Numbers 286. Report of Captain George B. Easterly, Fourth Wisconsin Battery, of operations June 15-17.
JUNE 17, 1864.
Report of movements of the right section of the Fourth Wisconsin Light Battery from the night of June 15 to the morning of June 17, 1864:
June 15, 1 a.m. crossed the Appomattox in rear of the Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry and marched in direction of Petersburg; halted shortly after daybreak. Resumed march, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry in advance. About one mile and a half from the crossing of the City Point and Petersburg Railroad the enemy opened fire on the column from artillery. The section was ordered to the front and placed in position by Major T. H. Schenck, Third New York Artillery, chief of artillery, near the ravine occupied by our advance and close to the fire of the enemy's artillery. Directions were given to fire through the woods, calculating the position of the enemy's guns, which were concealed from view, at 1,800 yards. After firing fourteen rounds, ceased firing and moved to the rear out of range, one cannoneer slightly wounded by piece of shell. Resumed march with column, Third New York Cavalry in advance. About 12 m. placed one gun in position on a road commanded by and under fire of the enemy's artillery from a line of breast-works about 1,600 yards to the front. The enemy's position could not be seen from this gun, and a short fire only was kept up by it. The remaining up was placed in position about 200 yards farther to the front, and immediately at the edge of the woods facing and commanded by the works of the enemy. A slow firing was kept up by this piece with an accurate range of the enemy's position. Both guns were soon placed in position on the edge of the woods,under a hot fire from the enemy, with directions to attract his attention from the advance of our line of skirmishers. A steady fire was kept up and nearly every projectile was seen to strike in the enemy's works. One gun became disabled by a shell lodging in the bore, and was sent to the rear, but shortly returned in a serviceable condition and was placed in position until the return of the line of skirmishers. Ammunition on hand at this time, fifty rounds shell and twenty rounds of canister; whole amount expended during the day, 130 rounds. The march was resumed in lead of the rear regiment, First New York Mounted Rifles, and bivouac was made with the column.
June 16, resumed march and continued in rear of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry. Replenished my limbers soon after halting, about 10 a.m. 10.30, marched and continued in rear of the Eleventh Pennsylvania during the day and until arrival in the camp now occupied on the morning of the 17th instant.
G. B. EASTERLY,
Captain, Commanding Fourth Wisconsin Battery.
Captain M. J. ASCH.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.