On this day in 1865 Battle of Hatcher’s Run starts

KepiBrit

Cadet
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Seems an appropriate time to recall the events surrounding this oft neglected battle of the Petersburg campaign. It was of a scale similar to Cedar Mountain and larger than some of Jackson’s Valley battles but seems to surprisingly ignored or seen as part of the many actions around Petersburg in late 64 early 65.
The fighting on the 6th around Dabney’s Mill was particularly ferocious by all accounts. The minutiae of the ebb and flow of battle around the mill site seems hard to unravel. Many units on both sides fared particular badly for various reasons, the recording of which was largely glossed over or only hinted at at the time. It’s been a struggle for me to piece together a coherent account of the fighting. Even the circumstances around the death of Pegram (another reason one might have expected more interest in the battle) seems to vary in accounts. Was it a lone sharpshooter or more or a general fight where Col Hoffman (commanding Pegram’s old brigade) is severely wounded (requiring amputation) and Capt Snow commander of 21st NC is also killed. Some also have Gen Lewis CSA as present at the scene but evaded injury? The role of Rooney Lee’s cavalry along the Vaughn Road on the 6th also seems vague, with at least one standard text (Trudeau’s Last Citadel) not mentioning Rooney’s troopers at all? Given these men included fairly famous characters like James Dearing ( often cited as the last CSA general to be killed in the war), Col William Roberts (to be the youngest CSA general weeks later) and the flamboyant cavaliers Rufus Barringer and Richard Beale it’s strange that their actions aren’t better cited. Even in Barringer’s own lengthy book of the civil war, Hatcher’s Run hardly gets a mention?
Anyhow, here’s to the memory of all those who took part in the battle on what were bitterly cold and sleety February days and nights.
 

KepiBrit

Cadet
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Nice post! You note the strange lack of writing on this battle, and I've noticed the same thing. Because of that, I created a Reading Guide to Hatcher's Run on my Petersburg site. Someone really needs to write a book on the Eighth Offensive and the battle.
Many thanks Bret for your post. I've read and re-read many times the “beyond the crater” site specifically pertaining to Hatcher’s Run. It’s a real gem. I wasn’t sure if it was still active regarding posts and stuff. I have a few comments on the text and some other sources that may be of interest. Ed Bearss’s Petersburg book vol2 has a very detailed chapter on the battle and seems more coherent and comprehensive that Trudeau’s oft cited chapter in the Last Citadel.
Best wishes, Nigel
 

bschulte

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Many thanks Bret for your post. I've read and re-read many times the “beyond the crater” site specifically pertaining to Hatcher’s Run. It’s a real gem. I wasn’t sure if it was still active regarding posts and stuff. I have a few comments on the text and some other sources that may be of interest. Ed Bearss’s Petersburg book vol2 has a very detailed chapter on the battle and seems more coherent and comprehensive that Trudeau’s oft cited chapter in the Last Citadel.
Best wishes, Nigel
Nigel,

Thanks! Oh yea, I'm still active. Lately I've had 5-6 posts per week, one a day. I get burnt out for a few months here and there, but right now is not one of those times. Please do comment on that here and, if you don't mind, as a comment on that reading guide on my site.
 
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