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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 237 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

with Stoneman's column. It is still absent, and no report has been received of its services. On the evening of the 26th Robertson's and Tidball's batteries of horse artillery were ordered to report to Brigadier-General Porter, commanding Fifth Army Corps, on the left bank of the Chickahominy. Smead's battery of light 12-pounders, Voegelee's battery of 20-pounder Parrotts already with him, and Weed's and Edwards' with General Sykes, were actively engaged in the battle of the Chickahominy on the 27th. For the particulars of their services I refer you to the reports of Lieutenant-Colonel Hays and Major Arndt, commanding brigades, and those of the battery commanders.

It will be perceived by reference to Major Arndt's report that Diederichs' and Knieriem's batteries of 20-pounders, stationed near Golding's house, were used with effect in cannonading the enemy's right at Gaines' Hill. On the 27th Elder's and Ames' light 12-pounder batteries, of Getty's brigade; Grimm's 32-pounder howitzers, and Diederichs' and Knieriem's 20-pounder Parrotts, under Major Arndt-in all thirty-two guns-under the general charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Getty, reported to Brigadier-General Smith, and took post in front of Golding's, where they were hotly engaged with the enemy's batteries of position and field batteries on Garnett's farm repeatedly during the day. After silencing them they took part in the defense of the position when it was assaulted in the evening. During the afternoon Diederichs' and Knieriem's 20-pounders were also usefully employed in cannonading the enemy's right on Gaines' Hill, on the opposite side of the Chickahominy.

On the 28th Morgan's battery was detached and reported to General Naglee at Bottom's Bridge. For a narrative of the services of the battery I would refer you to the report of Lieutenant Morgan.

On the evening of the 28th the reserve took the road for James River, passing through White Oak Swamp. It passed the bridge, and went into camp at General Keyes' headquarters, near the junction of the New Market and Charles City roads during the morning of the 29th. On the afternoon of that day Benson's battery of horse artillery was assigned to service with Averell's Horse to make a reconnaissance toward New Market. Diederichs' and Knieriem's batteries of 20-pounder Parrotts and Randol's of light 12-pounder guns were assigned to McCall's division, and Elder's to Keyes' corps for special service.

Diederichs', Knieriem's, and Randol's batteries were engaged in the battle of New Market road June 30. From the report of Lieutenant Randol it would appear that they were badly posted and badly supported. All that men could do under the circumstances seems to have been done by him and his officers to redeem the errors of others, but it was at the sacrifice on the part of Lieutenant Randol of all his guns and of two of Knieriem's. Randol might have saved his, but was not permitted to do so, as the effort would have brought on another attack. For the particulars of the action reference may be had to Major Arndt's report and Lieutenant Randol's, inclosed herewith.

The loss of Randol's guns and the success of the enemy's charge upon them might have been prevented but for an error, so common and so deeply rooted as to require special instructions from headquarters to correct it. It appears that the column of attack on the battery consisted of three regiments in line. The two first were repulsed. The second repulse was followed up by a charge from the supports of the battery. Immediately on meeting the third regiment of the assaulting column the support broke and sought shelter in the battery, closely pursued by the enemy, who entered it with them. Had they returned,


Page 237 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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