Appomattox Campaign Question

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

David Ireland

Corporal
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
272
I'm trying to figure out which battle was the worst for my great great grandfather. He was with the 56th PA, attached to Warren's V Corps. He was drafted at the end of September, 1864, so I suspect that his first engagement was Boyndton Plank Road/First Hatcher's Run. My suspicion is that he probably saw the worst combat at Five Forks, as that was, to my knowledge, the most significant battle of that campaign.

Can anyone tell me where I can find records of the casualties of that regiment in each of those battles?
 

Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
7,854
I really hope someone will show up and tell me I'm wrong, but this is going to be very difficult to solve.

We can work on trying to dig it out, but I suspect the records are not complete. Teasing out casualties per regiment, per battle will be a bear.
 

rbasin

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
2,541
Location
Tampa, Fl
may want to contact the state of Pennsylvania history museum. i assume they have one
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

David Ireland

Corporal
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
272
I really hope someone will show up and tell me I'm wrong, but this is going to be very difficult to solve.

We can work on trying to dig it out, but I suspect the records are not complete. Teasing out casualties per regiment, per battle will be a bear.
I hoped PA did, since NY does.
 

David Ireland

Corporal
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
272
According to this write up, the 56th participated in the advance on Hatcher’s Run but it does not mention Five Forks. I can’t speak to the accuracy of this site: https://www.pa-roots.com/pacw/infantry/56th/56thorg.html
The 56th was attached to the Third Division, Third Brigade of the Fifth Corps, under the command of Brigadier General Samuel W. Crawford. They got behind the rebels and folded their line.


http://stonesentinels.com/less-known/five-forks/armies/usa/

five-forks-december-2015-1.jpg
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

ealexander1865

Private
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
47
Location
Richmond, Virginia
The 56th and 88th Pennsylvania Infantry were consolidated for the final campaign. Brigadier General Richard Coulter, commanding the brigade, reported 14 officers and 309 men in the two regiments on April 1. The official records state the 56th lost 1 man killed, 2 officers wounded, and 22 men wounded from March 29-April 9, but does not break it down by day.

The regiment skirmished at Lewis Farm on March 29th, mopping up as the Confederates fell back to their line on White Oak Road. Might have suffered a few casualties, including Captain Lemuel Shaw, Company K, who was mortally wounded.

Probably saw their heaviest combat on March 31st at the battle of White Oak Road, as Crawford's division also felt the brunt of the Confederate attack that had steamrolled through Ayres' division in front of them. They rallied behind Gravelly Run and may have joined the successful counterattack by Griffin's division. Major Henry A. Laycock, commanding the 56th & 88th had his elbow shattered by a minie ball but received commendation for remaining in the field and fighting the next day with his arm in a sling.

On April 1st, they were probably spared of significant losses due to their placement in the line. Skirmished a little on April 2nd along the Namozine Road and did not fight again until slightly engaged on April 9th at Appomattox just before the flag of truce.

White Oak Road, March 31st, was probably their worst fighting in the time your ancestor was in the unit.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

ealexander1865

Private
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
47
Location
Richmond, Virginia
The numbers come from various reports in the official records, volume 46, part 1. Found the Laycock stuff in his obituary in the August 6, 1897 Wilkes-Barre News. I filled in some of the blanks with my own understanding of the final offensive at Petersburg. Unfortunately I don't have any good primary manuscripts from the regiment to add.
 

David Ireland

Corporal
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
272
"On April 1st, they were probably spared of significant losses due to their placement in the line "

Where were they placed in the line?
 

ErnieMac

Brigadier General
Moderator
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
8,986
Location
Pennsylvania
I've attached an except below taken from the report of the brigade commander, Colonel Richard Coulter, describing his brigades position and alignment during the action (OR Series 1, Volume XLVI, Part 1, pages 896 - 897). The Consolidated 56 / 88 Pennsylvania Regiment was positioned on the right end of the first line of Coulter's Brigade. Coulter's Brigade was centered between the two other brigades of Crawford's Division (Kellogg and Baxter). Using the map shown above you can see they were about as far from the main strength of the Confederates as it was possible to get.
"April 1, marched from above point, being near junction White Oak road and Dinwiddie Court-House, reaching Gravelly Run Church 3 p. m., where line was formed - division in center, brigade in two lines, in rear and center of First and Second Brigades, order commencing on right: First line - Fifty-sixth and Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania (consolidated), Major Laycock; strength, 14 officers and 309 men; Ninety-fourth New York, Major Fish; strength, 9 officers and 214 men. Second line - One hundred and forty-seventh New York, Captain McKinley; strength, 12 officers and 315 men; Ninety-fifth New York, Captain Knight; strength, 6 officers and 88 men; One hundred and twenty-first and One hundred and forty-second Pennsylvania (consolidated), Major Funk; strength, 15 officers and 195 men. Total, 56 officers and 1,011 men. At 3.30 p. m. advanced, crossing White Oak road, when direction was changed to left and parallel to road, left of division resting on road, Second Division being on left and south of road; soon after enemy was engaged."​
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top