War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0619 Chapter XXIII. ENGAGEMENT AT WEST POINT, VA.

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river. The engagement was almost exclusively confined to the infantry, carried on in dense woods; but the service rendered by Captain Hexamer when the enemy appeared on the border of the woods, and the accurate firing of shell from the battery commanded by Lieutenant Upton, which resulted in routing a portion of the Hampton Legion and releasing Captain J. E. Montgomery, assistant adjutant-general to General Newton, who had been taken prisoner by them a few minutes before, contributed greatly to the repulse of the enemy, and gave all our troops on this flank increased confidence.

All the batteries except Captain Wilson's, which was placed partly in reserve, fired during the day, and from the most reliable authority I believe with accuracy and good execution. All the artillery fire was delivered over the heads of our men, and in no instance was there any wavering or falling back, notwithstanding some of the shells, owing to defective fuses, burst in their midst. The conduct of the men in this particular was worthy of veteran troops. I saw enough to feel assured that when the opportunity offers the artillery will do credit to the infantry of the division, whose steadiness under severe fire and against superior numbers was so signally attested in this their first engagement.

I cannot close this report without acknowledging the untiring zeal of Captain Jeff. Parks, of the steamer Boardman, and Captain Perry, of the Fifteenth New York Volunteer Engineers, assigned to duty with me from the time of the embarkation at Poquosin River to the landing near West Point.

The following is the only casualty during the day: Private Stehwein, First New Jersey Battery, seriously wounded in the arm.

For the detailed operations of each battery, as called for by circular from chief of artillery, I would respectfully refer you to the inclosed copies of reports of their respective commanders.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Captain, Fifth Artillery, Commanding Artillery Brigade.

Captain E. SPARROW PURDY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 4. Report of Captain Josiah Porter,

Battery A, Massachusetts Light Artillery.

CAMP NEWTON, VA., May 9, 1862.

SIR: In accordance with the circular issued from the office of the chief of artillery I have the honor to make the following report of the part which my battery (A, Massachusetts Artillery) took in the affair of the 7th instant:

The battery was put into position between 9 and 10 o'clock a.m., according to your direction, on the extreme left of our lines, about 600 yards from the woods in front, the left resting on the river. Not long after, and before any firing on the part of the artillery, by order of Brigadier-General Slocum, for guns (three 10-pounder Parrotts and one 12-pounder howitzer) were put in battery about 400 yards farther to the right. No other change of position was made during the day. In the course of the forenoon, by direction of Brigadier-General Slocum, several shells were thrown from the Parrott guns over the woods in front, at ranges of 2,600, 3,000 yards.