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

Second Division


Second Division


February-June, 1865


Second Division

[February.]---Since last month this command has remained in camp near Chaffin's farm, Va. The positions of the Second and Third Brigades have been changed. The division now occupies the entire front of the Twenty-fifth Army Corps.

March 25.--This division marched from the works near Fort Burnham, on the north side of the James River.

March 27.--At night crossed James River at Aiken's Landing and Appomattox River at Broadway Landing.

March 29.--Took position near Hatcher's Run, southwest of Petersburg about six miles, remaining in that position until the 31st instant.

April 1.--Remained in line of works near Hatcher's Run.

April 2.--In the morning advanced and took possession of the enemy's line, they evacuating; immediately marched toward Petersburg; passed through the city and along the Cox road in pursuit of the enemy, continuing the march until the 10th instant.

April 10.--Orders were received to return to Petersburg.

April 11.--Commenced the return march in the morning.

April 17.--Reached the outskirts of the city, and have since then remained in camp near the city.

May 26.--The troops broke camp at Camp Lincoln, Va., and marched for City Point. The same day embarked and sailed for Hampton Roads, arriving at that place about 1 p.m. Lay at anchor in the Roads till 10.30 a.m. May 31.

May 31.--Weighing anchor, proceeded to sea, bound for Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, Ala. Weather calm and clear.

June 8.--Fleet put into Mobile Bay for the purpose of coaling and watering.

June 10.--Weighed anchor.

June 13.--Arrived off the coast of Texas, the First Brigade landing at Indianola, and the Second and Third Brigades at Brazos Santiago.

June 24.--The Third Brigade moved to White's Ranch, on the Rio Grande.

First Brigade, Second Division.

[January. ]--Remained in camp during the month near Fort Burnham, Va.

[February.]--Remained in camp, near Fort Burnham, during the month.

[March. ]--Marched from the works on the north side of James River near Fort Burnham to south side of said river near Hatcher's Run. The One hundred and fifteenth U.S. Colored Troops remained in camp near Fort Burnham.

April 1.--The brigade remained in the works near Hatcher's Run.

April 2.--In the morning advanced and took possession of the enemy's works, they evacuating. Immediately pushed into Petersburg, arriving there at noon, and took up position on the right of division.

April 3.--Shortly after daylight took possession of the city and marched out on the Cox road, halting at night.

April 1.--Resumed the march in the morning, and at noon received orders to move back to a place called Sutherland's; remained there until the afternoon of the 5th.

April 5.--In the afternoon we were relieved and started to rejoin the division.

April 10.--Joined the division near Appomattox Court-House.

April 11.--Started back to Petersburg.

April 17.--Arrived there, and since that time have remained in camp near that city. (See report appended.(*))

May 7.--Brigade marched from Petersburg, Va., to vicinity of City Point, Va., where it remained in camp, employed in drilling, &c., until the 25th.

May 25.--It embarked on transports and proceeded to Hampton Roads, Va.

[June.]--May 26, the brigade sailed from Hampton Roads, with orders to rendezvous at Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay.

June 7 and 8.--It arrived there.

June 9.--Received orders to proceed to Indianola, Tex., via the Southwest Pass, Mississippi River.

June 12.--Anchored off the bar, but were unable to disembark on account of the wind blowing so violently, causing a very heavy sea to break upon the bar.

June 17.--Coal and water being nearly exhausted, were obliged to return to Southwest Pass.

June 19.--We again arrived there, and upon being supplied with coal and water, returned.

June 25.--Arrived off the bar the second time; disembarked Sunday, and are now [June 30] garrisoning the city of Indianola, Tex.

Second Brigade, Second Division.

March 27.--The brigade marched from Fort Burnham.

March 23.--Arrived at Hatcher's Run.

March 30 and 31.--It participated in the operations against the enemy's lines.

April 1.--The brigade was all day in line of battle in front of the enemy near Hatcher's Run.

April 2.--Marched inside the enemy's works to near Petersburg, and in the afternoon was engaged.

April 3.--Entered Petersburg before day, being the first Union troops in. Marched nine miles westerly on the Cox road.

April 4.--Marched to Wilson's Station.

April 5.--Marched to Blacks and Whites.

April 6.--Marched through Burkeville to within seven miles of Farmville, and bivouacked near the enemy.

April 7.--Marched to Farmville, where Brigadier-General Birney was relieved from the command of the division, and the brigade was ordered to report to Brig. Gen. R. S. Foster, commanding First Division, Twenty-fourth Corps.

April 8.--Marched till midnight, having traveled thirty miles.

April 9.--Marched at 3 a.m. to the Lynchburg road west of and near Appomattox Court-House. At 7 a.m. engaged the enemy, who was driving our cavalry; stopped him and drove him some distance.

April 10.--Reported to Bvt. Brig. Gen. R. H. Jackson, assigned to command the Second Division, Twenty-fifth Army Corps.

April 11.--Marched for Petersburg.

April 17.--Reached our camp-ground west of the town.

June 18.--Arrived at Brazos Santiago, Tex., and have been here ever since.

Third Brigade, Second Division.

[February.]--The camp of this brigade has been changed from their position to the rear and right of Fort Burnham to the line of breastworks between Batteries Nos. 3 and 5. Twenty-eighth U.S. Colored Troops are at City Point on detached service.

[April.]--This brigade took part in the campaign with the forces operating against the Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Lee.

April 9.--The capitulation having been consummated at Appomattox Court-House, the command returned to Petersburg´┐Ż

April 17.--Arrived there at night. The troops were frequently exposed to the enemy's shell, but they being so inaccurate the casualtics were light. The long and fatiguing march was borne with patience and fortitude creditable to old soldiers, and should forever put to an end any doubt as to whether colored troops can stand a campaign, however severe it may be.

May 25.--In compliance with orders, dated headquarters Second Division, Twenty-fifth Army Corps, May 24, the Third Brigade marched from Camp Lincoln, Va., to City Point, Va., where the troops were embarked on the following steamers, viz, Wilmington, William Kennedy, Nightingale, Prometheus, and Montauk, and the same day proceeded to Hampton Roads, Va.

May 26.--They arrived and anchored in the roads in the morning.

May 31.--Received orders, dated headquarters Second Division, Twenty-fifth Army Corps, May 30, to proceed to the vicinity of Fort Gaines or Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, and there await further orders. Put to sea at 10 a.m.; passed Cape Henry light at 12 m. same day.

June 9.--The brigade arrived off Fort Morgan, Ala.; same date put to sea for Brazos Santiago, Tex., via the mouth of the Mississippi River.

June 13.--Came to anchor outside the bar at Brazos Santiago.

June 15.--Ordered to Aransas Pass, Tex., and put to sea for that place´┐Ż

June 16.--Arrived off Aransas Bar; strong gales from the southeast; seven feet of water on the bar, rendering it impossible to disembark the troops. The fleet being short of coal and water, was obliged to proceed to Galveston, Tex., the nearest point, for supplies.

June 18.--Arrived off Galveston Bar.

June 19.--Went into the wharf; took in supplies of coal and water.

June 21.--Put to sea.

June 22.--Arrived at Brazos Santiago.

June 21.--In the morning all the troops were disembarked, and on the night of the same date marched to present encampment at White's Ranch, on the Rio Grande River, Tex.

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Researched and Compiled
Bennie J. McRae, Jr.
LWF Network
Trotwood, OHIO


Category: Civil War | Subcategory: Itineraries | Tags: Mississippi , Virginia , Texas
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