War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0460 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD. AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

During Sunday and Monday, the 14th and 15th, the batteries remained in the following positions, commencing along the Bowling Green road, on the right: Captain Leppien and Thompson were to the west of the avenue leading to the brick house; then Captain Cooper's, with one section of Amsden's battery (two of his axles having been broken by the recoil of the pieces), Reynolds' and Gerrish's, Captain Cooper relieving Captain Wolcott on Sunday afternoon, who was directed to report to his own, the Sixth Corps. Lieutenant Stewart continued to hold his former important position, and during the day Captain Hall had three guns behind the rise formerly held by Gerrish's battery. He had suffered so severely in men and horses that he could only make half his battery effective. Ransom and Simpson were held in reserve. There was no general engagement on either of these days, and the batteries only opened on our left when the enemy attempted to get some of their guns in position to our left and front, or gathered in considerable numbers at any of the advanced picket posts.

About noon on Sunday they planted a Whitworth gun in the bend of the Massaponax, which annoyed us considerably, throwing its bolts over the whole of the plain. It was so well posted as to be entirely screened from our batteries across the river, and at such a distance, and so hid by trees, as to be hardly discernible by the naked eye. After considerable difficulty, we succeeded in getting the range, which was found to be 2,700 yards with Hall's three guns, and soon silenced it. It did not reopen from that point.

Soon after 8 o'clock on Monday night, in accordance with your orders, I commenced withdrawing the batteries along our line, beginning with Lieutenant Stewart's, which was the most exposed, being within 200 yards of the enemy's pickets. This and all the others were got off without any disturbance, and before 11 o'clock they were safely on this side of the river, without, so far as I can learn, leaving even a serviceable harness-strap behind. With hardly an exception, the officers and men executed this delicate movement to perfection.

Stewart's battery, being most exposed, deserves especial praise for the noiselessness with which they brought off their guns and caissons. I take great pleasure in stating that all the batteries of this corps behaved exceedingly well under fire, and regret exceedingly that I am obliged to say that Lieutenants Edgell and Amsden withdrew their batteries without permission, being out of ammunition, and the latter having two axles broken. Having done such good service, and suffered severely (especially the former), this cannot be attributed to cowardice, but shows a great want of forethought and proper management in not providing a fresh supply before their chests were exhausted, besides being directly contrary to orders.

To Captain Wolcott and his battery I am indebted for much very valuable service during the time he was temporarily serving with this corps. Hall's Second Maine Battery suffered the most severely, having one limber chest blown up and a gun carriage smashed. The captain, with his officers and men,merit especial praise for their excellent service in a most exposed position, and for bringing off their left piece, after all but one of the horses were killed, under a heavy fire of the enemy's infantry. All the harness from the dead horses was also removed.

The behavior of Captain Ransom's and Cooper's batteries, and the accuracy of their fire, under the very able direction of these officers elicited much praise. Lieutenant Stewart showed himself, as at all times, the through soldier.

To Captain Reynolds, acting chief of artillery of the First Division