War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0350 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

and destroy them when found. I was myself a witness of the horrible mangling by one of these shells of a cavalryman and his horse outside of the main work upon the Williamsburg road, and also of the cruel murder in the very streets of Yorktown of an intelligent young telegraph operator, who, while in the act of approaching a telegraph pole to reconnect a broken wire, trod upon one of these shells villainously concealed at its foot. It is generally understood that these shells were prepared by General George W. Rains, of the Confederate Army, for his brother, Brigadier General Gabriel Rains, the commander of the post of Yorktown, at whose instigation they were prepared and planted. The belief of the complicity of General Gabriel Rains in this dastardly business is confirmed by the knowledge possessed by many officers of our Army of a similar mode of warfare inaugurated by him while disgracing the uniform of the American Army during the Seminole war in Florida.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General and Inspector of Artillery, U. S. Army.

Brigadier General G. W. CULLUM,

Chief of Staff, Headquarters of the Army.

Numbers 23. Reports of Colonel Henry J. Hunt,

commanding Artillery Reserve, of operations April 18-June 25.


Camp Winfield Scott, near Yorktown, April 27, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit a report of the services of the artillery reserve for the past week:

On the 18th instant Carlisle's battery (six 20-pounder Parrotts) was ordered to Battery Numbers 7, in front of Wynn's Mill. The position was occupied at daybreak on the 19th, and the men set to work laying platforms and clearing away the wood in front of the embrasures. At 7 o'clock firing was commenced and continued at intervals, setting fire to the enemy's barracks, disabling two of their guns, and silencing their fire.

Lieutenant Durando Russell, of Taft's battery, Fifth New York Artillery, temporarily attached to the battery, was severely wounded by a fragment of shell; the only casualty from the enemy's fire.

Carlisle's battery was relieved on the 20th by Diederichs' (four 20-pounder Parrotts), which kept up a fire at intervals all day, expending sixty-seven rounds. Captain Diederichs reports that he distinctly saw a conflict going on between two bodies of the enemy's infantry in the edge of the wood behind their batteries. The same fat was reported to me by some of the pickets in advance of the battery. On the same day (20th) Voegelee's battery (six 20-pounder Parrotts) occupied Numbers 3, in front of the White House. He threw a few shells, when the firing was stopped. Captain Voegelee reports that his fire caused 300 or 400 of the enemy, probably a working party, to leave the work. The guns were withdrawn at sunset, the battery being unfinished. Ames' battery of light 12-pounders replaced Diederichs'. His firing was rather to test his guns than for any other object. The distance (about 1,000 yards) was too great for effective shell-firing.