War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0286 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

During the engagement all the men behaved remarkably well.

All of which is respectfully submitted.


Lieutenant, Commanding Battery E, Massachusetts Artillery.

Captain WEEDEN,

Chief of Artillery, General Morell's Division.

Numbers 118. Report of Lieutenant Henry W. Kingsbury,

Battery D, Fifth U. S. Artillery, of the battles of Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill.


July 5, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to orders I report as follows as to the service of Battery D, Fifth Artillery, since the 26th ultimo:

At noon on that day orders were received to pack camp equipage and send the wagons to General McClellan's headquarters. One teamster deserted his charge; the mules were lost, the wagon destroyed by order of Captain Tidball, of the artillery. Later on the 26th I was ordered to follow Brigadier-General Griffin, then on the march toward Mechanicsville. Being misled as to his route I did not find him, but reached the cross-roads near Mechanicsville just after sundown, and took position in an open field, supported by regiments of Brigadier-General Martindale's command-this with the assent of Brigadier-General Morell, commanding division.

On the 27th, at 2 a.m. I returned, by order with General Martindale over the same route by which we had advanced. A little after sunrise I halted near Gaines' Mill and reported to Brigadier General F. J.

Porter. He ordered, "Stand still and await further orders." These I soon received from yourself, viz: "Cross the bridge and follow General Griffin's brigade." This I did, and parked near Tait's house. Soon, by your order, I went into battery in a position commanding a wide stretch of the valley of the Chickahominy. In the afternoon I received orders from General Porter to move to the right of General Griffin's brigade. These were immediately countermanded. Later, through Lieutenant Monteith, General Porter sent me an order to move quickly to the right of our line and report to General Sykes, if I could find him; if not, to go and act at my own discretion, as a regiment would be sent to support me. I reported to General Sykes. He held the battery, with its support (the Twelfth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers), in reserve.

Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan, of the Fourth Infantry, asked, in conversation, "If the battery would support his troops should the enemy attempt a flank movement upon them?" I replied, "Certainly." General Sykes not being present at the time, seeing what I thought the enemy's preparation to attack, I brought forward four pieces and placed them on the right of two pieces of Captain Edwards' battery, already in position. I opened fire with shrapnel on the enemy's artillery and infantry-effect satisfactory. After two hours the last fierce charge of the enemy was made. I ordered up my remaining two pieces. Immediately in front of the battery the enemy did not emerge from the woods, being prevented by our canister. On our left the infantry were