Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
					Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

Report of Brig. Gen. Charles J. Paine, U. S. Army, Commanding Third Division, of operations February 8 - April 24.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISON, TENTH ARMY CORPS

Near Raleigh, N. C., April 21, 1865

MAJOR: In response to your letter of instructions of the 15th instant I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command since February 8, 1865.

February 11, the division broke camp on Federal Point, where it had remained after the capture of Fort Fisher, and moved toward the enemy's line at Sugar Loaf, the Second Brigade, Col J. W. Ames commanding, having the advance. After a brisk skirmish, in which the division suffered a loss of 2 commissioned officers and 69 men wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers, commanding Fourth U. S. Colored Troops, which is regiments deployed as skirmishes, drove the enemy very handsomely from his intrenched picket line into his main works. The division constructed a line of works at this point and occupied them until the morning of the 19th of February, when the enemy retiring from his line in our front, the division moved into the rebel works. At this point instructions were received from Major-General Terry to follow the retreating enemy, and the Third Brigade, Col E. Wright commanding, followed by Myrick's battery and the Second Brigade, immediately moved up the telegraph road toward Wilmington. The march toward Wilmington was unopposed during the 19th, but on the 20th we had brisk skirmishing with the enemy, and about 3 o'clock on the afternoon of that day, when about five miles below Wilmington came upon an earth-work well manned and showing artillery. The Fifth Regiment of the Third Brigade deployed as skirmishers and was ordered forward to reconnoiter the enemy's position, and a sharp skirmish ensued, in which our loss was 1 officer and 1 man killed, and 3 officers and 48 men wounded, including Col E. Wright, the commander of the Third Brigade.

The enemy's fire along our whole front was found to be that of a single rank or a little more, and his artillery fire was from six or seven guns. A line of intrenchments was then thrown up covering the position of my division on the south side of the telegraph road. The enemy evacuated his line on the night of the 21st, and the division entered Wilmington at 9 o'clock on the morning of February 22. After a short halt beyond the city, in obedience to orders from Major-General Terry, my column, preceded by Brevet Brigadier General Abbott's brigade, moved forward on the road to Northeast Station. The column encountered no opposition until late in the afternoon, when about a mile from the enemy's pontoon bridge across Northeast River his skirmishes were discovered. The Fourth Regiment of the Second Brigade was promptly thrown forward as skirmishes on the left, with Myricks' battery, Abbott's brigade, Twenty-fourth Corps, being on the right. After a few, well directed shots from the battery, the whole line moved forward, drove the enemy across the river, his pontoons being secured uninjured by General Abbott. The railroad bridge immediately below had been destroyed by the enemy before our advance arrived in sight of it. On the march the headquarters of the First Brigade, the One hundred and seventh Regiment, and several detachments from the Army of the James joined the division at Northeast Station.

March 16, crossed the Northeast River on the pontoon bridge captured February 22 and marched north to Burgaw Creek. March 17, made South Washington. 18th, Island Creek. 19th reached a point eight miles northwest of Kenansville. 20th, made a march of twenty miles. 21st, arrived at Cox's Bridge, on the Neuse River, and during the night of that day the Second Brigade, Bvt. Brig Gen. S. A. Duncan commanding, crossed the river on pontoons and intrenched. On 22d March the First Brigade was also thrown across the river and a more extensive line constructed. March 24, the enemy made a reconnaissance in considerable force in our front and made a vigorous attack, opening some artillery upon our picket line. The attack was repulsed with small loss. On the evening of March 24 the division was withdrawn from the north side of the Neuse, and on the 25th marched to Faison's Depot, on the Wilmington and Weldou Railroad, where it remained in camp until the morning of April 10, when it broke camp and marched northwestward toward Bentonville. Passed Bentonville on the 11th, and with easy marches on the three following days arrived at Raleigh on the afternoon on the 14th instant. The troops went into camp about a mile south of the city, and orders were received to march through the city at 9 o'clock on the morning of the 15th, passing in review before Major-General Sherman. This order was countermanded on the morning of the 15th, and on the afternoon of that day and the morning of the 16th the camps of the First and Third Brigades were removed to better ground.

April 20, the division broke camp and marched through Raleigh, passing in review before Major-General Sherman. After the review it encamped near the main Smithfield roads, about two miles outside of the city, where it now is.

I am, major, very respectfully your obedient servant.

 

C. J. PAINE,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers Commanding

Maj. C. H. Graves
Assistant Adjutant General, &c

 


ADDENDA

 

Casualties in the Third Division, Twenty Fifth Army Corps, February 19 to 22, 1865

Second Brigade

REGIMENT OFFICERS
KILLED
ENLISTED
KILLED
OFFICERS
WOUNDED
ENLISTED
WOUNDED
4th U.S. Colored Troops   1   5
6th U. S. Colored Troops       1

Third Brigade

REGIMENT OFFICERS
KILLED
ENLISTED
KILLED
OFFICERS
WOUNDED
ENLISTED
WOUNDED
1st U. S. Colored Troops
1 1 10
5th U. S. Colored Troops     2 37
10th U.S. Colored Troops

1
Total
2 4 53

 


ALFRED H. TERRY
Major-General

 

 


SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.

 

Category: Civil War | Subcategory: Reports - Union | Tags: Correspondence , Washington
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 1865, 1880, 1901, 25th, Army, Army of the James, Battle of Fort Fisher, C. J. Paine, Cape Fear River (North Carolina), Duncan, Engagement at Sugar Loaf, Fort Fisher (North Carolina), Maine, New Hanover County (North Carolina), North Carolina, Paine, Railroad, Raleigh, Raleigh (North Carolina), reconnaissance, The War of the Rebellion (Book), United States War Department, War Department, Ward, Wilmington, Wilmington (North Carolina),