War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0196 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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No. 79. Report of Major Robert M. West,

Chief of Artillery, of operations June 28-July 2.


I respectfully present herewith a report of my movements during the change of base from York to James River.

Miller's and Brady's Pennsylvania batteries and Fitch's Eighth Independent New York Artillery having been previously detached from my command to the assistance of General Peck in guarding the Chickahominy River and White Oak Swamp, I moved on the morning of the 28th of June at 2 o'clock with McKnight's battery, M, Fifth U. S. Artillery, and General Couch's division of artillery, consisting of Flood's and McCarthy's Pennsylvania batteries, to General Peck's division camp, whence, after halting one hour, I proceeded with the three batteries referred to, supported by General Palmer's brigade, of Couch's division, to the junction of the Charles City, James River, and New Market roads, arriving at that point about 11 a.m. General Palmer and General Woodbury, of the Engineers, having designated the position the artillery should occupy, I proceeded to post it accordingly as follows: One section of Flood's battery, pointing toward Richmond, on the Charles City road, near the blacksmith's shop. The other section of Flood's, on the New Market, advanced from the junction about 300 yards, Lieuts. Michael hall and Edward Dougherty commanding these section respectively. One section of McCarthy's battery, under command of Lieutenant William Munk, was posted near to and commanding the James River road, advanced sufficiently to co-operate with Lieutenant Dougherty's section on the New Market road. Six pieces were in all thus posted and properly masked.

I had in reserve McKnight's six guns and McCarthy's remaining piece [McCarthy has but three guns]. The tree sections in position were supported by as many regiments of infantry from General Palmer's brigade, of Couch's division, and three companies from Colonel Averell's Third Pennsylvania Cavalry. Ample supports of both arms were within easy supporting distance.

On the 28th all was quiet. On the 29th, at 10 .m., a strong column of rebel cavalry charged along the James River road, driving in and following with furious yells our advanced cavalry pickets and their supports. Lieutenant Munk, commanding a section on this road, allowed the rebels to advance within 50 yards of his masked pieces, when he opened fire with deadly effect. The enemy's column was thrown into confusion and retreated, followed by a column of cavalry from Colonel Averell's regiment. Many of the enemy were killed and many more wounded-among the latter the leader, a major of cavalry from Colonel Averell's regiment. Many of the enemy were killed and many more wounded-among the latter the leader, a major of cavalry, whom I saw writing in agony with a wound which our surgeons pronounced fatal. Horses were disabled and trappings were abandoned, strewn along the road in much confusion. Dougherty's section participated, firing some eight shots. No further demonstration was made on this day.

At 4 p.m. I started the column of three batteries toward James River, marching with General Couch's division by an unfrequented road. At sunrise on the morning of the 30th our column debouched upon the plain in front of Haxall's Landing, in sight of James River. Miller's and Brady's batteries joined from the Chickahominy and reported