No. 28. Report of Lieutenant Valentine H. Stone, Batteries C and I, Fifth U. S. Artillery, of operations March 25.1
BATTERIES C AND I, FIFTH U. S. ARTILLERY,
March 26, 1865.
SIR: In compliance with circular received this day from headquarters Artillery Brigade, Ninth Corps, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this battery in the engagement of yesterday morning:
At 5 a. m. I was awakened by a brisk fire of musketry in the direction of Fort Stedman. I immediately ordered the battery to be got in readiness to move at once. I started for Fort McGilvery. When I arrived immediately opposite Fort Stedman I met some stragglers, who informed me that Fort Stedman and a mortar battery were captured. I hastened on to Fort McGilvery; when I arrived there I found the men just coming out to reveille, they not having received any information that anything unusual had taken place. I went from there to Battery Numbers 9. Upon arriving there I found all the men, both infantry and artillery, at their proper places anxiously places awaiting some information as to what had taken place. I looked over the parapet in the direction of Fort Stedman. I could just see in the gray of dawn (it was then about 5.15 a. m.) a line of battle drawn up, moving toward me, their right being inside of our works; this line extended along the ravine between Battery No. 9 and Fort Stedman, their left resting near the rebel lines. I immediately ordered my section to open on them with spherical case; they were in easy range, about 400 yards, maybe a little more. As soon as I opened a heavy fire was in a few minutes concentrated on
Battery No. 9 from any my immediate front, from Fort Stedman, from my right flank, from an 8-inch mortar, from the rear, from the “goose neck” battery. I up my fire for three hours. At 8 a. m. some few of the enemy surrendered and came into the fort. One of the rebel officers informed me if I would cease firing there were 200 or 300 who were under my fire (I was canister then) who would come in. I did so, and over 300 came in. The enemy were all the time in easy range; my guns were fired deliberately, and I am satisfied that not a round of ammunition was thrown away. I was informed by the rebel officer mentioned above that the line of battle that I had fired upon was drawn up with the intention of charging Battery No. 9 and Fort McGilvery, and that if I had delayed firing ten minutes longer, they would have had them. I had two men badly wounded. My men behaved well. Lieutenant Theodore W. Haysman, Fourth New York Artillery, deserves particular mention for his coolness and bravery. My right section was in Fort McGilvery, under command of Lieutenant MacConnell, Fifth U. S. Artillery; it was also engaged.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
VAL. H. STONE,
First Lieutenant, Fifth U. S. Artillery, Commanding Batteries C. and I.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), pages 190-191 ↩