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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2023 10:11 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 293
Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Fellow Sharpshooters

The Petersburg Project Blog is a literary and photographic blog devoted to the operations around Petersburg, Virginia from June 17, 1864 to April 2-3, 1865.

Among the first Union occupants of the Hare house and property were the United States Sharpshooters. On page 456 of the USSS regimental history is entitled: Hare’s Farm June 18-21. Author C.A. Stevens writes:

…our Sharpshooters were posted in and around the premises of the G.F. Hare, a noted Virginia turfite, whose race course and training grounds called “Newmarket” were soon despoiled of all semblance of their former glories…

Here our men remained until the night of the 21st using their rifles faithfully, often within 60 yards of the enemy’s rifle pits at various points of the line. The charge by a Union brigade on the 18th resulted in disaster, although the Sharpshooters at the house were busily engaged assisting them with their rifles.

On the 19th Companies E and G occupied the position in and around the house, the brigade building a line of works across the garden. Hare’s house was evidently left by the late occupants in a hurry, as a large amount of books and papers principally referring to sporting items, furniture of different kinds, carpets, etc. were found scattered about. The walls of the building were completely perforated by bullet holes…

The windows of the carpeted basement opened on one side in full view of the rebel pits in the front, and as the basement itself made a very comfortable rifle pit, with chairs of mahogany to sit on, a number of riflemen took possession of the same all day.

The 5/7 KIA sustained this day by 1st USSS is one of the highest concentrations during their service; reflecting the extreme danger of the close range sharpshooting duels: Wounded: Adjt. Blakeslee. Co. A. Wounded: Lewis Koester. Co. B. Killed: Daniel Vandebogert. Co. F. Killed: Edward Lyman. Co. H. Killed: William Hicks. Co. I. Killed: Robert Sheldon. Co. K. Killed: James Stephens

The Petersburg Project features sketches by artist Alfred Waud, of the largely intact house and property of the Hare grounds during the early days of the fighting, and it’s incremental destruction. The sketches of the entrenchments occupied by 18th Corps artillery and mortar crews show mahogany couch and carpeting and other family furnishings repurposed by the artillerymen. The famous sketch of sharpshooters plying their trade shooting through wood boxes buried in the earthworks are the same described in the USSS history. Lastly, there are photographic images of the abandoned US and CSA earthworks taken on May 1865 by Timothy O'Sullivan.

Here is the link to the Petersburg Project:

Bill Skillman

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