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OR XLVI P1 #163: Report of Captain Edward J. Jones, 11th MA Btty, March 25, 1865

No. 163. Report of Captain Edward J Jones, Eleventh Battery Massachusetts Light Artillery, of operations March 25.1

Fort Friend, Va., March 25 [26], 1865.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the following services of my command yesterday morning during the attack of the enemy on the line in the vicinity of Fort Stedman, viz:

At about 4 o’clock my attention was attacked to what appeared to be a cheer or yell peculiar to the enemy, accompanied by a slight musketry fire proceeding from near Fort Stedman. No information of what was being some at Fort Stedman was received for a half hour after the first alarm, and at this hour it was not sufficiently light to distinguish friend from foe, but as the day broke the enemy were discovered

moving from Fort Stedman toward Fort Haskell, and I immediately opened fire on them, and at the same moment they advanced their skirmish line rapidly toward the height upon which this work is situated, and as this line arrived on the ravine, about 500 yards in our front, we directed on them a quick fire of canister which at once checked the advance. The enemy could now be distinctly seen, covering the entire vicinity of Fort Stedman and the camp of the Fifty-seventh Massachusetts Regiment of Infantry. Up to this hour (now 4.30 or 4.45 o’clock) no organized regiment or company of our troops could be seen. The Pennsylvania infantry, encamped on the hill near my battery, now commenced to form, and in a few moments deployed as skirmishers and moved down the slope toward the enemy, who at this time commenced to retire from the bank of the ravine toward Fort Stedman. Two sections of light 12’s now went into position on the left of my line, and the enemy opened on those guns with light 12’s from Fort Stedman; my whole fire was now directed on Fort Stedman and the rifle-pits and bomb-proofs in the camp of the Fifty-seventh Massachusetts Infantry, which the enemy occupied with light troops; and discovering the enemy in force near Fort Haskell I ordered my right section to fire upon them rapidly with case-shot, and we had the satisfaction, in a few moments, to see them leave that locality and retire toward Fort Stedman, from which they were soon driven, and at about 7.30 o’clock the firing ceased. The amount of ammunition expended was about 450 rounds.

I have the pleasure to report no casualties.

I have the honor to be, lieutenant, your obedient servant,

Captain, Eleventh Massachusetts Light Battery.

Lieutenant GEORGE W. BOOTH,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Artillery Brigade, Ninth Army Corps.


  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), pp. 360-361
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