No. 72. Report of Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel John G. Hazard, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, commanding Artillery Brigade.1
HDQRS. ARTILLERY BRIGADE, SECOND ARMY CORPS,
April 19, 1865.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from headquarters Second Corps, dated March 28, 1865, I directed Captain J. W. Roder, Battery K, Fourth U. S. Artillery, and Captain George K. Dakin, M, First New Hampshire Artillery, to report to Brevet Major-General Miles; Captain J. Webb Adams, Tenth Massachusetts Battery, and Lieutenant William B. Westcott, B, First Rhode Island Artillery, to Brigadier-General Hays; and Captain A. J. Clark, B, First New Jersey Artillery, and Lieutenant James A. Manning, Eleventh New York Battery, to report to Brevet Major-General Mott, commanding Third Division. The commands broke camp March 29, at 6 a. m., the
Second Division, Brigadier-General Hays, leading. After crossing Hatcher’s Run about half a mile, Battery B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, Lieutenant William B. Westcott, was put in position on the right side of the road facing toward Dabney’s Mill; the Third Division, Brevet Major-General Mott, moved out to the left of Second Division; the batteries went into park on the Vaughan road, near the Brown house; First Division, Brevet Major-General Miles, with its batteries, moved to the left and connected with Third Division, its batteries went into park on the Vaughan road, near the Brown house; First Division, Brevet Major-General Miles, with its batteries, moved to the left and connected with Third Division, its batteries accompanying it. The corps remained in this position during the night; the batteries unhitched and unharnessed.
Thursday, March 30, the First and Third Divisions advanced their lines, the left of the First Division crossing the Boydton plank road and connecting with right of Fifth Corps. Captain Roder’s battery (K, Fourth U. S. Artillery) was placed in position on the left of First Division, near Raineys house, and covering the left of the line; M, First New Hampshire Artillery, was put in position at junction of Boydton plank road and Quaker road, a little to the left of Captain Roder’s battery and covering the left front of First Division, which crossed the Boydton plank road near Rainey’s house and about 700 yards in advance of old position. Battery B, First New Jersey, and Eleventh New York Battery still in park near the Brown house. About 7 p. m. Battery B, First Rhode Island, moved into position near the Crow house, on the Second Division front. tenth Massachusetts Battery moved up in a field near Dabney’s Mill and parked. Batteries remained in these positions all night.
Friday, March 31, batteries in same position, firing occasionally in reply to the enemy, when about 12 m. the enemy commenced a spirited attack on the right of the Fifth Corps. Captain Clark, Battery B, First New Jersey Artillery, and Lieutenant Manning, Eleventh New York Battery, were hurried up, and Captain Clark’s battery put in position in front of Rainey’s house, covering the new line of First Division, which was being advanced to check the enemy, who had succeeded in driving the right of Fifth Corps from its position. Eleventh New York Battery relieved a battery of Fifth Corps on the crest to the right of Rainey’s house; immediately upon Eleventh New York Battery taking position they opened fire and succeeded in silencing the enemy’s reach orchard battery. The First Division succeeded in checking and afterward in driving the enemy to his main line of works, and establishing a new line upon the ground thus occupied. At 9 p.m. Captain Clark’s battery was put in position was put in position on this new line, about one mile and a half in advance of his previous position; remained until 12 p. m., when the battery was withdrawn and parked near Boydton road at 3 a.m. At 11 p. m. K, Fourth U. S. Artillery, and Eleventh New York Battery changed position, a smooth-bore battery being found more effective in the position on the line occupied by Eleventh New York Battery changed position, a smooth-bore battery being found more effective in the position on the line occupied by eleventh New York Battery; Tenth Massachusetts Battery was moved from filed near Dabney’s Mill, and put in position on the right of B, First Rhode Island Artillery, at Crow’s house; at dark this battery was withdrawn and moved to extreme left of line and parked near Rainey’s house. During the day K, Fourth U. S. Artillery, and M, First New Hampshire Artillery, succeed in silencing and keeping quiet the enemy’s artillery, which was in a large work on the Boydton road.
Saturday, April 1, early in the morning, Battery B, First Rhode Island Artillery, in position at Crow’s house, engaged the enemy’s battery,
which was a small redoubt. At 6 p.m. the right section was advanced about 300 yards, and threw up covering for its men. About 4 p. m. Battery B, First New Jersey Artillery, was put in position again near Rainey’s house. With the exception of Battery B, First Rhode Island Artillery, the batteries were not engaged.
April 2, at 4 a. m. the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, Captain Adams, took position on the Boydton plank road, on the right of Captain Dakin’s battery, and at 7 a. m. engaged the enemy. About daylight the enemy opened upon Battery M, First New Hampshire Artillery; his fire was replied to by that battery and the Tenth Massachusetts Battery until 9 a.m., when it was observed that the enemy was evacuating the works. A reconnaissance was sent out under General McAllister, the batteries covering the movement. Captain Roder’s battery opened on a small work that the infantry were about to charge; he succeeded in driving the artillery out, when our troops took possession. At this time it was found that the enemy was evacuating his entire line from Hatcher’s Run to the Boydton road. Mott’s division was ordered to advance, and Battery K, Fourth U. S. Artillery, and Eleventh New York Battery were assigned to move with it, which they did, occupying the enemy’s works, and afterward moving by way of plank road toward Petersburg. Captain Clark’s battery and M, First New Hampshire Artillery, were ordered to follow down the enemy’s line to White Oak road, and report to General Miles, who was assisting Major-General Sheridan’s command. Battery B, First Rhode Island Artillery, was brought up to the plank road and ordered, together with Tenth Massachusetts Battery, to follow, and report to General Hays, Second Division; Battery B, First New Jersey Artillery, and M, First New Hampshire Artillery, by order of General Miles, occupied a position near the road, and shelled a piece of woods that was supposed to cover the enemy’s cavalry. The batteries continued firing until the enemy was forced to leave his works and retreat. During this time Captain Roder’s battery and Eleventh New York Battery had marched within two miles of Petersburg, where Captain Roder’s battery was put in position and opened fire on the enemy, who was attempting to establish an entrenched skirmish line. the distance being so great, little could be accomplished, and when the division formed line of battle, the battery was withdrawn and put in position on a high knoll to the right, where it remained all night.
