MAY 4-JUNE 2
MAY 4-JUNE 2, 1864.--Operations on the south side of the James River, Va.
Report of Brig. Gen. Edward W. Hinks, U.S. Army, commanding Third Division, of operations May 5-18.
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
City Point, Va., May 13, 1864.
GENERAL: In obedience to your order of this date, which was received at City Point during my absence to the front superintending the construction of works opposite Point of Rocks, I have the honor to submit the following brief report of my operations since landing at City Point on the 5th of May, instant:
As you are already aware, the First and Twenty-second Regiments U. S. Colored Troops, with two sections of Choate's battery, were landed at Wilson's Wharf; the Tenth and Thirty-seventh U. S. Colored Troops, with two sections of Howell's battery, were landed at Fort Powhatan, and Duncan's brigade, with one section of Choate's and one section of Howell's battery, were landed at City Point, all on the 5th instant, a member of my staff having been left at Wilson's Wharf to lay out and superintend the construction of proper earth-works. Immediately upon landing at City Point earthworks were commenced, the construction of which has since been pushed with all our available force, and is now progressing well. Four heavy guns, viz, one 30-pounder, two 20-pounder Parrotts, and one 8-inch howitzer, which were received on Sunday, the 8th, have since been mounted.
On Sunday evening, 8th instant, Captain Angel's battery of six 3-inch ordnance guns reported for duty, and the Thirty-seventh Regiment U.S. Colored Troops was withdrawn from Fort Powhatan and placed in the works at City Point; also Captain Dollard, Company D, Second U.S. Colored Cavalry, reported for duty. On Monday, 9th instant, with 1,800 infantry, one battery, and the company of cavalry, I made a reconnaissance toward Petersburg, upon the river road to Spring Hill, and returned to the middle road, so-called, and pushed up to within about 4 miles of Petersburg, drawing the fire of the enemy's batteries; after which I returned to City Point, arriving at 11 o'clock at night.
On Tuesday, 10th instant, went personally to Fort Powhatan and directed the construction of earth-works. Learned that Clingman's brigade, three regiments of infantry, and a battery of six guns came down from Petersburg to within 2 miles of the works at City Point, and returned by the river road. Two companies of Thirteenth New York Heavy Artillery, under command of Captain Pendrell, and a detachment of 93 men of the Third Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, under command of Captain von Schilling, reported for duty at City Point.
Thursday, 12th instant, proceeded with two regiments of Duncan's brigade, one section of Choate's battery, and one section of Angel's battery, to a point in the bight of the Appomattox River, nearly opposite the Point of Rocks, and directed the construction of a work, which is now progressing favorably, in charge of Colonel Duncan. The work when finished will consist of two lunettes connected by an infantry parapet, or curtain, of about 150 yards in length, with flanks of like parapets running toward the river. The position is a very strong one, and with the assistance of gun-boats on the flanks may be held by the force now there against greatly superior numbers. Communication with the river is established directly to the rear of the works, and the garrison may be easily increased by throwing troops across the river.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDW. W. HINKS,
Brigadier-General, U.S. Volunteers.
Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER,
Comdg. Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, in the Field.