SGT Alonzo Woodruff
Company I, 1st U.S. Sharpshooters
Near Hatcher’s Run, Va.
27 Oct 1864
Woodruff was just 22 years old when he enlisted as a Private, but by the time the battle of Hatcher’s run came around, he was a seasoned Combat NCO.
Almost 4 months into the siege of Petersburg, the Union began to extend their line toward Hatchers Run.
When they reached the Boyton Plank Road where it crosses the Run, they were met by Confederate forces in a bloody battle.
The enemy was driven back to their works with the Union also withdrawing recover.
During the retreat, two Union Sharpshooters (Snipers), Cpl Howard and Sgt Woodruff, were on the far left covering the retreat and were simply overtaken by the oncoming enemy.
Unable to reload fast enough the two were forced into hand to hand combat. Cpl Howard was wounded in both legs as he went bayonet to bayonet with several Confederate troops.
Sgt Woodruff came to his brother’s aid wielding his rifle like a club, freeing Cpl Howard and helping him retreat.
While they were moving back to Union lines, Woodruff saw Confederates Marching a Union Prisoner. A young Private from Woodruff’s company.
The crotchety old NCO couldn’t have that, so he jumped in the middle of them and not only freed his Private, he took the confederate guards prisoner and back to union lines for interrogation.