Numbers 26. Report of Lieutenant Giles A. Fowlkes, Bryan's (Virginia) Battery, of engagement at Cloyd's Mountain.
HEADQUARTERS BRYAN'S BATTERY,
May 19, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that on the day previous to the battle of Cloyd's farm, Bryan's (Virginia) battery of light artillery was placed in position on the left, supported by the Thirty-sixth Regiment Virginia Infantry.
On the day of the battle (May 9) the long-range guns opened upon the enemy's lines as soon as they wee observed on the side of the mountain, and shelled them slowly until the enemy attempted to plant his artillery on a projecting ridge in our front, when the entire battery opened upon the artillery and entirely prevented it from getting into position until the latter part of the engagement. About the time the battle commenced with the infantry on the right one piece (6-pounder gun) was sent to the extreme right and was employed in shelling the enemy's infantry. After the fire f musketry had continued for some time on the right, the infantry support of the battery moved to the right, and one piece (12-pounder howitzer) was sent with them, and in coming into action its limber pole was accidentally broken and was replaced by that of the caisson, and afterward, when the battery retired, the caisson was abandoned for want of a limber and pole.
Sometime after the engagement became general on the right, the enemy succeeded in getting his artillery in position, and the battery was then engaged by the batteries of the enemy for a few minutes; but shortly after the enemy's artillery was planted, a heavy column of infantry emerged from the timber and came into open view in front of our left, and the battery turned its fire upon this column with great effect. By this time the infantry on the right was retiring hurriedly from the field, and the battery moved to the right, and some pieces fired upon the enemy, while the rest retired from action. The whole battery then moved in the direction of Dublin Depot.
In this engagement Bryan's battery lost 1 private killed, 1 mortally wounded (since died), and 1 severely shocked by the concussion of a shell.
The battery was then ordered to New River bridge, wither it proceeded with as little delay as possible by way of the macadamized road and English's Bridge, and took position on the north side of the river, on the left of Stamps' and Douthat's batteries. The position occupied was on the crest of a hill on the prolongation of the railroad bridge.
About 9 a. m. a few Federals were observed on a hill on the opposite side of the river and were shelled and soon disappeared. However, the enemy soon succeeded in planting a piece of artillery which opened upon us. The reply of all the guns immediately silenced the enemy; but he then placed all his guns in position on two hills on the opposite side of the river, and a heavy cannonade ensued, which lasted about two hours, when some of our guns ran our of ammunition, and the enemy's infantry were reported crossing the river below us. All the guns were then taken from the field in safety.