column arrived at the Chandler house, I met our troops falling back, the ground in dispute having ben yielded to the enemy. I do not think it could have been held by any number of guns I could have placed in the contracted ground near the Chancellor house. The enemy's position was greatly superior, and our batteries were subjected to a direct enfilading and reverse fire. The Fifth maine Battery was in position near the Chancellor house. I am not familiar with its history during the morning, except that it was exposed to a most destructive fire, badly cut up, and the five pieces finally brought off by hand by the infantry of Hancock;s division. Lieutenant Kirby was placed in command of it about 9 a. m. by General Couch, and was dangerously wounded, as was the permanent commander of the battery and two of the subalterns. It is due to the brave and gallant Kirby that a permanent record be made of his conduct. His thigh was fractured by a ball from a spherical case shot, yet when it was proposed to move him from the field he exclaimed, "No! take off that gun first."
I understand that some dissatisfaction has been expressed that the batteries near the Chancellor house did not disregard the fire against them and turn their attention to the rebel infantry in the woods near by, but from whose fire they were suffering little or nothing. My own judgment is that the only thing that could have enabled us to hold the ground was to have silenced the enemy's batteries. Their fire was so accurate and so heavy that a battery exposed to it and not replying to it, especially if the battery was required to uncover entirely and expose itself to a flank fire, would have been disabled (as was Leppien's battery) in short order. The experiment would have cost us either guns or a great many men killed and wounded in running them off by hand.
I would mention the officers and men of Pettit's battery and Lieutenants O'Donohue and Field and the men of Thomas' battery for good conduct. The latter battery lost one caisson, the horses being disabled and no time to replace them, and the former ha done caisson blown up.
Kirby's battery (Lieutenant Woodruff) and Ames' battery were in position near the Chandler house, under Captain Weed, Fifth U. S. Artillery, during the remainder of the day and until the troops were withdrawn. Ames was engaged, but suffered no loss.
On Tuesday morning the three rifle batteries were placed in position to cover the removal of the bridges.
The batteries reoccupied their old camps by Wednesday morning, May 7.
Adams' battery and Hazard's (under Lieutenant Brown) were both engaged at Fredericksburg ont eh 3rd. The first named was under a very heavy fire and suffered severely, as will be seen by the accompanying table . Great credit is due Captain Adams. Lieutenants Torslow, Allen, Kelly (dead), and Chase, for the manner in which they discharged their duties. Lieutenants Allen and Torslow were slightly wounded, but did not leave the field. Lieutenant Kelley lived by a few hours after being struck. Hazard's battery was not so warmly engaged, and its loss was inconsiderable. Officers and men acquitted themselves well.
Inclosed herewith are the reports of battery commanders and a tabulated statement of the losses of men* and material as far as ascertained.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. H. MORGAN,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Insp. General and Chief of Art., Second Corps.
Captain JOHN S. SCHULTZE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Army Corps.
*Embodied in revised statement, pp. 176, 177.