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OR XLVI P1 #14: Report of Lieutenant Frank D. Bangs, 1st CT HA, commanding Battery No. 5, March 25, 1865

No. 14. Report of Lieutenant Frank D. Bangs, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, commanding Battery Numbers 5, of operations March 25.1

March 25, 1865.

LIEUTENANT: In obedience to Orders, Numbers 11, from headquarters Siege Batteries, I have the honor to report, that I was aroused about 4 o’clock this a. m. by firing in the vicinity of Fort Stedman; upon going out found that the enemy had broken our line at that point and taken the fort. I immediately ordered my company to fall in; stacked arms; manned the pieces; caused the company rations to be brought inside the inclosure, but refrained from firing (except one gun on Chesterfield) until I was certain of the position of our own and the enemy’s troops. The enemy’s batteries, both guns and mortars, fired hotly upon me, but I preferred keeping my ammunition for their infantry, excepting to be cut from communication with headquarters and not knowing when I could get amy more. As soon as I was sure of the enemy’s whereabouts I opened upon them with two 30-pounder guns and three 8-inch mortars, and continued the fire until they were driven back to their own line. From my own observation, and the report of others who were nearer, I am confident that the fire of this battery was very effective and aided materially in hastening the retreat of the enemy from Fort Stedman. The only serious damage received by this battery was by a 30-pounder shell from the Chesterfield, which penetrated the right magazine and exploded inside, killing one man; but by the what I consider a providence in our favor, the powder, of which there was four barrels in the magazine, did nor explode. After the repulse of the enemy from Fort Stedman, I turned the battery on the battery of the enemy, who had been annoying me, their fire soon slackened, and finally ceased entirely, when, after shelling out a sharpshooter who has been giving me some trouble, I gave the order to cease firing and repair damages. The amount of ammunition expended you will find in the report of the day.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

First Lieutenant, First Connecticut Artillery, Commanding Battery.

Lieutenant W. S. MALONY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Siege Batteries.

I would mention that both officers and men behaved in the most gallant manner, never flinching, always at their posts, cool, brave, and efficient.

First Connecticut, Commanding.


  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), page 180
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