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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 356 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

taken by Batteries L and M, Third Artillery, in the late engagements with the rebels:

On the evening of June 26 I was directed to report with the battery to General McCall. It was about sunset when I reached his position. The battery was here exposed to the enemy's artillery fire. Two men were slightly wounded, two horses placed hors de combat, and two chiefs of pieces disabled by the fall of their horses. The battery was placed in position on the left of the line, where it opened a fire of case-shot and shell on the enemy's artillery and the woods harboring their troops. But a few rounds were fired, as it soon became too dark to fire with accuracy. At early dawn the enemy, concealed in the woods across the creek, opened a lively musketry fire upon our position, without inflicting any serious damage. At the same time I had, received orders to withdraw to Gaines' Mill, which order was executed.

In the engagement of the 27th two sections of the battery, Lieutenants Hayden's and Kelly's, were posted on the right of the center in a hollow to the left of the house used as a hospital, from which position a partial view of the plain upon which the enemy debouched was had. Before opening fire here I was ordered to take one section in the field to the front near the wooded ravine that ran parallel to the right of the army. I took Lieutenant Hayden's section to this position. The pieces were no sooner brought into battery than the enemy opened fire upon them from at least six guns. A constant shower of shell and solid shot fell in and around the section. One cannoneer was wounded at the piece. The section opened upon them effective with case-shot.

I then received notice from Colonel Warren that the enemy were preparing to charge us from the ravine. I threw double rounds of canister into ravine, and at the same time received orders from General Aykes to retire behind the infantry. I withdrew the section and posted it on the hill behind the infantry. Lieutenant Brownson's section was joined to Lieutenant Kelly's in the position first mentioned, where an effective fire was kept up upon the infantry and artillery of the enemy. These sections remained in this position until the enemy's fire had comparatively ceased and their artillery was seen to withdraw. When the battle was renewed I was directed to detach one of the sections and post it on the high ground 600 or 700 yards to the left. I placed Lieutenant Kelly's section there, but the position was not a good one, as nothing could be seen. His section was afterward moved directly to the front across the road and in the angle of the field formed by the two roads, one coming from the direction of the enemy, the other running along our front. At this time the battery was split up into sections. Lieutenant Hayden's was posted on the hill in front of the hospital, Lieutenant Brownson's 400 or 500 yards to the left of it, Lieutenant Kelly's 600 or 700 yards to the left of the latter. As I could not be in these three positions at the same time, I passed from one section to the other continually, to observe and direct the fire.

About half an hour before our infantry fell back I withdrew Lieutenant Kelly's section from its exposed position to the height in rear. Shortly afterward, as our troops were breaking and running to the rear, I directed Lieutenant Kelly to limber up and retire. The guns were the last to leave that part of the field. I then rode to Lieutenant Brownson's section. He was already limbering up and in great danger of losing his section, as the rebels had gained the road in front. The two lead-horses of one piece had been killed and the two surviving horses were shot as the piece was being limbered. This gun was drawn to the rear by 2 horses. I started for Lieutenant Hayden's section,


Page 356 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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