War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0088 Chapter LXIII. MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA.

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Report of Captain John A. Coke, Williamsburg-Lee Artillery.

SIR: In obedience to your orders I have the honor to make the following report of the action of the Williamsburg-Lee Artillery, then commanded by Captain W. R. Garrett, at the battle of Fort Magruder on the 5th and 6th of May, 1862:

On Sunday evening, when the enemy made their appearance in the woods on the left of the fort, one of the brass pieces belonging to this battery was ordered down to Fort Magruder, and after remaining a short time in the rear of the fort was ordered to the front and a little to the left of Fort Magruder. A few shots from the battery of First Howitzer Company were fired, but were not returned by the enemy. We did not open fire on Sunday evening. We were then ordered back in rear of the fort. About sunset another piece belonging to Captain Garrett's battery arrived at Fort Magruder, which piece was in a few minutes ordered to Redoubt Numbers 1, on the right of the fort. On Monday morning the brass piece was ordered to Redoubt Numbers 3, on the right of the fort. On Monday I was ordered to take command of the gun stationed at Redoubt No. 1. Captain Garrett commanded the gun at Redoubt Numbers 3. The gun under my command opened fire on Monday morning about 9 o'clock, and kept up a constant fire on the enemy for several hours. The firing from this redoubt, as well as Redoubt Numbers 3, proved very effective. A caisson was reported to have been blown up by the iron gun of this battery in the morning, and the enemy's flag cut down by the brass gun in the evening, both of them stationed in Redoubt Numbers 1. In conclusion, I will state that the men of this command behaved during the whole engagement with great coolness and determination, and evinced a spirit of bravery which becomes men fighting in such a noble cause.

Respectfully submitted.

John A. COKE,

Captain, Williamsburg-Lee Artillery.



Report of Captain James Dearing, Lynchburg Artillery.


SIR: In accordance with instructions from you I have the honor to transmit to you the following report of the part taken by my battery and those temporarily under my command in the engagement near Williamsburg, Va., on the 5th of May, 1862:

About 11.30 a. m. I was ordered to send two of my pieces to Fort Magruder. I ordered Lieutenant Thomas F. Richardson, junior first lieutenant of my battery, with a 12-pounder howitzer and a 6-pounder field piece, down to the fort, accompanying them myself. On my way to the fort I was repeatedly fired on by sharpshooters, none of their shots doing damage. After getting inside, of the fort I reported to Colonel Jenkins, then commanding there, and on the left. I then screened my horses and caissons as much as possible from the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, who had been killing and wounding the artillery horses all the morning. After remaining at the fort about half an hour, during which time there was no firing from the fort, Colonel Jenkins found that the enemy were advancing on our left in force with both infantry and artillery, and my two pieces were ordered by him to the left to check them.