TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog

Siege of Petersburg Online Posts: Week of 7/31/2011

This weekly series looks at the posts which have appeared over the last 7 days at The Siege of Petersburg Online: Beyond the Crater.  It’s a way to show TOCWOC readers what I’ve been doing over at my other Civil War site.

Most of my focus right now, to set the stage for those unfamiliar with my Siege of Petersburg web page, is on the following:

  1. Reports from the Official Records of Union and Confederate commanders on operations during the Siege of Petersburg from August 1-December 31, 1864, all coming from Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87)Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80) is complete at this time and  hope to begin work on Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95) on October 1, 2011.  This volume encompasses Petersburg from January 1-April 3, 1865 and the Appomattox Campaign.
  2. A weekly post on the diary entries of Octave Bruso.  Bruso was a member of the 50th New York Engineers and was present throughout the Siege of Petersburg.
  3. In the background, I’m also working on two items which will pay dividends down the road:
  • First, I’m working on documenting the weapons on hand for each Union regiment on June 30, 1864 from NARA Microfilm M1281, Roll 7.  This is a tedious process but one which tells me the types and numbers of small arms carried by almost every Union regiment on hand near Richmond and Petersburg on June 30, 1864.  These were quarterly returns, reported on the last day of the quarter, so this specific roll looks at the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 1864 (April-June and July-September).  When I finish this roll, I’ll move on to Roll 8, containing ordnance returns from 1865.  At this point I’m am half way through this roll, completing all infantry armaments for June 30, 1864.  I’m moving on to September 30, 1864 shortly.  Later I’ll work on the artillery and cavalry, each on its own roll.  
  • Second, I’ve been patiently going through the regimental histories listed at the Library of Congress site as well as the Civil War Unit Bibliographies at the USAHEC site in order to find as many books, articles, essays, and other items on regiments, batteries, battalions, and companies which fought at Petersburg as possible.  Many of these books are freely available at places like Google Books or  If you’re interested in a specific unit, check out my Union Units Bibliography and Confederate Units Bibliography spreadsheets.

The usual reports from late 1864 appear below along with new books and unit pages for regiments serving in Bryan’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division, First Corps as well as Bratton’s Brigade, Field’s Division, First Corps.  I’m steadily moving down the line of regiments in Field’s Division, one regiment at a time.  I’ll probably be moving back to the Union Second Corps after Field’s Division is finished.  My goal is to complete the orders of battle for the First and Second Offensives at the same time, but it is a slow process.  I want to work on units which fought quite a bit at Petersburg, so the Union Second Corps is high on the priority list, and I’ll be moving on to the Confederate Third Corps starting with Mahone’s Division shortly thereafter.

If you have any questions or comments about the site, please feel free to leave a comment here or Contact me at Beyond the Crater.



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