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OR XL P1 #81: Report of Captain John B. Vande Wiele, 4th NYHA, June 12-August 5, 1864

No. 81. Report of Captain John B. Vande Wiele, Fourth New York Heavy Artillery, including operations June 12-August 5.1



[June] 13th, halted until 11 a. m.; crossed the Chickahominy and halted at 3.30 p. m. Marched to Doctor Wilcox’s farm and bivouacked on the banks of the James River at 9 p. m. 14th and 15th, worked incessantly day and night loading transports. 16th, crossed James River at 5 p. m.; rested until 9 a. m. moved up to the lines in front of Petersburg. Sent out five companies, under command of Major Williams, as a detail to General Gibbon’s division. 18th, ordered forward; took one line of pits and the road from the enemy. Retained the position until 11 a. m., when an advance was ordered; the command was repulsed with severe loss. Relieved at dark and ordered to the rear. 19th and 20th, lay in second line of pits. 21st, at 4 a. m. moved to field near corps headquarters. At 10 a. m. marched eight miles, crossing the Jerusalem plank road; rested until 5 p. m. in edge of woods; fell back a little. Supported Brown’s battery on plank road. Sent three companies on skirmish line. 22d, went back to Wilson’s house at 7 a. m. At 4 p. m. were ordered up to fill gap between Second and Sixth Corps, at the moment when McKnight’s battery and some regiments were captured by the rebels. Built rifle-pits all night. 23d, at 5 a. m. were attached to General Gibbon’s command. Lay on skirmish line all day; lost some men killed; ordered to abandon line about 4 p. m., as it was untenable. Erected a line of pits to west of plank road. Lay there until June 30, when the command was assigned to the First, Second, and Third Brigades, Third Division, Second Army Corps.

July 1, companies D and L were detached to Artillery Brigade, the former to serve mortar battery, the latter to guard ammunition train. The remainder of the command remained on infantry picket duty until 12th of July.

July 13, forty men detailed to Artillery Brigade as cannoneers by order of General Hancock. Moved from rear of General Hancock’s headquarters, and camped during the day with Third Brigade, Third Division. In the evening were ordered to report to General Hunt, chief of artillery, and, according to instructions, marched to woods near General Meade’s headquarters and went into reserve camp. 14th, Companies A and M detailed to siege train, Broadway Landing; remainder of command employed in erecting fortifications, mounting guns, and other similar fatigue duties until 27th of July. On 27th one company ordered to report to Major Trumbull, at General Ord’s headquarters, to serve battery of six Coehorn mortars. Daily duty as usual. 28th, rested al day. 29th, Company H detailed to battery of six 4 1/2-inch guns at Castle Hill redan; Company K detailed to serve ten Coehorn mortars on Fifth Corps lies. 30th, participated in the grand assault on Petersburg without suffering any loss. August 1, Company K relieved


* For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 3 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.525.


from duty with mortars. 2nd, the entire command relieved from the immediate command of the chief of artillery and ordered to report to Major-General Hancock. 3rd, received complimentary order from General Hunt, for the efficiency, skill, and gallantry displayed by the officers and men while under his orders. 4th, received from Colonel Abbot complimentary letter thanking the colonel commanding for the cordial co-operation of the regiment whilst under his orders, and rendering flattering testimony to its gallant conduct in the engagement of July 30. 5th, Companies A and M returned to the regiment from duty on Broadway Landing; Companies H and C relieved from duty with batteries.


Captain, Commanding Fourth New York Artillery.


No. 100. August 3, 1864.

In obedience to Special Orders, Numbers 206, paragraph 4, headquarters Army of the Potomac, the Fourth New York Foot Artillery is relieved from duty with the siege train, and the colonel commanding will report to Major-General Hancock, commanding Second Corps, for orders.

In relieving this regiment the brigadier-general directing the siege operation returns his thanks to Colonel Allcock, his officers and men, for the efficiency, skill, and gallantry they have displayed whilst under his orders in the labor and operations in which they have taken part, in the preparation of material, the construction of the works, and in the service of the artillery in the battle of the 30th of July.

By command of General Hunt:

JNumbers N. CRAIG,

Assistant Adjutant-General.
Broadway Landing, Va., August 4, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel THOMAS ALLCOCK,

Commanding Fourth New York Artillery:

COLONEL: By direction of Colonel Abbot, I have the honor to transmit herewith Special Orders, No. 100, Artillery Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, August 3, 1864, relieving your regiment from duty with the siege train. The companies (A and M) at these headquarters are ordered to report to you at once. In taking leave of the regiment the colonel commanding desires to thank you for its cordial co-operation during the last few weeks. In preparing the siege batteries it has taken a prominent part, and in serving its guns (six 4 1/2-inch guns, Company H, Captain A. C. Brown commanding, and twelve Coehorn mortars, Companies K and L, Captain S. F. Gould and Second Lieutenant Frank Seymour commanding) it has maintained the reputation well earned by its previous services during the campaign.

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


First Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


  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 397-398
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