Second Hatcher's Run . . . Is Missing Its Monograph
In early February 1865, Federal forces launched an offensive south of Petersburg to gain ground and threaten Confederate supply lines. Two corps from the Army of the Potomac, the Second and the Fifth, marched south and west and, over the course of several miserable winter days, fought William Mahone's division under temporary command of Joseph Finegan. The offensive, called variously "Hatcher's Run," "Second Hatcher's Run," and "Dabney's Mill," is covered in various books about the overall campaign. In addition, Brett Schulte has posted a detailed summary over at Beyond the Crater. However, there is no book treatment out there. Hopefully, someone will fill this hole in the campaign's historiography.
Thursday Feb. 9, 65
Back at camp again after a very severe five days campaign beginning Sunday afternoon, ending yesterday afternoon. Monday evening our division led by Gen. Finnegan charged the enemy & drove them beautifully for more than a mile. The engagement took place in a body of woods on the right of Hatcher’s Run & about 3-1/2 miles below Burgess Mill. The enemy had first attacked Pegram’s division, turning it back, and had been in turn driven by Evans’s division, which they then drove back & were driven just as we were put in line of battle. We lost in our reg’t 23 kd & wd. The kd were Billy Willson of our company, a good fellow & a fine soldier, Geo. Spence of Co. H, a good soldier, Pattaway of Co. K and Baughn of Co. G. Among the wd were “Billy” Scott & Hamilton Martin of our company, both excellent soldiers. Lt. Ben Grasswit & Doncey Dunlop of Co. C, Bob Eckles & Jackson Bishop of Co. A, I myself received a slight scratch on the cheek, the position of my head only saving me from a dreadful wound or perhaps death. In company E several others were struck--David Meade, Thad Branch, Ben Peebles & Ello Daniel. I hope to return to my friends as safe guard today.
- George S. Bernard, 12th Virginia in Civil War Talks