No. 213. Report of Second Lieutenant James Stewart, Battery B, Fourth U. S. Artillery.
[DECEMBER -, 1862.]
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of Light Battery B, Fourth U. S. Artillery, during the engagement of the 13th:
On the morning of the 13th, I was ordered by General Doubleday to shell the wood directly in my front, and distant about 800 yards. After shelling some time, and driving out the enemy's cavalry pickets, I ceased firing.
After a short time, I received another order from General Doubleday to commence again, as he was going to move the division forward. After throwing several spherical case, the division moved forward and took position. I was then ordered by the general to go the assistance of Captain Gerrish's battery, Colonel Wainwright directing me to go on the right of that battery which at that time was under fire from two batteries on our extreme left. I immediately came in battery, and, after firing several rounds from each gun, succeeded in silencing the enemy's fire, blowing up one of their caissons, and driving them off. During this time another battery of the enemy on our left opened an enfilading fire. I immediately changed position and engaged it, and after firing some twenty minutes drove him off, disabling one of his guns and blowing up a caisson, and preventing him from carrying his disabled gun off during three successive attempts, although well supported by his sharpshooters, who were very destructive to my men and horses. In this position I had 2 men killed and 6 wounded, besides a loss of 8 horses killed; 4 wounded so severely as to be abandoned; 1 slightly wounded, and 2 sets of wheel and 4 sets of lead harness being so cut up by the fragments of shell as to be utterly unserviceable. During the latter part of the engagement my battery was supported by the Fourteenth Brooklyn.
From that time until about 9 p.m. I was under the fire of the enemy's masked batteries from different points, one of them firing canister, but evidently at a high elevation. The battery remained in this position, occasionally firing, until about 9 p.m. of the 15th instant, during which time the battery was ably supported by the Fourteenth Brooklyn and Twenty-second, Twenty-fourth, and Thirty-fifth New York State Volunteers. The battery, on recrossing the Rappahannock, took position to cover the pontoon bridges below Fredericksburg, remaining in battery until about 12 m. on the 15th instant.
The behavior of Lieutenant James Davison, Third U. S. Artillery, temporarily attached to the battery, is deserving of especial commendation. Of the non-commissioned officers and privates I cannot speak too highly. When all have done well it would appear invidious to make distinctions, but at the same time I beg leave to call your special attention to the following as being deserving of commendation,viz: First Sergt. John Mitchell, Sergt. Andrew McBride, Lance Sergt. Frederick Chapin, James Cahoe, and James Maher; Lance Corpls. Alonzo Priest, Henry G. McDougal, Jeremiah Murphy, Edgar B. Armstrong, and Edgar A. Thorpe, and Privates John B. Lackey and John Sanborn.
The following is a recapitulation of the losses sustained by my battery: Killed, 2 men and 8 horses; wounded, 6 men and 5 horses.