War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0284 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

disposition and engagement of the battery under my command on the 26th and 27th of June and 1st day of July, 1862:

At about noon on the 26th ultimo I was ordered to report with my battery to Brigadier-General Martindale at Mechanicsville. I was assigned a position in reserve with the brigade, where we remained until about 10 o'clock a.m. of the 27th, when I received orders to march with the brigade in the direction of Gaines' Mill, where we arrived about 7 o'clock in the morning, and were assigned a position by General Porter on the left of General Sykes' division and on the right of General Morell's, commanding an open field occupied by General Sykes' division.

The enemy made their appearance in the edge of the woods, about 1,000 yards in front of the battery, several times during the day, and endeavored to form a line of battle. My battery opened upon them at every attempt to form a line with spherical case, which broke their lines and drove them back into the woods. The battery remained in the same position until late in the afternoon, when it was found that the enemy had broken the left of our line, and I was ordered to retire with my battery. I at once commenced the execution of the order, when I observed a large force of the enemy advancing on our front. My support had all retired from the field with the exception of the Eleventh U. S. Infantry, Major Jones commanding, who were immediately on the right of the battery. When the enemy arrived within 150 yards of the battery we poured a double charge of canister into the regiment directly in our front, which broke their lines and drove them to the rear in utter confusion, giving me an opportunity (after firing 36 rounds of canister) to retire with my battery in safety, except three caissons, on which the horses were so completely disabled that it was impossible to get them from the field, although I returned to the field in person after I had secured my pieces and made another effort to get the caissons from the field, but the horses were so badly cut up that it was impossible to move them.

During the retreat, about half a mile from the field, one of my pieces was accidentally run off from a bridge, capsizing the piece and breaking the leg of one horse. The pressure was so great that the guards would not allow time to extricate it, and we were obliged to leave it and the horse with a broken leg.

We crossed the Chickahominy, and encamped during the night with General Martindale's brigade.

On the afternoon of the 30th ultimo I received orders to report with my battery to Colonel Warren, Fifth New York Volunteers, commanding a brigade in General Sykes' division, on the road near Turkey Creek Bridge. At daybreak the next morning Colonel Warren directed me to place one section of my battery in an open field near the banks of the James River, on the extreme left of the line of battle. Lieutenant Tyler was assigned to the position with one section of the battery.

The enemy's cavalry made their appearance in an open wheat field several times during the day, and were shelled and driven from their position whenever they made their appearance.

The remainder portion of the battery took a position on the road to the left of Malvern Hill supported by Colonel Warren's brigade. The woods in front, where a regiment of the enemy were reported to be concealed, were shelled.