remained in harness throughout the night. The morning of the 11th dawned thick and hazy, and remained so until about 10 a.m., when it lighted up a little, and orders came to shell Fredericksburg, and I fired a few shot at the town; but, our ranges being very imperfect, and not being able to see the effect of the shot, owing to the foggy atmosphere, I ceased firing at that point.
We remained quiet during the rest of the day until about 4 p.m., when some rebel batteries, directly opposite us, and about 1,500 yards distant, opened upon us, and fired very accurately and rapidly for about twenty minutes, but a concentrated fire of the guns there in position soon silenced them.
About 5 p.m. of the 11th, orders came from Colonel Hays to put up earthworks, and during the night I constructed six separate barbette works, which afforded excellent protection for my cannoneers, but none for my horses. We laid quiet Friday and Saturday, occasionally firing at the enemy as they appeared in considerable numbers, either as working parties or on their breastworks.
Sunday morning I received orders from Colonel Hays to report to Colonel Tompkins, at the Lacy house, as soon as possible, and, accordingly, I arrived at the Lacy house with my battery about 6.30 a.m., and received further orders to replenish ammunition and report to Captain Morgan at Fredericksburg. I reported to Captain Morgan, and he placed me in position on the right of the line, and just in the rear of the Gordon house, where I was well sheltered from the enemy's artillery and sharpshooters by two banks. My orders when taking this position were to engage the enemy's batteries should they open on our infantry, but not to return their artillery fire should they open on the battery. Throughout the entire day, Sunday, the 14th, we remained quiet, and did not unmask our position, there being only a little picket firing during the day. Toward night three companies of infantry reported to me for picket duty, and at dusk I instructed the officer in command where I wished them stationed; but, upon going out some two hours afterward to see if they were at their posts, I found them only about 50 yards from the battery, and more than half had come in. Some new ones were soon stationed, but, being new troops, they were useless as pickets for night duty. About 11 p.m. I was aroused by the heavy picket firing directly in our front, and very near. Anticipating that our pickets would move in, I hastened out, and found nearly all the picket line had come in, and the rebels were very close. I ordered up the reserves at once, and obtained a separate company for the picket duty during the remainder of the night; but we had no further trouble.
On the 15th, about 11 a.m., the enemy commenced firing on our infantry from their artillery, and we replied, making some excellent shots, which drew their fire on us; when, according to previous orders, we ceased. At 6 p.m. we were relieved in our position by Weed's battery, and a short time after we recrossed the river and returned to the old camp near Falmouth.
The casualties of my command were 1 man slightly wounded and 1 horse killed.
During the five days, I expended about 230 rounds of ammunition. The Hotchkiss shell and case shot is the only variety of ammunition upon which I can rely. The Dyer ammunition generally misses the groove, and the Hotchkiss percussion bursts in the piece.
I cannot say to much of the conduct of my officers and men. During the most trying circumstances they were perfectly calm and collected,
14 R R-VOL XXI