August 13. – Graham’s battery took position near Dutch Gap and shelled the enemy’s working party at that point. The enemy’s gunboats replied without effect.
August 14. – The enemy made another advance in force on this side of the James. Smith’s battery (Third Company Howitzers) was in position on New Marked Heights, and aided in repulsing the advance of the enemy until re-enforcements could be brought up, and at one time held the heights without infantry supports, driving back the enemy’s line of battle with artillery. One section of this battery was later in the day taken to the left to meet a flank movement of the enemy, and did good service. Later in the day the batteries of Captains Dance and Griffin took position on the lines and remained in position until the enemy recrossed the river. Captain Dance frequently fired upon the enemy’s infantry. Captain Graham was ordered to report with his battery to the cavalry, but not being needed reported back to the battalion and took position on New Marked Heights, but was not engaged.
In the above movements Dance’s and Smith’s batteries each lost 3 men severely wounded. Smith lost 8 horses and Dance 3.
Two batteries and a section of this battalion are now [August 31] encamped near the outer line of fortifications near the New Market road, and one battery and a section are doing duty on the lines around New Market Heights. This battalion has been known as First Virginia Regiment of Artillery, commanded by Colonel J. Thompson Brown. Second Company Richmond Howitzers (Captain L. F. Jones) was temporarily transferred, by order of Colonel T. H. Carter, commanding division, to Cutshaw’s battalion July 14, leaving four batteries – Graham’s (Rock-bridge), Dance’s (Powhatan), Smith’s (Third Company Howitzers), Griffin’s (Salem Flying Artillery).
Since last muster [August 31] this battalion has been doing duty on the lines on the north side of the James River; six guns on the lines and ten in reserve.
On the morning of 29th of September the enemy advanced and were repeatedly repulsed (Graham’s battery and one section of the Third Howitzers being in position), but owing to the capture of Fort Harrison the guns on the outer lines had to be withdrawn to the intermediate line of fortifications, as also the infantry. Meanwhile Dance and Griffin went into position on the intermediate line, Dance (next Fort Harrison) at Battery Field and Griffin on his left at a redoubt on the Mill road, and repulsed several assaults in heavy force upon our lines by the Eighteenth Army corps, Dance losing 4 killed and 18 wounded, and Griffin 1 killed and 1 wounded. About the same the Third Howitzers were retiring up the New Market road, supported by Gary’s cavalry brigade. The cavalry and artillery made a stand at Laurel Hill Church and fought the enemy until they were flanked on the left and compelled to retire toward Richmond. Graham’s and Smith’s guns, although engaged, lost no men. During the evening the enemy’s Tenth Corps made an assault on Fort Gilmer (just to the left of Griffin’s battery) and were repulsed, Griffin aiding materially in their repulse by firing canister into them at close range.
Since September 29 the battalion has been in position on different parts of the line and in now [October 31] occupying the line from Fort Gilmer to the Darbytown road.
In the advance of the enemy October 27, 1864, the Third Howitzers and one gun of Dance’s battery were engaged at Henrico Poor-House.
The Howitzers had 4 men wounded – 2 mortally, 1 severely, and 1 slightly. No other casualties sustained in the battalion.
Since last muster (31st of October, 1864) this battalion has occupied the same position on the line running from Fort Gilmer to the Darbytown road, &c., without any occurrence worthy of notice. By paragraph
IV, Special Orders, Numbers 208, Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, Richmond, current series, the designation of this battalion has been changed and is now known as the First Battalion Virginia Light Artillery.
- 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 934-936 ↩