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OR XLVI P1 #188: Report of Captain John. B. Eaton, 27th NY Btty, April 1-2, 1865

No. 188. Report of Captain John. B. Eaton, Twenty-seventh Battery New York Light Artillery.1

Near Fort Davis, April 4, 1865.

LIEUTENANT: In compliance with circular just received, I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my battery during the engagement of the 2nd instant, which resulted in the evacuation of Petersburg:

On the evening of April 1 the right and left sections of my battery, commanded by First Lieutenants Moore and Teller, were in Fort Davis, the center section, under Second Lieutenant Phillips, was in park. On that evening I was directed by Brevet Brigadier-General Tidball to be prepared, in case the attack contemplated to be made on the following morning succeeded, to cut a passage through our works and advance Lieutenant Phillips’ section in front of the line to support and follow up the advantage that might be gained. A working party from the Ninth Massachusetts Battery having been furnished me I had the section under cover just in the rear of Battery No. 21, with the working party ready to clear a passage for it, soon after the opening of the cannonade which immediately preceded the assault. The moment I perceived that the charge had been successful I opened a road through the parapet and abatis on the right of Battery No. 20, and Lieutenant

Phillips brought out his guns at a trot, going into position some distance in front of the abatis in fine style about 5 a. m. We were at once subjected to a fire of musketry as well as that from several of the enemy’s batteries which latter, however, were rendered of comparatively little effect by the fire to which we subjected them.

In the meantime Lieutenant Teller had volunteered with two gun detachments to cross over to the rebel Battery No. 27 (formerly known to us as Fort Mahone), and assist in working the captured guns, while Lieutenant Moore remained in command of the four guns in Fort Davis. Later in the day Lieutenant Moore advanced two pieces outside the fort down the Jerusalem plank road, and performed efficient service in checking the fire of a rebel battery which was firing into our troops in Battery 27. One of his men was slightly wounded.

Lieutenant Teller remained with his men in Battery 27 until late in the afternoon. During a part of the day they were engaged in a hand to hand fight with the rebels, and one man was shot through the face. The remainder of the party returned to our line in safety, when their services were no longer required. I remained during the day with the section of Lieutenant Phillips in front of the line.

The guns and men wee exposed to the fire of the enemy without the slightest protection, but no casualties occurred, and I withdrew the pieces within the abatis at 5.30 p. m. by direction of General Tidball.

My officers all showed great gallantry and coolness. Lieutenant Teller very narrowly escaped death from a shell, and both Messrs. Moore and Phillips had several narrow escapes from injury.

I have the pleasure of reporting no casualties except the two above mentioned.

I remain, lieutenant, very respectfully,

Captain, Commanding Twenty-seventh New York Battery.

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


  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. 1086-1087
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