Thursday, October 30, 2014

Second Battle of Fair Oaks

Sunday, October 30, 1864

On Wednesday the Thirteenth New Hampshire received orders to prepare three days rations and to be on the march by 5:00 A.M. the following morning. The purpose of the objective was to turn the Confederate flank south of Petersburg and gain control of the railroads. On Thursday the Thirteenth departed from Fort Harrison, marched nearly fifteen miles, and deployed as skirmishers along the Williamsburg Pike near Fair Oaks. A Union advance against the Confederates under General James Longstreet was repulsed at a heavy cost, and the Union army retreated after nightfall under the cover of darkness. The Union had advanced to within four miles of Richmond before retreat. In the short, ill-fated encounter the Union suffered casualties of 1,100 killed, wounded, or missing. The Thirteenth New Hampshire suffered casualties of two men wounded and five men captured. The Thirteenth formed a new camp to the right of Fort Harrison, where they ended the week on picket duty.1

1S. Millett Thompson, Thirteenth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 : A Diary Covering Three Years and a Day (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1888), 498-508.

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