No. 305. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Richard H. Jackson, Assistant Inspector-General and Chief of Artillery, of operations September 3 and October 7.1
HDQRS. ARTILLERY BRIGADE, TENTH ARMY CORPS,
Before Petersburg, Va., September 4, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the artillery of the corps during the last twenty-four hours:
The enemy opened fire upon the batteries on the extreme left, but with little effect, and were soon silenced. There was but little firing on the right during the day. Captain Riggs, Battery H, Third New York Artillery, expended seventy-five rounds on the enemy’s working parties at work on the hill to the left of the railroad. Lieutenant Stitt, Battery A, First Pennsylvania, reports twenty-five rounds expended. He had the Crater in his immediate front and is in good position to injure the enemy’s work. Captain Orwig, Battery E, First Pennsylvania, reports and expenditure of fifty-seven rounds. The whole number of rounds expended by the artillery is 227. The enemy opened quite briskly from their mortar batteries about 7.30 or 8 o’clock last evening. No casualties. The sanitary condition of works and batteries is constantly and rapidly improving. With the exception of the Hare battery, the whole line is in fair order.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. JACKSON,
Lieutenant Colonel, Assistant Inspector-General and Chief of Artillery.
Lieutenant Colonel EDWARD W. SMITH,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Tenth Army Corps.
HDQRS. LIGHT ARTILLERY Brigadier, TENTH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, Va., October 8, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Artillery Brigade of this corps during the action, the attack and repulse of the enemy on the right of the corps, on the 7th instant:
At about 8 a.m. the enemy were seen advancing against the right flank (Terry’s division) of the corps, near where Light Battery D, First U. S. Artillery, was posted. I immediately opened fire with this battery (range about 1,800 yards), and the enemy soon covered himself in the timber still farther to the right. I continued to shell the timber, and when he again partly emerged from it drove him in. About 9 a.m. our pickets were driven in about 1,000 yards, to where the rebel infantry were first seen, and the enemy opened on the First Brigade of the First Division with a battery of six light 12-pounders, and in a minute or two afterward with his six rifle guns. Anticipating such a movement, and fearing that he would also attack with his infantry from the same point, I had placed in position to reply two batteries-Lieutenant Myrick’s (E, Third United States) and Captain James’ (C, Third Rhode Island)-with two Requa guns, commanded by Lieutenant Truax, Sixteenth New York Artillery. The fire was delivered slowly and efficiently, and kept, as I have since learned, Hoke’s division of rebel infantry from moving forward to assist the assault of the enemy, about to commence
still farther to our right. Perceiving after awhile that the enemy was preparing to deliver his great onset on General Terry’s division, I changed the position of three guns of the Fifth New Jersey Battery, which were in embrasure on the center of the line of entrenchments, and wheeling them around rapidly placed them in position to fire over the parapet, near the right of Lieutenant Myrick’s battery, so as to bring a heavy concentrated fire on the enemy’s artillery, with a view to the destruction of his guns, or to make him change their position before his infantry should be ordered to charge, and thus leave me at liberty to turn all my guns on his advancing force, a measure, by the way, I had decided to have recourse to in any case. I am happy to say that his artillery fire was soon silenced, and that all the guns that could be brought to bear on his infantry were used with good effect. About this time the First Division (Terry’s) repulsed him easily and bloodily. During the action 1,296 rounds of ammunition were fired.
The casualties were as follows: Second Lieutenant R. V. King, Fourth New Jersey Battery, acting aide-de-camp, on my staff, was slightly wounded by a piece of shell in the left shoulder. Battery D, First U. S. Artillery, 1 private killed and 1 corporal and 3 privates severely wounded. Battery E, Third U. S. Artillery, 3 privates killed, 1 sergeant and 4 privates severely wounded, and 4 privates slightly wounded. Battery C, Third Rhode Island Artillery, 2 privates severely and 1 private slightly wounded. Recapitulation: 4 privates killed, and 1 officer and 16 enlisted men wounded. Nominal lists of killed and wounded will be furnished to-day.
The number of killed and wounded horses are as follows: Battery D, First U. S. Artillery, 10 horses killed; Battery E, Third U. S. Artillery, 17 horses killed; Battery C, Third Rhode Island Artillery, 3 horses killed and 2 wounded; Fourth New Jersey Battery, 3 horses killed and 3 wounded; Requa gun section, 1 horse killed and 1 wounded. The large number of killed and wounded horses in the Artillery Brigade can be accounted for by the fact that after the first five or six shots were fired by our artillery all of the fire from the enemy’s batteries was directed on my guns and horses. I am glad that it was so.
It is my duty to state that all the officers and enlisted men engaged performed their duty efficiently and courageously. I, however, beg leave to present the names of the following as being worthy of especial commendation:
Lieutenant John R. Myrick, Third U. S. Artillery, who fought his battery (and particularly one section of it, which lost nearly all its men and horses killed and wounded) in a manner to excite my admiration and draw forth on the spot my personal thanks. In the same battery Fist Sergt. G. F. Sessions, Corpl. F. Ringol, and Private Clark G. Shaw especially distinguished themselves by bravery and coolness. Bugler Daniel Urmey had charged of the caissons of the battery and brought up ammunition under a heavy fire in a manner that would have done credit to a commissioned officer. First Sergt. John F. Wyman, Battery C, Third Rhode Island Artillery, is recommended by his battery commander as worthy of particular mention in this report. Lieutenants Smith and King, acting assistant inspector-general and aide-de-camp, respectively, on my staff, behaved very gallantly and meritoriously during the engagement.
During the hottest part of the action, and when Lieutenant Myrick’s battery was so short-handed from casualties as to be unable to fire rapidly enough, the following-named brave soldiers of Company E,
Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteers, left secure places behind the line of entrenchments, unloaded ammunition for the guns, and performed other important services greatly to their credit and deserving of mention in general orders: Privates Charles W. Ware and Augustus Ingleman.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. JACKSON,
Lieutenant Colonel, Asst. Insp. General, Chief of Arty., 10th A. C., Commanding
Lieutenant WILLIAM P. SHREVE,
Com. of Musters and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
- 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 783-785 ↩