War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0531 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

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fort was to produce considerable confusion among those serving the guns there. When the enemy charged our position we opened upon him with case-shot at about 700 or 800 yards, killing and wounding several before they came within range of canister. I only used here three guns, one having become unserviceable from an axle broken by firing at high elevation. When the enemy reached the point which our skirmishers had held, some 300 yards to our front and right, we gave him canister from these pieces, continuing the three pieces until the enemy was about 100 or 150 yards from the battery. I then ordered my left piece to the rear, it occupying a bad piece of heavy ground; kept up fire from two right pieces until the enemy were within 20 yards of the fence inclosing the house in the yard of which my battery was placed, I having placed my limbers in a position near the guns that they might be limbered up rapidly, and keeping up the fire in that position. Our last piece retired from the yard as the enemy reached the fence. I took a new position in the left of the fort, on the slope, and opened again with canister; and, as the enemy retreated, with caseshot.

My loss was 1 killed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. C. WHEELER,

Captain, Commanding Battery E, First N. Y. Artillery.

First Lieutenant CHARLES KUSSEROW,

Adjutant and Chief of Artillery, Smith's Division.

CAMP IN THE FIELD, NEAR WILLIAMSBURG, VA., May 8, 1862.

CAPTAIN: By order of Captain Ayres, chief of artillery, the battery under my command proceeded to the position taken by General Hancock on the 5th instant, and by his order came into battery on the right of the position occupied by the battery commanded by Lieutenant Cowan, and some 1,700 or 1,800 yards from Fort Magruder, and opened fire first on an earthwork 600 yards to our right and front, then upon a battery placed at the corner of the woods near Fort Magruder, and upon bodies of infantry passing to the front of the enemy's position, and upon artillery passing to their front and returning, afterward firing upon the fort itself, and finally, when the enemy charged our position, the guns were turned upon them as they advanced, firing case-shot and canister. The earthwork on our right was struck by several of our shells, some of them grazing the parapet and passing into the farther embankment. The fire upon the battery appeared to be effective, as the enemy changed its position, and several of our projectiles were exploded in the fort.

About 5 p.m. I proceeded to the general to report a piece disabled, its axle broken by firing at a high elevation, when he ordered me to retire the batteries, one at a time, to the ridge some 400 yards to our rear. Returning to the batteries, I perceived the enemy advancing in force, and opened upon him with case-shot. When he reached the fence where our skirmishers had been, some 300 yards from us, we commenced firing canister, and the disabled piece was sent to the rear. When he arrived within 150 yards of our position I sent to the rear the left piece, which occupied heavy ground and from the position of the enemy was no longer effective, and placing the limbers of the remaining