Number 112. Reports of Captain Christian Woerner, Third New Jersey Battery, of operations August 12-27

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

Numbers 112. Reports of Captain Christian Woerner, Third New Jersey Battery, of operations August 12-27. 1

Report of operations of the Third New Jersey Battery, from the 12th to the 27th day of August, 1864:

August 12 p. m., the battery marched from the camp of the Artillery Brigade Second Corps, near Petersburg, Va., across the Appomattox, to near James River, Va., August 13 to 20, in reserve the Appomattox. August 21, a. m. arrived in the camp of the Artillery Brigade near Petersburg, Va., August 22, ordered to report to General Gibbon, commanding Second Division, and marched to the Weldon railroad. August 23, marched along the Weldon railroad toward Reams’ Station. August 24, arrived at Rams’ Station and took position in the breast-works on the right of the Twelfth New York Battery. August 25, 3 p. m., took position on the assigned to the battery by Acting Adjutant Bull. 4 p. m., the enemy opened a heavy fire on the position of my battery from two batteries, which I returned with good success, silencing several of their guns. The infantry of the enemy also made several charges on our position, but were held in check by the well-aimed fire of my battery until all our other troops had left the field. At 7. 30 p. m. the battery left the field, with a loss of 4 men killed and 7 men wounded, 5 horses killed and 6 wounded; also the rear part of once of the caissons could not be brought off the field. Returning, the battery command was informed by Adjutants New York could be saved, when the battery was halted, and the guns and caissons of the Twelfth New York Battery were carried off by our horses. August 26, a. m., arrived near Petersburg, Va., and encamped near the Jones house.

CHRISTIAN WOERNER,

Captain, Commanding Third New Jersey Battery.

THIRD NEW JERSEY BATTERY,

Near Petersburg, Va., September 3, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to give you in the following a report of the operations of my battery at Reams’ Station, Va., on August 25, 1864:

On the morning of the 25th of August my battery was in position in the breast-works near Reams’ Station on our right wing and on the rights of Captain McKnight’s (Twelfth New York) battery. At 3 p. m. I was ordered by Lieutenant Bull, acting assistant adjutant-general, to move the battery through a little grove to an open field of some twenty acres on our center. Here the first section, under command of First Lieutenant John J. Bargfeld, was brought into position in front of the wood and toward the left. The second section was brought in position in the center of the open field toward the left, where the enemy were expected to appear. At about 4 p. m. a rebel battery opened a heavy, concentrated fire from the woods opposite our center on the second section of my battery in position on the field, which I returned with good effect, silencing some of their pieces. The rebel infantry attacking and approaching very near to our position I changed my position about 100 yards to the rear and fired with canister against them. When nearly I keep up firing until night, when the troops were withdrawn, it being impossible to hold the place during the night.

During this engagement I fired 48 shell, 184 spherical case, 116 solid shot, 74 canister, 422 rounds, of which 318 rounds was of my own ammunition and the balance from ammunition abandoned by some other battery.

The losses of my battery are 4 killed and 7 wounded; 5 horses killed and 6 wounded. I also lost a caisson body, which it was impossible to bring off the field.

When returning from the battle-field I was informed that some of the pieces and caissons abandoned by other batteries might be saved, when I at a favorable place brought my battery to a halt, returned with my horses, and brought off and in safety several pieces and caissons.

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

CHRISTIAN WOERNER,

Captain, Commanding Third new Jersey 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 XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 417-418

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