Numbers 100. Report of Major John G. Hazard, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, commanding Artillery Brigade, of operations July 1-30.1
HDQRS. ARTILLERY BRIGADE, SECOND ARMY CORPS, October 12, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this command from July 1 to July 30, 1864, including the operations at Deep Bottom, Va.:
On the 1st of July six batteries of the brigade were in position on the line held by the corps to the left of the Jerusalem plank road, and seven batteries were camped near the Jones house. At this date, Colonel Tidball having been assigned to duty elsewhere, I assumed command of the brigade as senior officer, and was regularly assigned by orders from headquarters of the corps on the 6th of July. The brigade remained in this position until July 11, the batteries in reserve occasionally relieving those in position.
On July 11 orders were received directing the withdrawal from the intrenched line held by the corps. The artillery was withdrawn during the night, and with the reserve batteries massed in a field near the Williams house and north of the Jerusalem plank road.
On the morning of the 12th the corps took position in the line near the Williams house, two batteries reporting to each division commander. The command remained quiet during the 12th.
On the morning of the 13th orders were received to move to the right. The Second Division moved to the Southall house, and occupied the line to the north of the plank road, the left resting on the Norfolk railroad. Dow’s (Sixth Maine) battery went into position in the redan on the center of this line; Edgell’s (First New Hampshire) battery in the redoubt on the Norfolk road. The remainder of the command went into camp on the north side of the Norfolk road and near the Deserted House.
On the 23rd of July
On the 25th of July orders were received to be in readiness to move at short notice.
On the 26th the following assignments of batteries to divisions were made: To First Division, Sleeper’s (Tenth Massachusetts) battery and Brown’s (B, First Rhode Island); to Second Division, Rickett’s (F, First Pennsylvania) and Gilliss’ (C and I, Fifth United States); to Third Division, Edgell’s (First New Hampshire), Dow’s (Sixth Maine), and Woerner’s (Third New Jersey). The command moved at dark, the reserve batteries marching in rear of the Second Division; crossed the Appomattox at Point of Rocks and arrived at Jones’ Neck before daylight. The divisions, accompanied by their artillery, crossed the river immediately. Captain Edgell’s (First New Hampshire) battery went into position in the oak grove near the bridge-head, Captain Woerner’s (Third New Jersey) battery to the right of the grove, Captain Sleeper’s (Tenth Massachusetts) battery and Captain Brown’s (B, First Rhode Island) on the left of Captain Edgell’s battery. At 6 a. m. the line advanced across the open plain on the enemy’s position in the edge of the woods about 1,000 yards distant. The batteries in position opened a concentrated fire on the enemy’s artillery, forcing their cannoneers to leave their guns for a time. At this time the line of works was carried by our skirmish line and battery of four 20-pounder Parrott guns was captured with two caissons. The enemy returned to and succeeded in getting off their light 12-pounder battery. Owing to the advance of our troops the heavy fire on it could not be continued. The 20-pounder battery was taken across the river to Jones’ Neck and shipped to City Point. Our line now advanced, the left resting on Deep Creek, and the right extending along the ridge at the Potteries and the New Market road. Positions for batteries were selected on the right and left of the Potteries, and Captain Ricketts’ (F, First Pennsylvania) placed on the left, Lieutenant Gilliss’ (C and I, Fifth United States) on the right. Earth-works were thrown up for their protection. No other positions practicable for artillery could be found on the line. The positions of Captains Brown’s, Sleeper’s, and Edgell’s batteries remained unchanged. Captains Dow’s and Woerner’s batteries were placed in position on the right of the oak grove and near the Chimneys, sweeping the open plain in front. About 3 p. m. Captain Ames’ battery was ordered across the river and took position in the work at the bridge-head. At 4 p. m. as a precautionary measure against any attack on the rear, the five batteries near the bridge-head were disposed in such a manner as to fully cover all approaches. During this time the six reserve batteries remained on the south side of the river at Jones’ Neck.
During the night of the 28th the Third Division recrossed the river and marched back to Petersburg. Roder’s (K, Fourth United States), Burton’s (Eleventh New York), and McKnight’s (Twelfth New York) batteries moved ordered to report to General Mott, commanding, and marched back with his division. During the night the line was drawn back into the open plain, and Dow’s battery was moved forward to the line taken up on Strawberry Plains. The command remained in this position until dark of the 29th. At dusk the batteries withdrew to the bridge-head, those of the First and Second Divisions moving with them. The reserve moved in rear of the troops, recrossed the James and Appomattox Rivers, and about daylight parked with the other batteries, in rear of the Eighteenth Army Corps headquarters.
None of the batteries were in position during the engagement of July 30. At dark the command returned to their former camp, near the Deserted House.
No casualties occurred in the brigade during the period covered by this report.
JNumbers G. HAZARD,
Major SEPTIMUS CARNCROSS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Army Corps.
- 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 425-426 ↩