Number 119. Petersburg Campaign Reports of Lieutenant John W. Roder, Battery K, Fourth U. S. Artillery, of operations August 12-27 and October 26-28

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

Numbers 119. Reports of Lieutenant John W. Roder, Battery K, Fourth U. S. Artillery, of operations August 12-27 and October 26-28.1

HEADQUARTERS BATTERY, FOURTH U. S. ARTILLERY,
Near Petersburg, Va., August 28, 1864.

MAJOR: In compliance with instructions of this date from headquarters Artillery Brigade, Second Corps, I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of battery (Fourth U. S. Artillery), under my command during our late movements:

In accordance with instructions from headquarters Artillery brigade, Second Corps, i left camp near Petersburg, Va., about 6 p. m. on the 12th day of August, 1864, and marched with the rest of the batteries of the corps in the direction of the James River, and encamped about three miles on this side. August 13, remained in camp all day. August 14, received orders about midnight to move at 1.30 a. m.; was conducted by Lieutenant Bull, aide-de-camp, to the river, crossed on the upper pontoon bridge, near Bottom, and report to General Barlow, commanding First Division, Second Corps; was directed by him to go into park near the head of the brigade and await further orders. August 15, battery remained in park all day. August 16, about 1 p. m. I was directed by Lieutenant Bull, aide-de-camp, to move the battery to the front and report in person to Major-General Birney, commanding the Tenth Corps. After I had reported I was ordered by Colonel McGilvery. General Birney’s chief of artillery, to take up a position on an elevated piece of ground and within about 600 yards of the enemy’s works, and open fire at once, which I did, and, by all accounts, with good effect. I fired 323 rounds of ammunition of various kinds, had 2 men wounded (1 slightly and 1 severely-lost his leg) and 1 horse killed and 2 wounded; was ordered to withdraw at dark and go back to my old camp near the pontoon bridge. August 17 and 18, remained in camp. August 19, left camp at 8 a. m.; was directed by General Miles to take up position on the right of his line. August 20, left position at 7 p. m., joined the First Division, recrossed the James River, and halted. August 21, started again at 1 a. m., arrived in my old camp near Petersburg about 9 a. m.; left camp again at 12m., marched two miles to the left of our line and went into park near the Jones house. August 22, battery remained in park all day. August 23, left park at 9 a. m., moved back about half a mile and went into camp near Artillery Brigade headquarters. August 24, moved to the front about half a mile and went into position. August 25, remained in the same position. August 26, was directed by Lieutenant Eddy, acting assistant adjutant-general, to move the battery to the left and report top General Miles. By him was directed to take up a position near the Williams house, on line with his division. August 27, left position at 9 a. m.; followed the division to the Avery house; was then directed by one of General Miles’ aides-de-camp to go back to my old camp near army headquarters, where I am at present.

The officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates all behaved in their usual good manner, both on the march and in action.

Respectfully submitted.

J. W. RODER,

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

Major J. G. HAZARD,

Chief of Artillery, Second Army. Corps.
HEADQUARTERS BATTERY K, FOURTH U. S. ARTILLERY,
Before Petersburg, Va., October 31, 1864.

SIR: In compliance with instructions from headquarters Artillery Brigade, Second Corps, of this date, I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of Battery k, Fourth U. S. Artillery, in the recent movement:

In accordance with instructions from headquarters Artillery Brigade, Second Corps, I reported with my battery to General Mott, commanding Third Division, Second Corps, at 1 p. m. the 26th instant. Was directed by him to follow the division as soon as it moved out. Marched railroad near Yellow Tavern. Left camp at 3 a. m. the 27th; continued to march with the division, arrived on Hatcher’s farm, near the Boydton road, about 12m.; was directed by one of General Mott’s aides-de-camp to park my battery in the field, where General Hancock had his headquarters. Here I remained until about 3 p. m., when the enemy made a vigorous attack near that part of the line where I was and compelled some of our troops to fall back. I was then directed by Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, chief of staff to the major-general commanding, to move my battery a short distance to the front and open fire at once, which I did with solid shot and shell, and with good effect. The enemy was at this time not more that about 500 yards from the battery in front, and they were throwing shot and shell in both my flank and rear. As soon as our infantry rallied and the enemy back again I ceased firing. Remained in position until dark, when Lieutenant Smith was ordered to take command of the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, as all the officers in that battery had been wounded, and I was directed by Lieutenant Bull, aide-de-camp to the chief of artillery to report to General Egan, commanding Second Division, Second Corps; was instructed by him to follow the Third Brigade of his division. Left the battle-ground about 9 p. m.; arrived at Hatcher’s (or Nobel) Run about 2 a. m. and went into and remained there until daylight, when I crossed the run and marched with the division back to my old camp near Fort Bross.

My casualties are comparatively small, considering the amount of shelling the battery was exposed to. They are as follows: 1 man and 2 horses killed and 3 men and 2 horses wounded; had 6 bags of grain shot off the caissons.

Lieutenant Smith and all the non-commissioned officers and privates behaved in their usual gallant manner. For their able support and good conduct on the march I avail myself of this opportunity to tender them my sincere thanks.

J. W. RODER,

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

Major J. G. HAZARD,

Chief of Artillery, 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 424-425

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