TWELFTH NEW YORK BATTERY,
August 28, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report as follows concerning the operations and movements of the Twelfth New York Battery from August 12, 1864, to August 27, 1864:
The battery, pursuant to orders, marched at 7 p. m. August 12, with the reserve artillery of the corps, crossing the Appomattox at Point of Rocks, and parked near Dutch Gap, where it remained until August 16, when in moved with the reserve artillery to Jones’ Neck. At dark August 20 I marched back with the reserve artillery to our old camp. At 11 a. m. August 21 I marched to the left, parking about half a mile from the Jones house to the right of the plank road. At 11 a. m. August 22 I marched to the left and parked near the Gurley house, reporting to Major-General Gibbon, commanding Second Division, Second Army Corps. Remained there until dark August 23, when I marched with Second Division, Second Army corps, to the plank road and up the road about three miles; parked until 4 a. m. August 24; then,marched to Reams’ Station and took position in the line of breastworks about 300 yards to the right of the church, relieving Battery B, First Rhode Island Artillery. During the 24th everything was quit while the troops were engaged in tearing up the railroad. On the morning of the 25th skirmishing commenced nearly all around us.
Shortly after noon the enemy made two charges on the works some distance to my left, where I could not open upon them. About 5 p. m. the enemy opened upon our lines heavily with shell. I was ordered to return fire upon their column in the woods, at the distance of 600 yards, with solid shot and shell. After firing a few rounds Brigadier-General Miles, commanding First Division, Second Army Corps, ordered me to send one piece farther to the left, in the angle where the line crossed the railroad. I sent Second Lieutenant Henry G. Brower with my right piece to take the position indicated. Very soon the enemy charged with a heavy force upon the works some distance to my left, near the piece sent to the left, Lieutenant Brower was killed, while fighting his piece in the most gallant manner, by a shot through the head, when Corporal Liddle, left in command of the piece after firing upon the enemy with canister as they came over the works until they had nearly surrounded him, limbered up and drew the gun off a few yards, where, one of his wheel horses falling dead, he cut the other teams loose and escaped with the teams. As soon as my front was cleared of our skirmishers our works, having the most of my drives carrying ammunition. The enemy having broken through the lines formed in column near the church, endeavoring to advance down the road in rear our breast-works, and also upon the outside. I ran the left piece out of the work to bear upon the road, turned my two other pieces down along outside of the works, and as soon as our infantry had retreated from my left, fired along the road and works with double-shotted canister until the enemy had advanced nearly to my guns under cover of the woods to the rear of my works, when I ordered limber to the rear. The right wheel horses to each limber were shot in crossing over the road to the guns and two fell, so that the guns could not be limbered; the third succeeded in limbering and getting the gun some distance down the road before the fell. When the teams advanced across the road to limber up, I went into the woods and mounted my horse, and turning to go out to lead the teams to the rear, saw the enemy in force advanced as my right piece, when I galloped to the rear. In a short time the enemy was driven back from the works, when I returned and endeavored with Sergeant Outwater to reopen my guns upon the enemy, but was unable to do so, as I had no lanyard. My cannoneers being to the rear, I sent Sergeant Outwater to bring them up, and he afterward report to me that the provost guard would not allow them to the front nor him to return nor him to return on account of their not being armed. Not being able to reopen fire, at dark I proceeded to getting off my carriages. After the three pieces to the right had been sent off field, Captain Clark, action chief of artillery, directed me to endeavor to get off the gun that had been ordered to the angle to the left. I started up the road toward the church, and after going a short distance I met Colonel Lynch, commanding First Brigade, First Division, who informed me the gun could not be reached, as it was outside of our lines, and the troops were being withdrawn pursuant to orders. The troops were then marching down the road. I then turned my attention to getting off my other carriages, and with the assistance of men from the Sixty-first New York Volunteers got the gun limbers carried off the field. I could get no assistance to draw off the caissons in the woods, the other two having been drawn away while the enemy held the works, when Lieutenant Sweeney, commanding the provost guard First Division, came up with the guard, saving they had volunteered to return and assist in drawing off the
caissons, which they accordingly did, taking them off the field of battle. The pickets being withdrawn, and, waiting for the carriages to be drawn off, Lieutenant Fairchild, aide-de-camp to the chief of artillery, returned with me to that point with a team, and assisted me in getting once carriage away after the troops had withdrawn, except a cavalry vedette.
My men behaved in the most gallant manner, remaining at their guns long after all support had left them, both on the right and left, never leaving until the enemy were immediately upon them. Sergeant Slocum, commanding the left section, fought his section with the utmost coolness and efficiency.
My loss in the action of the 25th of August, at Reams’ Station, was as follows: Second Lieutenant Henry D. Brower, 1 corporal, and 1 private killed, 2 privates wounded, and 1 sergeant, 1 corporal, and 4 privates missing. Also 1 light 12-pounder gun, 2 caissons for same, 1 ambulance, and 34 horses.
On the morning of August 26 I returned to my camp near Jerusalem plank road.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. K. DAUCHY,
First Lieutenant, Commanding Twelfth New York Battery.
Lieutenant U. D. EDDY,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Artillery Brigade, Second Army Corps.
- 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 420-422 ↩