War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0398 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD.

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The following is a list of the casualties:

Wounded, 1 non-commissioned officer and 9 privates..........10

Missing..................................................... 1




Captain, Commanding Rockbridge Artillery.

Captain R. J. WINGATE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 34. Report of Captain James H Waters, West Augusta (Va.) Artillery.

CAMP BUCHANAN, VA., March 28, 1862.

I have the honor to submit below a report of the part my company sustained in the engagement with the enemy on Sunday evening, March 23:

Soon after the arrival of our forces upon the field I was ordered to proceed with my battery to a high ridge on the left of the Valley turnpike, and running parallel with the one occupied by the forces of the enemy.

In order to reach this position the battery was compelled to cross a long, low meadow, completely commanded by the enemy's guns, who fired upon us an incessant fire of shell and shot. While crossing this open valley 1 driver and 4 other privates of the piece were struck and knocked down by fragments of shell, which somewhat retarded the rapid movement of one section of the battery. Proceeding forward as rapidly as the wearied condition of the teams and nature of the ground would permit, I brought my battery into position on the ridge above named, and opened fire upon the enemy.

Maintaining this position, a heavy cannonading was kept up for nearly three hours, when the enemy, under cover of the thick woods and a high stone wall which skirted our left, advanced his infantry to within a very short distance or our position unperceived, and commenced a rapid discharge of musketry upon the men working the pieces.

Owing to their position and the nature of the ground, I found it impossible to do them any damage artillery, and perceiving them passing us closely, I deemed it prudent to retire from the position then evidently impossible for to hold. I regret to have to state here that just as one piece of my battery was being limbered up and starting from the field one of the horses attached to the piece was shot by a musket-ball and killed and the piece overturned. Sergt. Charles S. Arnall, who had charge of this piece, after making every exertion to bring it off, was compelled to abandon it, cutting loose the three remaining horses and bringing them away, although the enemy had by this time reached the stone fence on our left, not more than 50 paces distant.

In retiring from the position of the ridge a caisson of one of the pieces, already broken, became so badly damaged as to be immovable and had to be abandoned.