No. 131. Report of Captain Frank C. Gibbs, Battery L, First Ohio Light Artillery, of operations October 19.
HDQRS. BATTERY L, FIRST OHIO LIGHT ARTILLERY, Camp near Cedar Creek, Va., October 25, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by Battery L, First Ohio Light Artillery, in the engagement of October 19, 1864, at Cedar Creek, Va.:
Just before daylight on the morning of Wednesday, October 19, 1864, while in camp on the north bank of Cedar Creek, with my guns in position on the crest of a hill on the east side of the pike overlooking the creek, I was aroused by a straggling fire of musketry on my left and front. I immediately ordered my cannoneers to their post and the horses to be harnessed. During this time stragglers from the left in large numbers were passing through my camp, reporting the capture by the enemy of the artillery and earth-works on my left. Captain Du Pont soon after arrived ordering one section of my battery to take position on a high cleared point to the rear of my position, and the caissons to the rear; also to open on the enemy in front, which I did at once. The caissons were sent to the rear, but so rapid had been the enemy's advance that the wheel horses of my rear caisson were shot down and the caisson abandoned. While the battery which had fired a few rounds of case-shot was livered up and started for the pike from the other flank down a very steep hill-side, and as my last piece left the position, my camp was full of the enemy rushing for my pieces, and but for the fortunate occurrence of the lock-chain breaking just as the piece reached the foot of the hill it must have been captured. I brought the battery down the pike, when one of my guns was ordered in position in the rear of the center of Kitching's Provisional Division, east of the pike, and my other three guns a little to the rear and left of the same division. I opened with case -shot, and soon the enemy advanced on the charge, when I ordered canister, but my supports giving away without any resistance to the advance of the enemy, I immediately livered up and got away just in time to save capture. I then crossed to the west side of the pike, crossing a run which runs nearly parallel to the pike, going into position on a crest beyond. We here fired a number of rounds, and as the right of our lines fell back Captain Du Pont ordered me to fall back to a position still farther to the rear on a higher crest running parallel to our former position. I was here supported by a squadron of General Devin's command. I was then ordered by Captain Du Pont to take a position to the left and rear which commanded Middletwon, where we did good execution on buildings filled with the enemy's sharpshooters, using case-shot; and also sent our compliments in the shape of solid shot to a battery in the south end of the town. The right still falling back, I limbered up and took a position farther to the rear and firing. From there I fell back beyond a farm-house, going into position. From there struck the pike one mile north of Middletown and went into position on the east side of the pike. From there I went into position on the west side of the pike in the rear of a large barn. I then was ordered to return, going into position on the west side, and Battery B, Fifth U. S. Artillery, on the east side of the pike. At 4 p. m. Captain Du Pont ordered my battery forward to a position on the west side of the pike, 600 yards north from Middletwon. We here opened on a battery near a point of woods southwest of the town, using solid shot
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