Number 112. Petersburg Campaign Report of Lieutenant John W. Roder, Battery K, Fourth U. S. Artillery

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

Numbers 112. Report of Lieutenant John W. Roder, Battery K, Fourth U. S. Artillery.1

HDQRS. BATTERY K, FOURTH U. S. ARTILLERY, Near Petersburg, Va., September 3, 1864.

MAJOR:*

FIFTH EPOCH.

June 12, I was directed by the chief of artillery to report with my battery to General Barlow, commanding First Division, Second Corps. Was ordered by him to leave my position at dark and move with the division; marched all night.

June 13, crossed the Chickahominy at 9 a. m.; arrived in camp, near the James River, about 4 p. m.

June 14, remained in camp all day.

June 15, left camp at 9 a. m. Crossed the James River near Wilcox’s Landing at 12 m. on the transport Eliza Hancox; marched with the division in the direction of Petersburg and went into part about midnight.

June 16, left part about 3 a. m.; moved with the division to the left of the Second Corps line; was directed by Major Hancock, General Barlow’s assistant adjutant-general, to take up a position to the right of one of the enemy’s works situated near the Avery house. I opened fire on the work and some infantry that were brought up to support a battery, with good effect; remained in position all night.

June 17, was directed by one of General Barlow’s aides-de-camp to change position farther to the right and nearer the enemy’s line of works. Here I did good execution; fired 151 rounds of ammunition. The enemy returned my fire with both artillery and infantry. Had 1 corporal severely and 1 private slightly wounded; remained in position all night.

June 18, remained in same position.

June 19, by direction of General Barlow I moved the battery farther to the front and within 400 yards of the enemy’s first line of works; fired thirty-seven rounds; had 1 man severely wounded and 1 horse killed.

June 20, was directed by Major Hazard to withdraw as soon as I was relieved by another battery, and join the rest of the batteries of the corps near the Norfolk road.

June 21, by direction of the chief of artillery I marched with the other batteries of the corps to the left and rear of our line about two miles. Was then ordered to report to General Barlow and move with the First Division. Marched as far as the Jerusalem plank road; was then directed by one of General Barlow’s aides-de-camp to go into camp near the Jones house, where I remained all night.

June 22, I was directed by Lieutenant Fairchild, aide-de-camp to the chief of artillery, to move with the Fourth New York Heavy Artillery to the front and take up a position on line with the First Division. I moved up at a trot, and just as I arrived on the line the enemy made an attack on my right. I directed Lieutenant Smith to open on them at once with the right section, but with what effect I am not able to say on account of a thick wood being in my immediate front; however, the enemy left in very short time after; remained in position.

June 23 to 26, remained in the same position.

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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. 534.

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June 27, was relieved by Captain Brown’s battery, and directed by the chief of artillery to go into camp near the James house.

June 28 to July 11, remained in the same camp.

July 12, left camp at midnight, marched one mile and a half to the rear, and went into park.

July 13, remained in the same place.

July 14, left camp at 8 a. m., marched with the other batteries of the corps about two miles to the right, and went into camp near the Norfolk road and army headquarters.

July 15 to 24, remained in the same camp.

July 25, received orders to move at short notice.

July 26, left camp at 3 p. m.; was directed to move with the reserve batteries of the corps; marched by way of Point of Rocks to the James River, near Deep Bottom, returned July 30; was ordered to go back to my old camp near amy headquarters.

The casualties are comparatively small considering the number of engagements the battery has been in since the commencement of the campaign. They are as follows: 1 man killed and 12 wounded, 9 horses killed in action and 12 died of wounds and hard marching. My loss in material is five wheels and four poles broken, one limber accidentally blown up.

Before bringing this report to a close I wish to return my thanks to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the battery for their hearty co-operation while on the march and in action. Of their soldierly bearing and conduct under fire I cannot speak too highly. Lieutenants Smith and Burnes, my section commanders, are deserving of great credit for the efficient manner in which they performed their duties. To their vigilance and attention my success is, in a great measure, due.

Respectfully submitted.

J. W. RODER,

Second Lieutenant Fourth U. S. Artillery, Commanding Battery K.

Major J. G. HAZARD,

Chief of Artillery, Second Army 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 441-442

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