At 6 o'clock a. m., May 7, 1862, left camp near Williamsburg and followed the retreating enemy toward Richmond. The roads were very heavy, and in many places impassable for artillery. Several times during the day I was compelled to dismount my cannoneers, build causeways, and cut new roads through the woods. The roads on the 8th were much improved, and we met with no serious obstructions till about 1 p. m. on the 9th, when the enemy opened fire upon us from a concealed battery in our front. Lieutenant Wilson's (the leading) serious was at once put in position on the road, and Lieutenant Vincent's (the center) section placed in position on the right. These two sections at once opened fire, judging the direction and distance by the enemy's shot. Lieutenant Woodruff's (the rear) section was now thrown about 200 yards to the left of the road, where the smoke could be seen firing the enemy's guns, and opened fire. Firing from the enemy soon ceased, and the battery advanced to Slatersville, near where the enemy's guns stood. Several of our shell struck near the rebel guns, one passing entirely through a house and another killing a cavalry horse. Thirty-four shells were fired by my battery during the skirmish, fully one-third of them failing to explode.
At Cumberland, on the 11th of May, I found it necessary to make the following repairs to the battery in consequence of the poor material and inferior workmanship used in its construction, viz: One chain to key of ammunition chest, one linchpin, one pole-prop, one chain to tar-bucket, one pole, one large pointing ring, and one handspike. What, however, was of the most importance was the breaking of the bolts connecting the upper and lower portions of the trail-plates on two of the guns. Owing to the lower plate having sprung from its place, the work of replacing these bolts was accomplished with difficulty. On the 19th of May, near Parsley's Mill, the plates of a third trail became disconnected, and were replaced like the two former.
On the 21st of May 1 officer and 24 enlisted men of the Ninth New York Volunteer Cavalry, attached to my battery, were detached by direction of the Secretary of War.
On the 23rd of May the battery was put in position at Hogan's, near New Bridge, and opened fire upon some cavalry and a section of the enemy's artillery on the opposite bluff of the Chickahominy River. Fifty-one shell were fire, when the enemy retired. The practice was very good in regard to elevation and direction, but fully one-third of the fuses failed.
The battery returned to camp, and at 2 p. m. same day marched toward Mechanicsville. As the head of the column was passing the bridge at Ellison's Mill the enemy opened fire from a battery beyond the hill on the opposite side of the creek. His first shot (a 3-inch solid shot of the Hotchkiss pattern) passed between the teams of one of my pieces and lodged in the bank at the side of the road. My battery was ordered to take a position in a field on the left of the road and open fire. Ninety shell were fire, but with what effect I am unable to say, Captain Tidball's battery firing at the same time and a hill intervening to obstruct my view.
May 27, having arrived at the crossing of the Virginia Central Railroad, a section under charge of Lieutenant Wilson was put in position on the road. Soon after a train of cars was seen approaching from the direction of Hanover Court-House. Having reached a distance of about 1 mile, I ordered him to open fire with percussion shell. At the first shot the train was seen to run back a short distance, and after the second shot to stop. Seeing that the train did not move again, after