Number 88. Siege of Petersburg Reports of Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel John G. Hazard, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, commanding Artillery Brigade, of operations February 5-7 and March 25

   

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No. 88. Reports of Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel John G. Hazard, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, commanding Artillery Brigade, of operations February 5-7 and March 25.1

HDQRS. ARTILLERY BRIGADE, SECOND ARMY CORPS,
February 12, 1865.

MAJOR: In obedience to instructions received from headquarters of the corps, February 4, 1865, three batteries of this brigade were got in readiness to move. On the evening of the 4th I was informed that only two batteries would go, and designated Battery K, Fourth U. S. Artillery, Brevet Captain Roder commanding, with a section of Battery B, First Rhode Island Artillery, attached, and the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, First Lieutenant J. Webb Adams commanding. Captain Roder was directed to report to Brevet Major-General Mott, commanding Third Division, at 6.30 a.m. February 5, and Lieutenant Adams to Brigadier-General Smyth, commanding Second Division, at the same hour. Captain A. J. Clark, First New Jersey Artillery, was left in command of the batteries on the First Division line. The batteries moved with the troops at 7 a.m. on the Vaughan road toward Hatcher’s run. When the First Brigade of the Third Division carried the ford at the run, one section of Battery K, Fourth U. S. Artillery, was put in position to cover the ford of the Third Division, and another to protect the flank, and remained there during the day. When General Smyth’s division moved toward Armstrong’s Mill ford it was followed by the Tenth Massachusetts Battery. One section was placed in position near the Armstrong house, covering the ford and another commanding the Duncan road. The remaining section, under command of

Lieutenant Day, was at a later hour, put in position in rear of the Tucker house. At about 5.30 a.m. the enemy attacked our forces on the right of the Duncan road; the section of Adams’ battery, placed to cover the ford, commenced firing to the rear. At the point where McAllister’s brigade was connecting with the Third Division the enemy forced our troops back at one time, but, with the assistance of a vigorous shelling from two sections of Adams’ battery, which had been brought to bear on this point the enemy were driven back. During the attack on General McAllister’s brigade the four guns of Adams’ battery were enabled to render good service, as their fire enfiladed the advancing line of the enemy completely. The assault was successfully repulsed, and on examination of the ground showed that the artillery fire had been very destructive.

No casualties occurred during this engagement, and only one horse was killed.

During the night of the 5th Smith’s section of Roder’s battery was sent to the neighborhood of the Armstrong house, and the rest of Roder’s battery moved back from the Vaughan-road ford at the time of the withdrawal of the Third Division, and were placed in reserve near the Cummings house.

In the afternoon, when the Fifth Corps was engaged and had returned from Dabney’s Mill, Smith’s section, from its position near the Armstrong house, and a section of the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, near the same house, kept up a vigorous fire on the enemy in the woods opposite the Armstrong-Mill ford. Nothing worthy of remark occurred until the afternoon of February 7, when Smith’s section again opened fire on the woods in front of the advancing line of the Fifth Corps, and continued to fire until our troops advanced so far as to render it dangerous to them.

The batteries remained in their positions until the 11th instant, when they were disposed on the new entrenched line now held by the corps.

The casualties during the three days were, 3 horses killed, 1 horse wounded.

Respectfully submitted.

JNO. G. HAZARD,
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

Major SEPTIMUS CARNCROSS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Corps.

HDQRS. ARTILLERY BRIGADE, SECOND ARMY CORPS,
March 27, 1865.

I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this command in the operations of the 25th instant:

At about 6 a.m. the command was ordered to harness up and hitch in. Battery F, First Pennsylvania Artillery, was moved from its camp and parked near Third Division headquarters at 12 o’clock. Battery B, First Rhode Island Artillery, and B, First New Jersey, Artillery, were parked in rear of Battery F, in anticipation of being placed in position at the Watkins house. At 5 p.m. one section of Roder’s battery was placed in position on the right of Miles’ division, to protect his flank in case of an attack at that point. At 5.30 p.m. the other section of the battery was placed in position at the Skinner house, and opened fire on the enemy in the woods with solid shot, expending thirty-three rounds. The two sections of the battery remained in position until after dark,

when they were withdrawn by order of Major-General Miles, and took up their old position in Battery A. During the day the Tenth Massachusetts, B, First New Jersey Artillery, Eleventh New York, and First New Hampshire fired on the enemy’s position from their respective works, but the distance being so great it is doubtful if they rendered any material assistance. During the attack upon General Miles, Battery E, Fifth U. S. Artillery, was ordered to report to me, by order of Major-General Griffin. I placed one section in position near the enemy’s old work in rear of the Skinner house, to right of Roder’s battery. On account of its being a three-inch battery I considered it would be of little or no use in firing over the heads of our troops. After firing a few rounds I ordered it to the rear. On the withdrawal of the troops the batteries of the command were ordered to their former positions.

There were no casualties nor loss of material.

The following is the amount of ammunition expended:

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. G. HAZARD,
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel CHARLES A. WHITTIER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Corps.

(Copy to Bvt. Major John N. Craig, assistant adjutant-general, artillery headquarters, Army of the Potomac.)

Source:

  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), pages 249-251

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