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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1865 Report

Troops in the Field

The SEVENTEENTH REGIMENT has been attached during the year to Griffin's Brigade of the Ninth Army Corps. The organization of the regiment was completed on the eighth of October, 1864, by the final organization and muster of Co. K, with ninety-five officers and men, and the muster into the service of the United States, on the seventeenth of October, of Colonel Francis V. Randall. Co. K joined the regiment, and Col. Randall assumed the command of the regiment, on the twenty-seventh of October. At this time, and previous to being joined by Co. K, the regiment had been reduced, by the severity of its service in the campaign of 1864, to eight-four men and two officers,--Capt. Lyman E. Knapp and Surgeon P. O'Meara Edson. Officers and men, temporarily absent, soon began to return, and some recruits were received, so that the number present soon exceeded four hundred, and previous to the commencement of the spring campaign, the aggregate present was about five hundred men and seventeen officers.

Immediately after the battle of Hatcher's Run, the Ninth Corps was transferred to the right of the line of the Army of the Potomac, extending from the Appomattox, on the right, to near the Weldon rail road, on the left. Griffin's Brigade was stationed on and near the Jerusalem plank road, and Col. Randall was assigned to the command of Fort Davis, wit the Seventeenth Vermont, Thirty-First Maine and Fifty-Sixth Massachusetts regiments, and two batteries of artillery. Fort Davis was situated on the Jerusalem plank road, next to the left of "Fort Hell," and opposite to and about 1600 yards from the rebel fort Mahone, and other forts in the rebel line of works, and about two miles from Petersburg. This position the regiment occupied from the thirteenth of November to the eleventh of February, when they moved to a position about one mile to the left of Fort Davis. During the winter, and while occupying the Fort, the regiment was engaged in almost daily skirmishing with the enemy, both from the picket line and between the Forts. Several men were wounded during the time. The regiment retained their position to the left of Fort Davis until the first of April.

During the night of the first of April the regiment, with the Second Maryland, were ordered to the right of the picket line of the brigade, at a point between Fort Davis and "Fort Hell," where they pierced the line of rebel pickets and then swept to the left, capturing the entire picket line of the enemy to the point where the Ninth Corps united with the Sixth Corps. This was a little after midnight. The regiment was then moved to near Fort Davis, and there took position to participate in the general assault which was to be made at early dawn of the morning of the second of April. In this assault the regiment, in connection with others of Griffin's Brigade, carried the first line of rebel works, including Fort Mahone, and participated largely in the severe fighting, until Petersburg was evacuated. The regiment was under the immediate command, during the day, of Lieut. Col. Knapp, and both officers and men behaved with their accustomed bravery.

The casualties in the regiment, during the day, were as follows:--Killed, 8; wounded, 39; missing, 2; total, 49. Among the killed was Lieut. J. Edwin Henry, of Co. K, a brave and meritorious officer. Among the wounded, were Lieut.-Col. Lyman E. Knapp, Capt. George S. Robinson, of Co.E, and Lieut. Hollis O. Claflin, of Co. D.

The regiment participated in the pursuit of Lee's army, until his surrender, and then returned to Burkesville, where Col. Randall was placed in the immediate command of the town. While stationed there, the regiment performed arduous duty in guarding the town and captured property, and rebel prisoners.

On being relieved from this duty, the regiment joined the brigade and proceeded to City Point, and from thence to Alexandria, where they were occupied in guard and patrol duty until the fourteenth of July. On that day the regiment was mustered out of service, entire, and proceeded to Burlington, Vt., where they were paid and discharged on the twenty-second of July. The recruits, whose terms of service would expire previous to the first of October, were mustered out of service on the second of June.

The following statement shows the condition and station of the regiment at the several dates specified:

(see Legend, below)


Oct. 31,In the Field, Va.705340322-79--
Nov. 15, do672316304-52--
Dec. 1, Fort Davis, Va.626304317-5--
Jan. 1, Fort Davis618342269223-
Feb. 1, do627365236188--
March 1,Near Petersburg, Va.6313742281982-
Apr. 15, Burkesville, Va.625398211511--
May 1,Near Alexandria, Va.64446916636--
June 1,do627467150721-
July 1,do579416142174--

The casualties in the regiment, during the year, have been as follows:--Mustered out of service, 499; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, 25; discharged, 69; deserted, 97; died, 66; total, 756.

I annex, in Appendix C, the official report of Col. Randall of the movements and operations of the regiment from the time he assumed the command.


A - Date
B - Station.
C - Aggregate
D - On Duty
E - Sick
F - Absent with Leave
G - Absent without Leave
H - In arrest or confinement
I - Prisons
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