OR XL P1 #278: Report of Colonel Alexander Piper, 10th NYHA, Arty/XVIII/AotJ, July 30, 1864



in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

Numbers 278. Report of Colonel Alexander Piper, Tenth New York Heavy Artillery, Chief of Artillery, of operations July 301

August 6, 1864

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the artillery of the Eighteenth Army Corps on July 30:

Instructions had been given on the evening of the 29th for those batteries in position to open fire on the enemy at a given signal, the signal being the explosion of the mine on Burnside’s front. The batteries on the left of the line were directed to open on those batteries and troops of the enemy who might have a cross or enfilading fire on our advancing forces, but to be very careful that they did not interfere with our progress. The remaining batteries of the line were directed to open generally, and by annoying the enemy divert his attention from the threatened point. Captain Burton and Captain Dow, First Connecticut Artillery, were directed at first to open on Petersburg, to prevent,if possible, the assembling by them of re-enforcements. Major Trumbull, First Connecticut Artillery, had a general charge of the mortars and siege guns of the line. The instructions were strictly carried out, and a heavy fire for some two hours was kept up from the front of this corps. The batteries were arranged as follows, commencing on the left: On the extreme left of the line was a battery of five Coehorn mortars, commanded by Lieutenant Andrews, First Connecticut Artillery; next on the right, about 200 yards distant, was a battery of four Coehorn mortars, commanded by Captain Gould, Fourth New York Artillery. Immediately on the right of this was a battery of two 8-inch mortars commanded by Lieutenant Sargeant, First Connecticut Artillery. About fifty yards on the right was a battery of two Coehorns, under charge of Captain Gould, Fourth New York Artillery. At the Hare house, about fifty yards to the right, was a battery of five light 12-pounders, commanded by Captain Anthony, Seventeenth New York Battery; four 8-inch mortars, Lieutenant Jackson, First Connecticut Artillery; two 20-pounder Parrotts of Ashby’s battery (E, Third New York Artillery). About 700 yards to the right was a battery of three Coehorn mortars, Lieutenant Williams, First Connecticut Artillery; two light 12-pounders of Riggs’ (H, Third New York Artillery). About 200 yards to the right, near the railroad (City Point), was a battery of two Coehorns, Lieutenant Beers, First Connecticut Artillery; three light 12-pounders of Riggs’ (H, Third New York) battery. About 200 yards on the right was a battery of six 3-inch rifles of Angel’s

battery (K, Third New York). About 300 yards on the right and across Harrison’s Creek was a battery of three 30-pounder Parrotts and four 8-inch mortars, under charge of Captain Dow, First Connecticut Artillery. On the plain in front of corps headquarters was Howell’s battery, six 10-pounder Parrotts.. One the ridge on right of corps headquarter was Burton’s (First Connecticut) battery of three 30-pounder Parrotts. On the railroad near the Spring Hill crossing was a 13-inch mortar, under charge of Captain Osborne, First Connecticut Artillery. At the Walthall house were two 20-pounder Parrotts of Ashby’s battery (E, Third New York Artillery). At the Rushmore house was Brigham’s battery, First Connecticut Artillery, four 30-pounder Parrotts. The light batteries of the corps not mentioned by name were prepared, but were not called on to take part in the firing. It is reported by deserters that one shell from the 13-inch mortar dismounted a gun in the battery known as the Chesterfield Battery; another struck in the works, killing and wounding from 8 to 10 men.

The following is the amount of ammunition expended during the day: By the light batteries, 155 solid shot, 361 shell, 161 spherical case, and 6 canister; by the heavy batteries and mortars, 1,093 shell.

The casualties in the artillery of the corps for the 30th were 2 men wounded, viz: Battery H, Third New York Artillery, 1; 8-inch mortar battery, First Connecticut Artillery, 1.

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


Colonel Tenth New York Artillery, Chief of Artillery.

Brigadier-General HUNT,

Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac.


  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 726-727


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