War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0615 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

with the enemy on the north side of James River [July 28], I have to reply that the report is correct. The gun captured by the enemy, belonged to Lieutenant Dennison's battery, serving with the First Brigade of the Second Division. Lieutenant Dennison's battery was ordered in position by myself to resist an advance of Kershaw's division of rebel infantry on the flank of the Second Division moving in column on the New Market road, within the pickets of the First Division. The attack was made by the enemy in line of battle, without skirmishers, and across the only open field in the vicinity. The regiments of the leading brigade of the Second Division, Cavalry Corps, were dismounted as rapidly as possible and deployed against the enemy. The dense woods surrounding prevented any formation of mounted men. The dismounted cavalry and Dennison's guns, while they could not prevent the advance of the enemy's lines, still they compelled considerable delay. The attack of the enemy upon the First Cavalry Division on my left, and a strong through the woods between the positions of the two divisions, compelled me to order the retirement of Dennison's battery. This order was delivered, but as the battery, or a portion of it, continued firing I again sent an order for all the guns to be retired at once. This order was promptly obeyed and all of the guns were retired under cover of the gun which was captured. This gun was limbered up and was moving after the others when the wheel horses were shot, and the enemy passing through the woods on either side captured it. The gun was defended by the cannoneers and a portion of the Tenth New York Cavalry, but could not be rescued. Having checked the enemy on the New Market road, a regiment was sent in pursuit to retake the gun. It was followed some two miles, but could not be overtaken.

Brigadier General H. E. Davies, commanding the First Brigade, Second Divisions, in the engagement, and Lieutenant Dennison, were both sent to the hospital on the following morning, and are now absent on sick leaves, so that more particular reports cannot be given at this time. Lieutenant Dennison was personally in charge of the gun captured. Lieutenant Dennison's battery did most excellent service, and was most skillfully handled. The large number of rebel dead left in the field, as well as the failure of the enemy to advance beyond the New Market road, and his hasty retreat, leaving a number of wounded on the field, attest the severity of the resistance made by Dennison's battery and the dismounted cavalry.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Cavalry Corps.


Captain H. C. WEIR,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Cavalry Division:

CAPTAIN: In compliance with instructions, I have the honor to reports the following circumstances attending the loss of the gun of Lieutenant Dennison's battery (A, Second U. S. Artillery) during the late engagement on the north side of the James River:

In compliance with orders received from General Gregg, through two of his staff officers, Major Taylor and Lieutenant Gregg, I directed Lieutenant Dennison to withdraw his battery and retire down the road. The enemy were steadily and rapidly advancing,