Number 225. Reports of Captain Romeo H. Start, Third Vermont Battery

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

No. 225. Reports of Captain Romeo H. Start, Third Vermont Battery.1

THIRD BATTERY LIGHT ARTILLERY VERMONT VOLS., Before Petersburg, Va., August 4, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the assault on the enemy’s lines before Petersburg, Va., on the morning of the 30th of July, 1864:

At about 10 minutes past 4 a.m. the mine in front of the work, in part occupied by four of my guns, the remaining two being in reserve, exploded, and in accordance with instructions I immediately opened fire upon the heavy earth-work on the enemy’s left of the one mined. Soon finding that the position of the two right pieces was so low, and the rifle-pits in front so high as partially to hide from view the enemy’s work, I caused those pieces to be moved out of the work to the high open ground immediately in rear, where, by firing over the parapet and across the flank of the work, I was enabled to obtain an effective fire upon the work above mentioned. I continued to work my guns upon the work indicated until our troops carried the works in the immediate vicinity of the fort, when, by direction of General Burnside, I ceased firing. The fire upon this point had lasted nearly an hour and had caused the enemy to materially slacken his fire, but we could not silence his guns. Very soon after I ceased firing the enemy opened two guns from the work on the right of the railroad cut, his shot enfilading my position, to which I immediately replied. Those guns were soon silenced by Jones’ (Eleventh Massachusetts) battery and my own. At about 5.30 a.m. our troops were forced to retire from the immediate vicinity of the work upon which I had at first directed my fire, and I again opened upon the same and continued the fire upon that point and the enemy’s infantry until the close of the engagement by the enemy’s retaking his works. None of my men were injured. The ammunition used was mostly Schenkl percussion-shell. I also used a few rounds of Schenkl case-shot, time-fuse. All of my ammunition worked admirably. There were but two premature explosions. Three hundred and ninety-fire rounds expended.

I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROMEO H. START,

Captain, Commanding Battery.

Lieutenant SAMUEL CHAPIN,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Artillery, Ninth Army Corps.

THIRD BATTERY LIGHT ARTILLERY VERMONT VOLS., Before Petersburg, Va., August 10, 1864.

LIEUTENANT:*

June 16, crossed the [Chickahominy] River and moved to the James River, near Wilcox’s Landing, Va., and went into position in an earthwork, for the purpose of covering the crossing of that river. Remained in position until the morning of the 17th instant, when the battery left its position and crossed the James on the pontoon bridge near Fort Powhatan, Va., and moved up the south bank of the river a mile, and encamped for the night.

June 18, 1864, moved from the James River to the lines in front of Petersburg, Va., where it arrived at 10 p.m. and encamped. Remained in camp until the evening of the 20th instant, when it went into position near to and on the right of the Norfolk and Petersburg road. From the said 20th of June until the 30th of July, 1864, this battery has been in position at different points along the lines in front of Petersburg most of the time. This battery was engaged in the assault on the enemy’s lines in front of Petersburg, Va., on the said 30th of July, 1864, a full report of its operations on that day having hitherto been submitted.

I am, lieutenant, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROMEO H. START,

Captain, Commanding Battery.

Lieutenant SAMUEL CHAPIN,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Artillery, Ninth Army Corps.

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*For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 6 to June 15, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.993.

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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 611-612

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