No. 26. Report of Captain Samuel A. McClellan, Battery G, First New York Light Artillery, of operations March 25.1
LIGHT BATTERY G, FIRST NEW YORK ARTILLERY,
Before Petersburg, Va., March 26, 1865.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that about daybreak yesterday morning, March 25, 1865, I was aroused by cheering and firing of musketry in the direction of fort Stedman. I immediately rose and started out to ascertain the cause, and had not proceed in tat direction blurt a short distance when I met stragglers going to the rear, who reported that the enemy had captured Fort Stedman, and was advancing on Meade’s Station. Without delay I caused my battery to be harnessed, and moved the section of guns remaining in park to take a position, for the purpose of assisting in checking the advance of the enemy. Soon after arriving on the crest of the heights in rear of Fort Stedman, Major Miller rode up and gave orders to take position and open on the enemy, which I did, with apparently very good effect, causing their advance skirmishers, who were near the base of the hill, to fall back in rear of our old line of rifle-pits, about 200 yards in rear of Ford Stedman. Believing that I could get a nearer and more effective position I rode down to the front to select one. On returning I met General Tidball, who gave me orders to take the new position which I had selected. While moving into this new position the enemy opened upon my column with two light 12-pounder guns, which he had taken with the fort, but his fire was so inaccurate that he did me no harm. I returned his fire with solid shot, concentrating the fire of both my guns upon each one of his in succession, and succeeded in silencing them in about half an hour. About this time I observed the enemy passing in rear of Fort Stedman. I then changed my fire upon them, using shrapnel and solid shot, which continued about two hours, seemingly very much annoying them, and causing them to change their position. Our troops had now formed for a charge near Fort Haskell. As they advanced the enemy began to retreat, and in their haste became massed in the road in my front, giving me a good enfilading fire on their column, which I improved to the best advantage with solid shot and shrapnel, killing and wounding many of them. During this time one section of my battery at Fort Morton opened an enfilading fire upon the enemy while they were advancing upon and retreating from Fort Stedman.
I cannot speak in too high terms of the coolness and bravery of both my officers and men, and the handsome manner in which they worked their pieces; and am happy to state that no casualties occurred during the engagement.
The following is the amount of ammunition expended: solid shot, 88 rounds; spherical case, 171 rounds; shell, 29 rounds.
S. A. McCLELLAN,
Captain, First New York Artillery, Commanding Battery.
Lieutenant GEORGE W. BOOTH,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Artillery Brigade, Ninth 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), page 189 ↩