No. 245. Report of Captain George T. Anthony, Seventeenth Battery New York Light Artillery.1
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH NEW YORK BATTERY, TWENTY-FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Richmond, Va., April 25, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to report the operations of my command since March 26 ultimo, on which date I broke camp in obedience to orders from your headquarters and took post at Deep Bottom, Va.:
Soon after dark Monday, April [March] 27, I crossed the James at Deep Bottom, following Turner’s division, crossing the Appomattox at
Broadway Landing, reaching the front of Petersburg before daylight on the morning of the 28th; distance marched about fifteen miles. Moved at 9 a. m. same day to headquarters Army of the Potomac, going into camp about one mile beyond for the night. 29th, moved at daylight, reaching the lines of the Second Corps at a point where they crossed the Vaughan road near Hatcher’s Run, where, by direction of Major C. C. Abell, chief of artillery Twenty-fourth Corps, I placed my battery in position, two sections upon the left and one section upon the right of said road. March 31, relieved from position upon Vaughan road and ordered to report to Brigadier-General Foster, commanding First Division, who was about to advance our lines. Battery not engaged.
At 1 a. m. April 1 ordered by Major C. C. Abell to move my battery out to a position on General Foster’s front, near some standing chimneys, where General Hall, of the engineers, was constructing a work for my guns. When near the position with my battery at 2 a. m., met General Hall, who reported to me that the work could not be built on account of the the condition of the earth. This statement was reported by me in person to Major Abell, when he directed me to bring my battery back within the lines. Nine o’clock of same day was directed to place a section in position upon General Turner’s front. The work intended for the guns was not completed until 2 a. m. of the 2nd, when my guns were put in. This work was nearly parallel to and distant about 700 yards from the left face of a salient in the enemy’s lines, the the angle of which terminated in a redoubt mounting four guns.
At daybreak a dense fog covered the enemy’s lines and did not lift until 6.30 o’clock, when a column of the enemy’s troops were soon moving out of the salty-port of the redoubt toward their left. I immediately opened fire upon the column at the entrance to the work, cutting off further regress therefrom. A few well-directed shots caused the display of a white flag at the sally-port. Firing ceased, and the troops of Turner’s division immediately advanced and took possession of the lines. 1 p. m. orders were received to move my battery up toward Petersburg on the line and inside of the works held by our forces in the morning. I reached the rear of Petersburg and my guns were placed in position at the right of Fort Gregg. Soon after its surrender and during the night, earth-works thrown up for their protection and orders received to open upon the enemy at daylight the following morning; before the time for executing which order it was announced that Petersburg had been evacuated. At 8 o’clock of the 3rd I moved westward, following Turner’s division, halting for the night after a march of about twelve miles. April 4, marched seventeen miles to Wilson’s Station upon the South Side Railroad. April 5, marched to Burkeville Junction; distance twenty-five miles. April 6, left Burkeville soon after noon, [marched] to the vicinity of Rice’s Station, eight miles hence, where the enemy were found entrenched. At about sunset I placed a section of my battery in position upon the Phillips plantation, near the mansion, and at that time the extreme advance of our skirmish line, and distant not more than 400 yards from the enemy. Fire was opened and kept up with good effect until darkness made it necessary to cease firing. During the night the balance of the battery was brought up and entrenched and an infantry line established seventy yards in front of my position.
On he morning of the 7th it was found that the enemy had left our front and an immediate advance made. It being impossible to follow the line of Turner’s division I turned off to the right, following Foster’s division, crossing the Appomattox upon the road bridge above the
High (or railroad) Bridge and joining Turner’s division at Farmville at 4 p. m. April 8, moved upon the Lynchburg road at daylight, resting after a march of more than thirty-miles at a point upon the railroad between Pamplin’s and Appomattox Stations, at 12 midnight. Moved again at 3 o’clock on the morning of the 9th, with Turner’s division, to the headquarters of Major-General Sheridan and near Appomattox Station, where the column halted for breakfast, and I was directed by order of General Turner to park my battery “in the open field and near the road in a place and manner to allow of the most convenient movement of the whole, or a port of it, as circumstances should demand, and await orders.” I remained there until the infantry of the corps had all moved out of the open field and into the woods and were being followed by the Fifth Corps, when without further orders I followed Turner’s division across the railroad, turning to he right upon the road leading to Appomattox Court-House, halting at a point where our line of battle crossed said road. No further orders were received from General Turner, but by direction of Major Abell, chief of artillery, I moved up the road to within 200 yards of the court-house about 11 a. m., and soon after hostilities had ceased. Remaining in camp at Appomattox Court-House until the morning of the 17th, at 10 a. m. we moved with Foster’s division on the road to Burkeville; marched eighteen miles. April 18, moved at 5 a. m.; marched twenty miles. April 19, moved at 5.30 o’clock; marched fifteen miles, arriving at Burkeville at 1 p. m. Left Burkeville April 22, taking the Amelia Court-House road; marched eighteen miles. April 23, moved at 5 a. m.; marched twenty miles. April 24, moved at 4.45 o’clock, arriving in rear of Manchester opposite Richmond. April 25, crossed the James River at 10 o’clock to this place.
I have no casualties to report. I have to report the loss of twenty-two horses upon the march. The march was very severe, but the loss of animals arose from the impossibility of securing to them regular feed and water. It gives me pleasure to add that officers and men of my command have performed all the duties and endured the hardships of the march with a cheerfulness and alacrity worthy of the cause and the country they serve.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. T. ANTHONY,
Captain, Commanding Seventeenth New York Battery.
Lieutenant D. W. BURDICK,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Artillery Brigade, 24th Army Corps.
- 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. 1223-1225 ↩