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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 538 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter X


No. 215. Report of Major Charles Richardson,

commanding Second Battalion, of operations June 26-July 2, including the battles of Mechanicsville and Gaines' Mill.

HDQRS. SECOND BATT., PENDLETON'S ARTILLERY CORPS, Camp near Richmond, Va., July 12, 1862.

GENERAL: In obedience to your order of 11th instant, requiring me to furnish you with a report showing the operations of my command from the 26th ultimo to the present time, I have the honor to submit the following, with the accompanying reports of the captains of the several batteries in my battalion, which will move explicitly give the information you desire, as I was necessarily separated from portions of my command at different times during the occurrences therein named:

You are aware that for about ten days previous to the 26th ultimo I had been on outpost service with two of my batteries on the Mechanicsville road near the Chickahominy River, and that my other battery, Captain Woolfok's, was on duty at Price's farm, under Colonel Lee (chief of artillery General Magruder's division), with whom it remained until the morning of the 3rd instant, when relieved by you and ordered to my camp.

The batteries of Captain Greenlee Davidson, two rifles (3-inch), two 6-pounder (smooth bore), and two 12-pounder howitzers,and Captain Masters, two 4-62 rifles, were assigned temporarily to my command by Brigadier General J. R. Anderson, on the afternoon of the 25th ultimo.

On the morning of the 26th ultimo General D. H. Hill (whose division had moved up near my camp during the previous night) sent for me and informed me that our troops would cross the river at that point during the day, and that I was expected to cover the passage, and that he would indicate the moment when I could open fire upon the works of the enemy just opposite. He desired to know the number, caliber, and positions of my guns, offering, at the same time, to furnish me with any additional guns that I might need. Having given him the desired information, I accepted and placed in position three of his rifle pieces and awaited his orders.

About 12 m. I sent a message to the general that I thought the enemy were vacating the works in front of me, and about 3 p.m. I sent another message that I was quite sure the works was entirely deserted, but received no orders, though Generals Lee, Hill, and Longstreet came up shortly afterward and watched the movements of the enemy until near 5 o'clock, when General Hill moved the division across the river.

Seeing no enemy in front of me, and desiring to render as much service as possible, I ordered Captain Milledge to move his rifle gun east of the Mechanicsville road to a point from which he could do the enemy most damage. His report will show his operations in pursuance of this order. At the same time I ordered Captain Masters to place one of his guns on the ridge east of and near Mechanicsville road, thinking it a very fine position from which to work upon one of the heavy batteries of the enemy, then pouring a terrific fire upon our troops, but as the piece was being placed in position General Longstreet ordered Captain Masters to take it to a point lowed down the river, which he thought was a better position. In moving the gun down one of the wheels got into a deep rut and could not be extricated until the next morning.

At dawn on the next morning, 27th ultimo, General Lee ordered


Page 538 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter X
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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