at Cold Harbor are included.

About 220 is supposed to be the aggregate — of which killed, 36; wounded, 21; missing, 63.

I am, Captain, respectfully,


Johnson Hagood, Brigadier-General.

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