April 3, the Third Division, accompanied by its batteries, moved from Petersburg, via River road, to near Wells’ Church, where it joined the First Division and marched to Coleman’s house. Through some misunderstanding the Second Division, followed by its batteries, moved from Wells’ Church to near Petersburg, and then back from Petersburg to the Coleman house, where they joined and camped with the corps.
April 4, corps started at 6 a. m., batteries following the divisions, and marched to near the Jones house, and encamped for the night.
April 5, corps moved at 1 a. m., batteries following their divisions, and took the Namozine road; followed this road four miles, and took a road leading to the right toward Jetersville; following this road to Jetersville,
crossed the Danville railroad, and took position on the left of the Fifth Corps. All the batteries were put in position on the line excepting one section of the Tenth Massachusetts Battery.
April 6, corps moved toward Amelia Sulphur Springs, where we came up with the enemy’s wagon train. M, First New Hampshire Artillery, was put in position, and opened on the train; Captain Roder’s Battery and Tenth Massachusetts Battery also shelled the train. These batteries continued moving with the advanced line, shelling the enemy every time he took position, until we came up to him in a strong position, trying to cover the crossing of his train over Sailor’s Creek. Captain Clarks’ and Captain Dakin’s batteries were put in on the right of Third Division, and opened fire on two of the enemy’s batteries, causing them to withdraw hastily. Captain Roder’s battery was put in position on the left of Third Division and opened on the enemy’s batteries also. These batteries assisted materially in the capture of a large train at Sailor’s Creek by causing the enemy’s batteries to cease firing. Encamped for the night near Sailor’s Creek.
April 7, moved at 6.30 a.m. cross Sailor’s Creek to High Bridge, where the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, M, First New Hampshire Artillery, and B, First Rhode Island Artillery, were placed in position and opened fire on the enemy’s retreating columns; also upon a party who were trying to destroy High Bridge. The enemy son after retreated, leaving a large number of guns, &c. The batteries continued the march on the right of Farmville, about four miles, to Price’s farm, where the enemy were found strongly entrenched. On the approach of the head of our column the enemy opened a lively artillery fire. Dakin’s and Clark’s batteries were put in position and succeeded in silencing the battery.. The enemy were found so strongly posted in was thought necessary to put more artillery fire. Dakin’s and Clark’s batteries were put in position and succeeded in silencing the battery. The enemy were found so strongly posted it was thought necessary to put more artillery in position. Roder’s battery was brought up and put on the right of Clark’s battery was brought up and put on the right; Battery B, First Rhode Island Artillery, was placed in position on the Third Division line. During this time one section of B, First New Jersey Artillery, Lieutenant Rhein’s, was moved to the left about 800 yards, on a crest on the right of Third Division; Tenth Massachusetts Battery was put in position on the right of Lieutenant Rhein’s section; M, First New Hampshire Artillery, was advanced about 700 yards, to the new line erected by the First Division. After dark Roder’s battery and Eleventh New York Battery were placed on and to the right of the old stage road, on the line of the Second Division. The other batteries remained in their positions all night.
April 8, corps moved at 6 a. m. to New Stone, and halted about 10 p. m.; resumed the march in the direction of Clover Hill; marched four and a half miles and bivouacked for the remainder of the night.
April 9, continued the march at 9 o’clock; at 11.30 a. m. halted. Clark’s battery was put in position to cover skirmish line of First Division pending the result of the conference of Lieutenant-General Grant and General Lee. This battery remained in position and the other batteries halted in the road until 4 p. m., when the announcement was made that the Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered. The batteries then went into camp. April 10, commands remained in camp all day. April 11, batteries moved together, under my command, back on the same road they advanced to New Store and camped for the night. April 12, command moved at 6 a. m. by a plantation and from thence by the plank road to Farmville; parked on the hills near Farmville. April 13, started at 6 a. m.; camped near Rice’s Station, on the Danville railroad. April 14, started at 6 a. m. and marched to Burkeville; arrived here at 2 p. m.; went into camp and have remained here since.
From the nature of the arm of the service, no trophies have fallen into our hands as pledges of gallantry; but officers and men have performed every duty promptly and faithfully, and I claim for the artillery of the corps a share of the laurels so nobly earned by it.
I would make special mention of Bvt. Major T. Fred. Brown, B, First Rhode Island Artillery; Bvt. Captain J. W. Roder, Battery K, Fourth U. S. Artillery; and Captain A. Judson Clark, Battery B, First New Jersey Artillery, for their valuable assistance; also Lieutenant A. M. E. Gordon, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenant John G. Deane, acting aide-de-camp, for the promptness with which they performed their arduous duties.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. G. HAZARD,
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
Major J. N. CRAIG,
Asst. Adjt. General, Artillery Hdqrs., Army of the Potomac.
*Nominal list of casualties (here omitted) shows 11 men wounded and 1 man missing. The loss in horses was 10 killed, 6 wounded, 59 died, and 16 abandoned.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), pp. 790-794 ↩