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OR XL P1 #224: Reports of Lieutenant George W. Silvis, Btty D PA Lt Arty, June 16-July 30, 1864

No. 224. Reports of Lieutenant George W. Silvis, Battery D, Pennsylvania Light Artillery.1

CAMP BATTERY D, PENNSYLVANIA ARTILLERY, Before Petersburg, Va., August 12, 1864.



On the morning of the 16th [June] crossed the Chickahominy River and moved to a line of works erected near Powhatan Point, on the James River. On the morning of the 17th crossed the James River at Powhatan Point and went into camp on the south bank. On the morning of the 18th marched in the direction of Petersburg, and reached the vicinity of that city about 10 o’clock in the evening. Went into camp for the night and in the morning moved about a mile toward the left of our army. Remained there until the evening of the 20th, when we were ordered into position. Moved into a work about the center of the line of batteries of the Ninth Corps, where we remained until the evening of the 9th of July. During that time we expended 234 rounds of ammunition. On the morning of the 10th of July proceeded to join the Fourth Division, Ninth Army Corps, then lying on the Jerusalem plank road in rear of the left of the army. On the morning of the 12th moved to a point on the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad, and on the evening of the 16th moved into a redoubt just erected on the left of that railroad. Here we remained until the 22d, when we moved to a plain in rear of the headquarters of Ninth Army Corps, and on the evening of the 25th two section of the battery were ordered to occupy the fort on the right of the Norfolk road.

Were ordered on the evening of the 29th of July to be in readiness to commence firing immediately after the explosion of the mine in our front. As soon as the mine exploded we commenced firing; most of the firing was directly toward the crest of the hill in the rear of the crater. Owing to the limited field of firing from the part of the work in which we were stationed, and the danger of firing with our troops so near the enemy, after about half an hour’s firing we ceased. At intervals during the morning we fired a few more rounds, expending in all during the day eighty-four rounds of ammunition.

The casualties in the company during the campaign were: David Walters, wounded in back, June 22; Daniel D. Armel, wounded in head, June 27, since died; Henry S. Rogers, wounded in foot, June 28; Wellington F. Clouser, wounded in chin, July 30.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

I have the honor to be, captain your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant, Commanding Battery D, Pennsylvania Vol. Artillery.


Asst. Adjt. General, Fourth Division, Ninth Army Corps.

BEFORE PETERSBURG, VA., August 5, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that this battery commenced firing on the morning of the 30th of July a little after 4 a.m. and ceased firing shortly after 12 m. On account of the trees in my immediate


*For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 5 to June 15, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.991.


front the field of fire was extremely limited. I fired at the enemy’s battery on the hill in rear of the crater, and also shelled the woods to the right of that eminence. I expended 84 rounds, 34 time-shell as solid shot, and 50 rounds of Schenkl percussion; the latter worked admirably. I had one private slightly wounded. I had four guns in action.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant, Commanding Battery D, Pennsylvania Vol. Artillery.

Lieutenant-Colonel MONROE,

Chief of Artillery, Ninth Army Corps.


  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 610-611
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