War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0639 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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by the men throughout, for being present you are fully able to judge.

The march being resumed on September 1, we proceeded via Fairfax Court-House to Leesburg, where the column crossed the Potomac.

Here I beg leave to refer you to the report of Captain durham, who then took command of the regiment.

Respectfully,

M. V. BANCROFT,

Captain, Commanding Twenty-third South Carolina Vols.

General N. G. EVANS,

Commanding Brigade.

No. 164. Reports of Captain R. Boyce, Macbeth (South Carolina) Artillery, of operations August 23-30.

CAMPT NEAR WINCHESTER, VA.,

October 20, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by my battery in the various engagements beginning at Rappahannock Station and ending at Sharpsburg, Md.:

On the morning of August 23 I was ordered to follow the brigade to the field, and when I arrived my command was halted behind a small hill to shelter it from the enemy's shells until it should be called into the action. About 12 m. Captain Corrie, of your staff, brought me an order from yourself to advance my battery and take my position on a hill more than a mile in front of the position I was then occupying. I immediately moved the battery forward, and fearing I had misunderstood your order, went in person to yourself and received substantially the same. I then made a reconnaissance of the hill and found that I could reach the top. I had ascertained that in ascending the hill I would be under the fire of three batteries, one of them within canister-range. When I moved to the base of the hill the cannoneers were dismounted and the pieces ordered to make all possible speed to the summit, the point on which, as I understood, my battery should be posted. When I reached the summit at the head of the column, to my astonishment I found tht the hill sloped up to a point from all sides, leaving but a small space, some 60 or 70 feet in diameter, and that space circumscribed by two small intrenchments, with barely sufficient width between them at the point of entrance to allow the passage of a carriage. I saw at a glance that the battery could not be put in position, and would have halted it, if possible, outside, but the carriages were coming up with such rapidity that I had not sufficient time to prevent it. The right section and one gun of the center section crowded into this small space. In a moment al of the enemy's batteries in range (four in number) opened a murderous fire of shells,balls, and canister upon this confused mass. I ordered the guns of the right section to be unlimbered and loaded. In unlimbering I discovered that the cannoneers, in the rapid movement of the battery up the long hill, had been left behind, and the guns could not be managed immediately. It now became evident to me that the whole section- men, horses, and carriages - would be sacrificed without being able to fire a shot if I remained longer. I then ordered the pieces to limber up and retire, intending to form the whole battery on the hill-side fronting two of the enemy's batteries.