Number 103. Petersburg Campaign Report of Captain Frederick M. Edgell, First New Hampshire Battery

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

Numbers 103. Report of Captain Frederick M. Edgell, First New Hampshire Battery.1

HEADQUARTERS FIRST NEW HAMPSHIRE BATTERY, Before Petersburg, Va., September 1, 1864.

SIR: *

FIFTH EPOCH.

On the night of the 12th [June], by order of Colonel Tidball, the battery withdrew from position and moved with the reserve batteries,

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*For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 3 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p. 518.

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reaching Whitehall at 4 a. m. of the 13th. Resumed the march at 10 a. m., and crossing the Chickahominy at Long Bridge reached the James River at Wilcox’s Landing at 9 p. m. and encamped. Remained at Wilcox’s awaiting transportation during the 14th. At 3 p. m. of the 15th the battery was embarked on the steamers Monohauset and General Hooker, and crossed to Wind-Mill Point, and then moving up about a mile went into park near the Prince George road.

At 6 a. m. on the 16th marched toward Petersburg, and arrived at the front at 5 p. m., and immediately went into position about 300 yards to the left of the Beatty house, and on the immediate right of Dwight’s battery (A, First Rhode Island Artillery). Our troops assaulting at 6 p. m., the enemy opened vigorously from his batteries near the Avery house, which was promptly replied to. At dark, by command of General Birney, commanding the corps, the battery was placed in position in front of the Beatty house, and commenced throwing shell through the woods at 1,200 yards range, continuing about one hour. One section was the ordered to take position on the left of the City Point and Petersburg road, by General Birney, and open fire on the city at 3,000 yards’ range. This fire was kept up during the night at intervals of ten minutes, and also during the 17th, the shells falling into the city.

On the morning of the 17th my left section was advanced about 700 yards, taking position across the ravine on the immediate right of Roder’s battery (K, Fourth United States), and opened fire on the enemy’s works, remaining in this position until the 18th. The battery expended during the last three days 440 rounds of ammunition.

At 10 a. m. on the 18th, by order of Colonel Tidball, the left section rejoined the right and both advanced to a position about 100 yards to the left of the Hare house, and opened upon the enemy’s works beyond the Norfolk railroad.

On the 20th, by order of General Birney, the firing on the enemy’s works was continued till 11 a. m., and a few shell were also thrown into the city. At midnight my battery was relieved by the Second Maine Battery, of the Ninth Corps, and went into park near the Beatty house. Expended during the last three days 138 rounds of shell.

On the 21st moved with the reserve batteries into park near the Jones’ house.

On the 22d, about 4 p. m., the enemy assaulted our lines to the left of the plank road with some success, and the reserve batteries were quickly placed in position at the Jones house. My battery remained here until the 25th and then went into camp in the woods near the Jones house.

At 2 o’clock on the morning of the 28th relieved Dwight’s battery on the front line, remaining until July 4, when I was in turn relieved by Ricketts’ battery (F, First Pennsylvania), and returned to camp.

At midnight of the 11th of July, by order of Major Hazard, commanding Artillery Brigade, took position near the Williams house, remaining till 3 p. m. of the 12th.

On the 13th, having been assigned to Gibbon’s division, moved with that command to camp near the Southall house. The battery remained in this position until the 22nd of July, when, by order of Colonel Smyth, commanding Second Division, took position in the inclosed work near the Norfolk railroad (rear line) relieving Durell’s battery, of the Ninth Corps.

On the 26th the battery was assigned to General Mott’s division, and marched at 5 p. m., and, crossing the Appomattox at Point of Rocks at midnight, reached and crossed the James at Deep Bottom early on the

morning of the 27th. At 6 a. m., by order of General Mott, took position in the oak grove about a mile from the river, and engaged a 12-pounder battery of the enemy at 1,000 yards distance, exploding a chest, and silencing the battery with fifty-two rounds of percussion-shell. The only damage to my battery was one caisson slightly injured, and the horses killed. About 3 p. m., by order of Major Hazard, went into park near the river.

At dark on the 29th started with the reserve batteries of the corps on the return to Petersburg, arriving near headquarters Eighteenth Corps about sunrise of the 30th, but did not take part in the attack of that day.

On the 31st went into camp near Deserted House.

The casualties during this campaign have been very few-1 officer and 8 men severely, and as many more slightly wounded. The losses in material have been proportionally light.

The behavior of the officers and men has been all that could be desired.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. M. EDGELL,

Captain First New Hampshire Battery.

Lieutenant U. D. EDDY,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Artillery Brigade, Second Corps.

Source:

  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), pages 429-431

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