War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0222 Chapter LXIII. MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., &. W. VA.

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[First indorsement.]

I have ordered Colonel Fry to report to General Ransom to relieve General Barton.

B. B.

[Second indorsement.]

Respectfully returned to the files of General Bragg's office.


Private Secretary.

JANUARY 17, 1865.


Report of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin F. Eshleman, commanding Battalion Washington Artillery, of operations May 5-21.


Near Petersburg, Va., May 30, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report:

On the 5th of May, by order of Major-General Pickett, commanding, I marched from camp at Model Farm, near Petersburg, with the following batteries of my command: First Company, Captain E. Owen, three Napoleons and one bronze 3-inch rifle; Second Company, Captain J. B. Richardson, three Napoleons; Third Company, Captain A. Hero, Jr., three Napoleons; Fourth Company, Captain Joe Norcom, three Napoleons, making twelve Napoleons and one 3-inch rifle, a total of thirteen guns. These batteries were placed on the eastern fortifications of Petersburg in the following order: Captain Hero's in Battery Numbers 2, commanding City Point road; Captains Norcom's and Richardson's in Battery Numbers 5, commanding the City Point and Broadway roads; Captain Owen's in Battery Numbers 11, commanding Prince George and Jordan Point roads. On the following day (6th instant) Lieutenant McElroy, of Third Company, was placed in charge of three Napoleon guns of Read's battalion in Batteries Numbers 9 and 10, commanding Prince George and Jordan Point roads. At 9.30 a. M. Captain Owen with his battery was ordered by General Pickett across the Appomattox River on the line of Swift Creek, and on the following morning went into position on the road guarding the Swift Creek bridge. On the 7th, by order of Colonel H. P. Jones, chief of artillery, I was placed in command of all the artillery on the line of Swift Creek. Lieutenant Samuel Hawes, of Second Company, Washington Artillery, having been placed in command of a battery (which was en route for General Morgan's command in charge of Sergeant Payne), manned by some of the non-commissioned officers and privates of the Washington Artillery and furloughed and convalescent men from Petersburg, was placed in position at Port Walthall Junction and engaged the enemy upon their advance. Perceiving that the enemy was about to turn our left flank, I ordered Captain Owen's battery down at a trot, but re-enforcements having arrived, driving the enemy back, he did not go into position. At 11 p. M. he was ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, commanding artillery, back to Swift Creek, our troops having retired to that line. During the 8th and 9th there was general skirmishing along the line. A section of Lieutenant Hawes' battery was engaged at different times during both days. I ordered over Lieutenant Britton's section of Second Company, Washington Artillery, from the south side of the Appomattox and held it in reserve. On the 11th, an advance being ordered, I sent for the remaining batteries of my battalion, stationed across the river, which reported