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OR XLVI P1 #185: Report of Captain Samuel A. McClellan, Btty G 1st NY Lt Arty, April 1-2, 1865

No. 185. Report of Captain Samuel A. McClellan Battery G, First New York Light Artillery.1

City Point, Va., April 7, 1865.

LIEUTENANT: In accordance with circular, headquarters Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac, April 5, 1865, I have the honor to make the following report:

About a quarter before 10 p. m. Saturday, April 1, 1865, I received orders from General J. C. Tidball, chief of artillery, Ninth Army Corps, to report in person at his headquarters. On arriving there I was ordered upon hearing the report of a signal gun to be fired from Fort Avery about 10 o’clock, to open on the enemy with the two sections of the battery in Fort Morton, and also send the section which I had in park, under the command of a lieutenant, to a position on a rise of ground between the Avery house and the railroad bridge. I sent Lieutenant Millot with the section to the Avery house, and went myself to Fort Morton, opening in accordance with the above order, the enemy soon replying, principally with their mortar batteries, many of their shells bursting in the fort. I kept up a continuous fire until about 1 a. m. April 2, when I was ordered by Major Ricketts, assistant chief of artillery, Ninth army Corps, to cease firing, and to open again as vigorously as possible at 4 a. m. About 3.30 a. m. Lieutenant Heasley, acting assistant adjutant-general, Artillery Brigade, Ninth Army Corps, ordered me to reserve my fire until our infantry had gained all the advantage they could by a charge to be made by them at 4 a. m. in front of Fort Sedgwick, and then to open with all the guns I could bring to bear upon the enemy’s works. About 4.30 a. m. I observed the enemy open with the guns in my front on our troops in front of Fort Sedgwick who had charged the enemy’s works and taken them. I immediately opened them with all the guns I could bring to bear, including the 32-pounders in the fort, when they again opened a very heavy fire upon us with their mortars, which was replied to by the 10-inch mortar battery in Fort Morton. I kept up an incessant fire until about 8.30 a. m., when the enemy slackened theirs to an occasional shot, and I changed mine farther to the left, where the enemy was throwing shell and canister into our troops. At this time I received orders from General Tidball to send two detachments of cannoneers, in charge of a lieutenant, to report to captain Twitchell, in Fort Sedgwick, to work rebel guns. I kept up my fire upon the enemy’s works during the day until about 6 p. m.

The enemy’s fire was very accurate, many of their shells bursting in our fort, but fortunately without killing or wounding a man. There was but one shell (eight-inch) that did not burst; it struck in the midst

of gun detachment, burying itself in the ground. Had it burst it must have killed or wounded ten or twelve men as they were standing very close together.

Officers and mend reserve great credit for their steadiness and coolness during the engagement. I expended during the engagement 410 rounds of ammunition.

Respectfully, yours,

Captain, First New York Artillery, Commanding Battery.

Lieutenant W. M. HAYCOCK,
Acting Assistant-General, Artillery Reserve.


  1. 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. 1084-1085
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