War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0215 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

a secure place, where repairs might be prosecuted. The remaining batteries fired occasional shots during the day, whenever the enemy showed himself in front of our troops. Thompson and Amsden were sent to join their division, by direction of General Franklin.

Saturday (13th), Captain Cowan reported his battery ready for service, and was ordered to a position below Pollock's Mill, where Wever, Taft, and Ricketts had been posted, by order of General Franklin. The batteries shelled the opposite woods, which sheltered the enemy's cavalry, and drove it from the position. During the day the batteries were moved as occasion required or opportunity offered. Their fire was deliberate and effective. Whenever the enemy showed himself, those guns which could reach were turned on him, silencing his fire, blowing up one caisson, and, in every instance, forcing his withdrawal.

Sunday (14th), I directed the batteries to take up new positions, more to the left, and near the mansion on Gray's farm. They now took in flank a strong position of the enemy, and enfiladed the Massaponax Creek for about 1 1/2 miles. The day was passed closely watching the enemy, and checking every demonstration made against the flank of our army. By order of General Franklin, one section of Ricketts' battery was detached to the cavalry command of Colonel Gregg.

Monday (15th), the batteries occupied the same ground as Sunday; shelled the woods in their front, and though the effect could not well be seen, I would mention the fact that they were not again occupied by rebel troops.

About 9 p.m., having been informed, through the chief of staff of General Franklin, of the contemplated withdrawal of the army from the south side of the Rappahannock, I directed Captain Taft, reserve artillery, to proceed at once to occupy the ground assigned him the first day. The following morning, about 7 o'clock, I followed up the movement with the remaining batteries, which severally regained their original stations. The army had crossed and the bridges were taken up. Until to-day I have remained in occupation of these positions, in command of all the batteries are now en route for their respective commands, and I have reported myself to the chief of artillery.

I desire to call special attention to the energy and vigilance displayed by Captain Cowan, First New York Battery. His practice was very annoying to the enemy, and the subject of admiration to all of us. Captain Taft, reserve artillery, was of great assistance, commanding his battery with great judgment, and accomplishing the best results. Lieutenant Wever was anxious to distinguish his battery. The second shot, fired by him Saturday afternoon, exploded one of the enemy's caissons at very long range. I mention the incident to indicate the general accuracy of his fire. His battery belongs to the Reserve Artillery. Lieutenant Ricketts (F), First Pennsylvania Artillery, vied with his brother officers in efforts to be useful. He was constantly on the alert, and his guns made their mark whenever the opportunity offered.

I have the honor to call attention to the reports of captains of those batteries which served with me during these days for information and comments upon the success or failure of different styles of projectiles.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. A. De RUSSY,

Captain Fourth Artillery.

Brigadier General HENRY J. HUNT,

Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac.