War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0454 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV]

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Numbers 5. Report of Captain Edward A. Smith, Second Kansas Battery.


July 19, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Second Kansas Battery in the battle of Honey Springs, on the 17th instant:

My command consisted of two 12-pounder brass guns and two 6-pounder iron runs, manned be 77 officers and men. At 3 a. m. of the 16th instant, my two 6- pounder guns, under Lieutenant [Aristarchus] Wilson, were orders out to assist the Sixth Kansas Volunteers in forcing a passage at the upper ford of the Arkansas. This was

effected without opposition, and that portion of the command proceeded to the ford at the mouth of Grand River, where I rejoined it at 5 p. m. of the same day with the 12-pounder guns. The march was continued during the night in the direction of Honey Springs, Creek Nation, and at 8 a. m. of the 17th we came in sight of the enemy's line on Elk Creek. After a rest of two hours, I was ordered forward, preceded by the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, and supported by the First Regiment Kansas Colored Volunteers and the Second Regiment Indian Home Guards. Changing direction to the right of the road. I continued in that direction about 600 yards, when I wheeled the battery into line, and moved down upon the left of the enemy's line, which could be faintly discerned through the timber and brush. At this moment the rebel batteries on their tight opened upon Captain Hopkins' battery, in Colonel Phillips' brigade. By direction of General Blunt, I came forward at a trot, and went into battery facing the rebel guns on my left. A single shot from one of their rifled guns flew over my head as I went into position. I opened with spherical-case shot, shell, and solid shod on the rebel batteries, which were soon silenced, as rebel prisoners report, by my 12- pounder guns. The commanding general then ordered me to move my 12- pounder guns to the left, near the road, go up within 300 yards of the rebel line, and open with canister. I did so, passing through and 100 yards in front of the line of the Second Colorado Regiment, and going into battery almost at the edge of the brush, I fired 3 or 4 rounds of canister and 10 or 12 of shell at the rebel position on the hill, when we could see them retreating in the direction of a small corn-field in my immediate front. Before I had time to open on this position I was ordered to cease firing, and the infantry charged the timber. I limbered up and moved forward, in rear of the infantry, which was soon hotly engaged with the enemy. For a few moments the firing was terrific, and I was compelled to dismount my drivers, and, our own men being directly in front of me, was compelled to remain a silent spectator of the contest,which, fortunately, was soon ended by the rout of the foe. Our infantry lines had now disappeared in the timber, across which the rebels were being driven rapidly and with severe loss, and I orders to follow. This order was countermanded soon after I reached the timber, and I moved back and encamped on the prairie, north of the creek.

My officers and men behaved throughout with great coolness and courage, a fact worthy of notice, as it was the first time they had ever been under fire.

My losses were as follows: Private William C. Caskey, wounded severely in the thigh; 3 horses slightly wounded.

All of which is respectfully submitted, by your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Second Kansas Battery.