CAMP OF BATTERY D, FIRST U. S. ARTILLERY,
August 21, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of Battery D, during your absence:
In accordance to Orders, No.-, headquarters Light Artillery Brigade, August 13, 1864, the battery reported to Brigadier-General Terry, commanding
First Division, Tenth Army Corps, at 11 p.m. August 13, 1864, with three days’ cooked rations, and three days’ forage on caissons. The battery then marched to Deep Bottom, crossed the James River at the upper pontoon at 3 a.m. August 14, and halted. At about 6 a.m. were ordered by Major-General Birney to take position in Redoubt Wead, at Deep Bottom, where it remained about one hour. Were then ordered to the front by General Terry, and ordered into position (in an open field on the left of First Division headquarters and about seventy-five yards in rear of the line of rifle-pits taken from the enemy in the morning), which was accomplished under a heavy fire of the enemy’s artillery and sharpshooters. Colonel Hawley’s brigade was about 200 yards on the right and on the road in rear. Company C, Sixth Connecticut Volunteers, came over the field as support to the battery, and was posted about fifty with percussion shell and case-shot on the enemy’s line of entrenchments, which was about 1,000 yards in an oblique direction to the right, elevation 2 degrees, time two seconds. One hundred and forty percussion shells and ninety case-shot were fired. During the engagement the enemy’s artillery and sharpshooters kept up a heavy fire on the battery, killing 1 horse and mortally wounding 3 others. Then ceased firing, by order of General Terry (owing to the poor quality of ammunition, some of which exploded about 100 yards from the muzzle), and remained in the same position until further orders. Were then ordered to leave the field at 3.30 p.m. and halt on the road leading to James River. While leaving the field the enemy’s sharpshooters kept up a heavy fire on the battery, during which time Private Mattox is supposed to have been killed. During the day Private Edward Scofield, of Company C, First Artillery, was sunstruck. The battery remained on the road until 10.30 p.m. Was then ordered by General Terry to cross the James River, and recross at the lower pontoon, and park for the night. Crossed the lower pontoon at 2.15 a.m. and parked until morning.
During the engagement the officers and men performed their duties with great coolness and alacrity.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant, First U. S. Artillery.
Fist Lieutenant J. P. SANGER,
Commanding Battery D, Fist U. S. Artillery.
LAURELL HILL, VA.,
October 9, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by Light Battery D, First U. S. Artillery, during the engagement with the enemy on the 7th instant, the battery being in position on the right of the line of entrenchments:
When the enemy were seen advancing in force on our right at 7 a.m., the battery was then ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson, chief of artillery, Tenth Army Corps, to fall back across the New Market road and be in readiness to go into position. At about 8 a.m. the enemy opened a heavy fire with artillery. The battery went into position a little to the right of the New Market road and opened with percussion shell and case-shot on the enemy’s artillery, at a distance of about 1,100 yards, but owing to the nature of the ground it could not be ascertained what effect our fire
had at the time, but on examining the battle-ground after the fight was over it was found that the fire of the battery was delivered with great precision and very good effect. Lieutenant Seaver, Third Rhode Island Volunteer Artillery, with the left section, was ordered to advance about 200 yards, in a corn-field, where the section opened fire on the enemy’s artillery with good effect. The battery remained in position, under a heavy fire of the enemy’s artillery, until about 10 a.m., during which time several men and horses were killed and wounded. The battery then moved about seventy-five yards to the right, in order to get out of range of the enemy’s artillery, and again opened fire. At the same time Lieutenant Seaver’s section was withdrawn, the cannoneers taking one piece off the field by hand, all the horses being killed. Lieutenant Seaver’s section was then placed in position on the left of the battery. At 11 a.m. the enemy’s artillery ceased firing and withdrew. Lieutenant Wheeler, with the right section, went into position on the road, on the right of the line of intrenchments.
During the engagement there were 729 rounds of ammunition expended. Both officers and men behaved with great bravery and coolness. Two wheels were disabled by the enemy’s fire.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant, First U. S. Artillery, Commanding Battery.
Lieutenant O. S. DEWEY,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Light Arty. Brigadier, Tenth 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 787-789 ↩