War of the Rebellion: Serial 067 Page 1051 Chapter XLVIII. RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES.

Search Civil War Official Records

checking the enemy's advance. Lieutenant Hunton, of Price's battery, was instantly killed by a sharpshooters. Poague's two batteries, disabled in their severe service on the left, were subsequently withdrawn and steps taken for their restoration. His other two batteries held in reserve. On this day and the succeeding (June 3 and 4), by direction of the commanding general, the fords of the Chickahominy below the right of our line were examined by the general chief of artillery, and the batteries of the Louisiana Washington Artillery Battalion, which had arrived from the south side of James River, were posted to guard of the Horse Artillery attending General Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry were placed in position, as were those of the Richmond Defense Battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Pemberton, at Bottom's Bridge. At all these points the enemy appeared and made demonstrations as if with a view to crossing, but the fire which they received seemed to deter them from any heavy attack, though skirmishing was for some days continued at certain points. On the 7th, the enemy having withdrawn from Field's front, Haskell's battalion was transferred to the south bank of the Chickahominy and posted to command the Grape Vine and Federal Bridges. Meanwhile, and to the 13th, the enemy remained in force upon our front from Pickett's line to the extreme right, and fighting was incessant at very short range, the opposing lines being at some points not a stone's throw apart. Our guns were often used with excellent effect, especially a number of howitzers adjusted as mortars on some parts of the line. This mode of using guns became the more important from the fact that they were screened from the sharpshooting, which was ceaseless and frequently fatal, owing to the extraordinary proximity of the lines. Guns on our lines had to be covered from sight, and many valuable men were lost at them, particularly in Cabell's battalion. Among these was Captain McCarthy, First Richmond Howitzers, a veteran officer whose gallantry had been conspicuous on nearly every field fought by this army since its organization. He was on June 4 instantly killed by a minie-ball through the head. While the armies were thus engaged near Cold Harbor and Gaines' farm, Sheridan's cavalry attempted, against Lynchburg via Gordonsville, another raid in co-operation with Hunter's movement down the Valley, and on the 8th Hart's, Thomson's, Johnston's, and Shoemaker's batteries, under charge of Majors Chew and Breathed, moved with our cavalry force to intercept this raiding expedition. In a serious of severe engagements, which occurred near Trevilian Depot, Virginia Central Railroad, these batteries materially aided in frustrating the enemy and compelling the abandonment of his enterprise.

On the 10th General Breckinridge's division, with McLaughlin's battalion, of artillery, having marched for the Valley, and Lieutenant-Colonel King being relieved from his own battalion to accompany the expedition, Major Gibbes, who had been serving with Cabell's battalion, was assigned to the command of King's battalion, known as Thirteenth Virginia Battalion. On the morning of the 13th, it being discovered that the enemy had during the night left our front, our army was again put in motion, the Second Corps, under General Early, with Nelson's and Braxton's battalions, proceeding toward the Valley to meet the enemy advancing there under Hunter, and the remainder of the army marching by the right beyond White Oak Swamp to Riddle's Shop. Our cavalry there