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History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-6, Volume 2
Volume 366, Page 157   View pdf image (33K)
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general commanding is confident of the response. To the colored troops recently added to us
and fighting with us, the major-general tenders his thanks for their uniform good conduct and
soldierly bearing. They have set a good example to our veterans by the entire absence of
straggling from their ranks on the march.

By order of MAJOR-GEN. D. B. BIRNEY,

Lieut. Colonel and Asst. Adjt. General.

The special correspondent of the New York Tribune said about the same time : "The
loss in the four colored regiments is about three hundred. The 7th U. S. colored, troops
(Maryland) on the first day carried with fixed bayonets, a line of rifle pits, and carried it with-
out a shot, but with a loss of thirty-five; it was one of the most stirring and gallant affairs I
have ever known."

The regiment continued in active campaign work on the north bank of the James river,
participating in the most severe fighting until the latter part of November 1864, during which
the casualties were severe; in fact from the time that the regiment joined the army in Virginia
in August until the latter part of November 1864, the losses in killed, wounded and missing
footed up nearly 500.

On the 1st day of December 1864, the colored troops of the 9th, 10th and 18th army
corps, were consolidated and formed into the 25th army corps, the 7th regiment having been
assigned to the 1st brigade, 2nd division, 25th army corps.

The 7th regiment had its full share of the winter campaign work devolved upon that
part of the army north of the James river, known as the army of the James. The winter
was cold and disagreeable with frequent snow storms. As the month of March advanced the
weather became milder and the roads better and better. On the 19th day of March the
division of colored troops of which the 7th regiment formed a part was reviewed by Gen.
Grant and the secretary of War, and on the 26th by President Lincoln, after which the
regiment with the division prepared for an active field campaign, and immediately marched
south, crossed the James river, and then the Appomattox river, continuing the march all night
and part of the next day, until the Weldon railroad south of Petersburg had been reached;
thence the command continued to a point near Hatcher's Run taking part in all of the prelimi-
nary movements leading up to the evacuation of Petersburg.

After the terrific cannonade all along the lines, from the extreme right in front of
Richmond over forty miles away to our own immediate front, on the 1st and 2nd of April,
the enemy's lines were broken by the charge of the 6th army corps on the 2nd, and the
division of which the command formed a part charged also, only to find the enemy's works
in their front evacuated, turning to the right the command marched along the line of the
enemy's abandoned works towards the City of Petersburg, whilst the terrific artillery fire
continued, and the long lines of glistening steel closed in around the doomed city.

The enemy contested every foot of ground as the command advanced. With the
energy of despair; early on the morning of the following day the command pushed forward,
and the 7th regiment was the first regiment that reached the centre of the City of Petersburg,
where they were speedily joined by other troops who had entered the city from the opposite


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History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-6, Volume 2
Volume 366, Page 157   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

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