No. 130. Report of Captain A. Judson Clark, First New Jersey Light Artillery, Chief of Artillery.
CAMP NEAR POTOMAC CREEK, VA.,
May 12, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders received from you, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the artillery of this division in the recent movement of the army:
Wednesday, April 29.-Battery B, First New Jersey Artillery, was transferred from the Second Division to the First Division, Third Army Corps, and, by order of General Birney, I assumed command of the artillery of the division. At that time the batteries were lying near the banks of the Rappahannock, below Fredericksburg, and near the pontoon bridges.
During the afternoon of the 30th, the batteries marched to near Berea Church, by General Birney's orders, where they bivouacked for the night.
At 6.30 next morning (May 1), they started again for the United States Ford, which place they reached, crossing the river during the forenoon of the same day, and, after a short rest, proceeded to near the white house, about a quarter of a mile from Chancellorsville. Batteries F, and K, Third U. S. Artillery, Lieutenant Turnbull, commanding, were immediately ordered to report to General Graham for picket duty, about 2 miles to the right of the Chancellor house, on the Plank road. Toward the latter part of the day Birney's division was placed near to the Chancellor house . One of the batteries, B, First New Jersey Artillery, Lieutenant Sims commanding, was placed on the right of the division. This battery was shortly after relieved by Turnbull's (F and K, Third U. S. Artillery), which came in at that time, the picket being relieved in consequence of the ground being held by General Howard, Eleventh Corps. During the evening of the same day, General Birney moved his division up the Plank road about three-quarters of a mile, and, by his direction, I placed three guns of Battery B, Lieutenant Sims, on the edge of the woods, about a quarter of a mile to the left of the Plank road.
About 8 o'clock next morning, one section of this battery was placed on the brow of the hill in front of the position of the previous night, and near the ruins of an old house, when it opened fire, apparently with much effect, on a column of rebel troops which was passing the brow of the hill about 1 1/2 miles instant. Two more guns of the same battery were ordered there, and a section, under Lieutenant Clark, placed on the extreme right of the opening, for the same purpose. Some two or three hours after this, Batteries F and K, Third U. S. Artillery (Turnbull's), and, a short time after, Jastram's (E, First Rhode Island Artillery), were placed in position near General Birney's headquarters, in the open field near the woods. Toward the latter part of the afternoon, Birney's division having advanced meanwhile beyond the hill which lay in our front, I was ordered to send a battery to the front immediately, to silence a battery which, from a point about 1,400 yards distant, near a dwelling-house, was annoying our advance seriously. Lieutenant Turnbull was sent, with his guns alone, leaving the occasions in the rear, and went into battery under fire of the rebel guns near an old foundry. There seemed much unnecessary confusion when the battery came into action, although there was some reason for it on account of the small place in which they were obliged to go into position.