No. 269. Report of Lieutenant Eugene A. Bancroft, Battery G, Fourth U. S. Artillery.
NEAR WARRENTON JUNCTION, VA.,
July 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report the services of this battery since the 1st instant. The battery, under the command of First Lieutenant Bayard Wilkeson, Fourth U. S. Artillery, left camp, near Emmitsburg. Md., at 9 a. m. July 1, and marched to Gettysburg, Pa. When about 2 miles from the latter place, the order to trot was received, and, moving rapidly forward, the battery reached the town at 11 a. m. ; passed directly through the village, and, turning to the right, in rear of our lines of batteries, moved about 1 mile through some fields, and immediately engaged the enemy. Leaving the left section, under Second Lieutenant C. F. Merkle, on the south side of the York road, near the poor-house, the right and center sections took position on the north side of the road, and some distance eastward of the poor-house. At this point, Lieutenant Wilkeson was struck in the right leg by a shot from the enemy's artillery, and mortally wounded. After engaging two of the rebel batteries for about half an hour, these two sections retired a short distance, and a few minutes thereafter three of the pieces went into action on the left of their first position, to resist the advance of a line of the enemy's infantry, firing spherical case and canister, until, our infantry giving way in great disorder, the want of support compelled me to withdraw the guns. On entering the road leading into the village, I was joined by the left section, under Lieutenant Merkle, and assumed command of the whole. Halting to fill the ammunition chests of the gun limbers, the battery then retired slowly through Gettysburg, and took position in the cemetery, on the south side of the village, at 5 p. m., whence I fired a few shell and solid shot at the enemy, but without eliciting any reply. The casualties during the day were as follows, viz: Lieutenant Wilkeson, mortally wounded; Private [Charles F.] Hofer, killed; Corporal [John] Monroe and Privates [Ira C.] Bumpus, [Wiliam] Clark, Taffender, and [Edwin S.] Libby, severely wounded; Bugler [Charles A.] Lockwood, Corporal [Adolphus C.] Hardy, Privates [William] Curtis and [Frank E.] Jordan, missing; 12 horses killed. On the 2nd instant, the battery was ordered to take position in a field in the rear of the cemetery, facing the Baltimore road, where it remained until 4. 30 p. m., when it went into action at the cemetery, the right and center sections engaging a rebel battery stationed on a hill east of the cemetery, and the left section the enemy's batteries in front, to the north. The battery continued firing until 7 p. m., when the right and center sections were relieved, and, after filing the ammunition chest, retook the position occupied in the first part of the day, and were held in readiness to assist our infantry in holding the woods on the right. The casualties this day were as follows: Privates [Charles C.] Converse, [Charles A.] Green, and [Philip] Kistner, slightly wounded; 8 horses killed. On the 3d, in the morning, the left section rejoined the battery from the cemetery, where it had remained through the night. At about 2 p. m., four guns being ordered into action, the right