take the battery and bring teams to haul it out, and also the caissons mired down and disabled in horses; but this officer, being dismounted (his horse wounded), was unable to do so as quickly as it was necessary to save them. After occupying nearly twenty minutes in fruitless efforts, with ten horses attached, to extricate the piece, by the repeated advice of Lieutenant Colonel Grier and Captain Davis (as the rebel cavalry was close upon us) and the fire of all the enemy's guns concentrated upon us), I abandoned it with reluctance and retired with Captain Davis' squadron. At the same time Lieutenant Pendleton, seeing the helpless condition of the caissons, and that they could not be saved until the piece which obstructed the road was removed, ordered the drivers to retire with their teams.
I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of my officers and men. Under a hot and incessant fire from the enemy, shot and shell flying thick and fast around them, they stood gallantly to their posts without flinching. Lieutenant Fuller served his pieces bravely and handsomely, and Lieutenant E. Pendleton and H. Meinell, chiefs of sections, and Lieutenant William D'Wolf, chief of the line of caissons, more immediately under my eye, were cool, gallant and efficient in the discharge of their important duties. The latter, while remaining manfully at this exposed and inactive post under a severe fire, was dangerously wounded in two places, and as he was leaving the field had his horse killed under him.
Though almost all of my men behaved more than creditably, especially the non-commissioned officers, yet I am unable to speak of any one in particular except Sergt. G. A. Niforth, whose gallant exertions to bring off his piece at no ordinary risk I deem worthy of especial notice.
After I left the First Cavalry in the woods I learn that they were charged by a regiment of the enemy's cavalry, whom they repulsed and charged upon in handsome style. Private John Thompson, Company G, Third Artillery, of my battery, reports that in the melee he took a standard from one of the enemy, but was sobered by one of our own men and compelled to give it up.
My loss in the action was 1 officer and 4 men wounded, 1 slightly. I also lost 17 horses killed, 6 at one fire in a caisson, and 5 wounded. I abandoned one piece, three caissons, and one caisson body, of which I have since recovered all except the piece and caisson.
The enemy, I am informed, lost from the effects of my fire 6 killed and 7 wounded and quite a number of horses. I should judge that the fire of at least eight guns was concentrated upon my battery-two large ship carronades and two rifled guns.
I am deeply sensible of the misfortune that I met with in the loss of my piece and caisson, but all those on the spot will bear witness that I made every effort to prevent it, and that I remained by them until I was obliged to give up all hope of saving them. I am much indebted to Captain B. F. Davis and his squadron of the First Cavalry for their support and assistance under a severe fire concentrated upon them, and only regret that it was unavailing.
I forgot to mention that Lieutenant J. W. Upham, Ninth New York Cavalry, attached to the battery, was left in rear in charge of the battery wagon and forge.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. GIBSON,
Captain Third Artillery, Commanding Battery.
First Lieutenant J. P. MARTIN, Seventh U. S. Infantry, A. A. A. G.