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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 282 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

served the same, and deserters reported that 6 rebels were killed or wounded. The rebels did not open fire again while our guns were in position.

Thursday, June 26, by command of the division general, this battery moved from camp on Gaines' farm at 5 p.m. and marched with Griffin's brigade on the Mechanicsville road. Griffin's command went forward into action, and the battery was held in support in rear and to right of the road. During the night it was ordered by the division general to fall back with General Griffin's column. Moved at daybreak, and was in position on the field at Gaines' Mill in rear of Griffin's brigade at about 11 a.m. By command of division general, before the enemy appeared in force I placed one section under Lieutenant W. W. Buckley at the edge of the woods and on General Martindale's right. The enemy attacked General Martindale in force at about 3 p.m., and Lieutenant Buckley opened fire with shrapnel, bursting in the enemy's line as they appeared on the crest beyond the ravine. The practice with the guns was excellent, and the fire was continued until the enemy retired. He advanced and was repulsed three times, the section firing shell and shrapnel. At the fourth attack the infantry gave way; the pieces kept up their fire, using canister as the enemy came near. The cannoneers the guns until the supporting infantry had all retired. There were then (including non-commissioned officers) 3 men at each piece. Three horses were killed at one limber, one horse was killed at the other, and the remaining ones stampeded under the tremendous musketry of the enemy, though the drivers made every effort to restrain them. The pieces were necessarily abandoned. The caissons retired in good order. I would respectfully submit that, from my own observation, and the information of officers who saw the whole of the contest Lieutenant Buckley made every effort to save his pieces, and that his section, as well as himself, should be commended for gallant conduct. The colors of one rebel regiment were struck to the ground by a case-shot. They were never raised again by the enemy. After he retired they were brought in by the Second Maine Regiment. In view of these facts I would respectfully ask that they be given to this battery.

The right and center sections, under command of Lieutenant Waterman and Clark, from their position in rear of Griffin's brigade, opened fire when our first line retired. After a few rounds they changes position 100 yards to rear and in line with the other artillery. After firing some 40 rounds we saw the enemy turning the left of the batteries. The smoke had filled the whole field to the woods, and it was impossible to direct the fire. The batteries were limbering to the rear in good order, to retire and renew the fire from the brow of the hill, when the cavalry, repulsed, retired in disorder through and in front of the batteries. The caissons were exchanching limbers with the pieces, and it was impossible to limber up and withdraw them. Men were ridden down and the horses stampeded by the rush of the cavalry. The whole line of artillery was thrown into confusion. Commands could be neither heard not executed, and different batteries were mingled in disorder. One piece of my battery mired in the woods. Other caissons in front and rear of the same having been abandoned by the drivers, it was impossible to rescue the piece. The remainder of the battery Woodbury's [?Alexander's] Bridge at dark and encamped on Trent's farm.

Saturday, June 28, by command of the division general, we moved at 1 p.m., and encamped at 7 p.m. at White Oak Bottom, having marched 8 miles.


Page 282 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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