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OR XLVI P1 #17: Report of Lieutenant John O’Brien, 1st CT HA, commanding Battery No. 4, March 25, 1865

No. 17. Report of Lieut. John O’Brien, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, commanding Battery No. 4, of operations March 25.1

BATTERY Numbers 4,
Before Petersburg, Va., March 26, 1865.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part sustained by Colonel I, First Connecticut Artillery, the garrison of battery Numbers 4, during the engagement of yesterday:

At 4 o’clock in the morning I heard firing on the line near Battery Numbers 10, but I supposed it was wholly confined to the pickets. At 5.30, an hour and a half later, I saw indications that an advance had been made by the enemy upon our lines near Battery Numbers 10. I had the company under arms and made arrangements for a defense, when I received orders to open on the enemy, who were now in possession of Fort Stedman and battery Numbers 10; these orders were received at daylight. I fired 130 rounds of percussion and 6 rounds of time-fuse shell, nearly all of which were thrown into an advancing column of the enemy, which was in rear of the last-named work. About fifteen shell were thrown into the Chesterfield battery. This battery opened upon Battery Numbers 5 and the line of works near it, and six were thrown into a retreating column of the enemy when it was on the plain in front of Battery Numbers 9. Fearing an advance, in case of the failure of a pending charge by our forces, fired only when the enemy’s troops were in sight, having only about 100 rounds for each piece (three pieces).

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

First, Lieutenant, First Connecticut Artillery, Commanding Battery Numbers 4.

Lieutenant W. S. MALONY,
A. A. A. G., Siege Batteries, Before Petersburg, Va.


  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 182
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