No. 164. Report of Captain Edward W. Rogers, Nineteenth Battery New York Light Artillery, of operations March 25.1
NINETEENTH NEW YORK BATTERY,
Before Petersburg, Va., March 26, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of the Nineteenth New York Battery during the engagement on the 25th instant:
The left and center sections of the battery were in Fort Stedman, while the right section was in camp near Meade’s Station. The enemy advanced against our works at about 4.30 a.m. Alarm was given by the pickets; so far as I can ascertain the pickets did not fire a shot. The first intimation my men in Fort Stedman had of the approach of the enemy was the rush and the cheer with which they carried Battery No. 10. The guard on my pieces immediately discharged the guns, which were kept loaded with canister. These were the first shots of any kind that were fired in that vicinity; not a musket had been discharged. Some ten or twelve rounds were fired from my four guns. By that time the force of the enemy that had taken Battery No. 10 had advanced against Fort Stedman from that direction, and rushed into the fort without opposition, as my guns were all in embrasures pointing to the front (an effort to get one of the guns to an embrasure bearing on Battery
No. 10 was unsuccessful for lack of time), and there was nothing to oppose them. As the enemy came into the fort Lieutenant Long (the officer in command of the four guns), seeing that any further attempts at resistance were useless, ordered the men to take care of themselves. The enemy at this time were on three sides of the fort, as well as in it. Lieutenants Long and Moore and twelve enlisted men were captured, and one man was killed. Two of the men captured were known to be wounded. The remainder of the cannoneers (sixteen in number) escaped. Three of the gunners escaped and brought with them their breech sights, which prevented the enemy from using the guns efficiently when they were turned against us.
As soon as the alarm reached camp the horses were harnessed and hitched. The right section, Lieutenant Losee in command, went into position and opened fire on Fort Stedman, now in possession of the enemy. Soon General Tidball arrived, and ordered Lieutenant Losee to place his section in some old work in the brow of the hill and on the right of the road leading to Fort Stedman, a position which commanded Fort Stedman and most of that portion of our line now occupied by the enemy. The enemy had by this time turned against us the guns captured in Fort Stedman, and the fire of Lieutenant Losee’s section was directed at the fort until it was silenced. He then directed his fire at different bodies of the enemy’s infantry until the engagement was over. This section expended 184 rounds of ammunition, with good effect. As soon as Fort Stedman was retaken detachments were sent to man the guns which had been recaptured. The enemy had spiked one of the guns and temporarily disabled another.
The battery lost 1 private killed, and 2 commissioned officers and 12 enlisted men missing. These were all lost in Fort Stedman.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. W. ROGERS,
Captain, Commanding Nineteenth New York 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), pp. 361-362 ↩