On May 4th, 1861, in conformity with the proclamation of the President, a new regiment of 12 batteries was added to the artillery arm of service and became known as the Fifth of the series.*
Congress confirmed this act of the President, July 12th (approved July 29) of the same year, but all appointments dated from May 14th.
Differing in organization from the older regiments, the new one comprised only field batteries, being in this regard the first entire regiment so equipped in the Regular Army. But it must not be inferred that the Fifth was designated by law as a light artillery regiment. "Nowhere in the act of July 29th do the words 'field or light artillery' occur, nevertheless, the batteries received the personnel belonging to field-artillery only. This, together with the other fact of the mounting, equipping and sending out as field artillery all the batteries, does not leave in doubt that Congress intended the Fifth to be a field artillery regiment."
Though formed only the previous May, we find one battery (Griffin's, D) in the thick of the fight at the first battle of Bull Run, July 21.
Orders No. 3, Headquarters Military Academy, Jan. 7, 1861, directed Lieut. Griffin, Tactical Department, to form a light battery of four pieces, with six horses to the piece. Enough men to make the command 70 strong were transferred from the dragoon and artillery detachments. On Jan. 31, 1861, the command left West Point for Washington where it remained till July 4th when it was assigned as Battery D, 5th Artillery. Captain Griffin, who had been promoted, and transferred to the Fifth, retained command of the battery he had formed.
This same day, July 4, the battery proceeded to Arlington, and thence by short marches to Fairfax and the battle-field of Bull Run, where, with Rickett's battery of the First, it found itself posted opposite the enemy's left. The withering fire poured in by these two soon silenced the opposing batteries and caused the enemy's lines to fall back, pursued by our infantry. Later, in the afternoon, both batteries advanced, in the final attack, to a position previously occupied by the Confederates, when they were suddenly charged from an adjoining wood by a body of infantry and cavalry supposed at first to be Federals. The supports—entirely raw troops—gave way; every cannoneer was cut down, a large number of horses were killed, and notwithstanding the efforts of the officers to rally the supports, most of the guns were captured and the batteries placed hors de combat.
Battery D lost during the day 27 men killed and wounded, out of an effective of 95, and 55 horses.
*Condensed from Lieut. Bush's History of the Fifth Artillery.
Captain Griffin received especial mention for the handsome manner in which he had handled his battery, and Lieut. Ames for gallantry.
At "Camp Greble," near Harrisburg, Pa., a depot of instruction was established in June, Lt.-Col. T. W. Sherman, 5th Artillery, commanding. Here recruits were received and drilled and batteries fitted out for the field, the State of Pennsylvania furnishing most of the recruits.*
Bvt. Brig.-Gen. Harvey Brown, Colonel 5th Artillery, after successfully sustaining the siege of Fort Pickens with his troops, came north and assumed command of the regiment, broke up Camp Greble and transferred the headquarters to Fort Hamilton, N. Y. Harbor, in April, 1862. Here the colonel and headquarters remained till General Brown's retirement, August 1, 1863. Colonel H. S. Burton, who practically succeeded him, was in the field and commanded the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac, during the Wilderness campaign, until the breaking up of the Reserve, May 16, '64. In the latter part of July he took station with the regimental headquarters at Fort Richmond, New York Harbor.
Lt.-Col. T. W. Sherman and Major Thomas Williams, Fifth Artillery, after successively commanding Camp Greble, were made general officers of volunteers, and never served with the regiment in the field.
1st Lieuts. Henry A. DuPont and J. B. Rawles were respectively the first regimental adjutant and quartermaster.
Early in April McClellan's army disembarked at Fort Monroe, and a few days later was brought to a stand before the intrenchments of Yorktown.
In the advance towards Richmond, after the evacuation of Yorktown, the seven batteries, A, C, D, F, I, K, M, sustained their part in various engagements, notably F at Williamsburg and D in Porter's flank movement to Hanover Court House.
It would be impracticable within the space allowed, to write any adequate account of the part performed by different batteries of the Fifth during the battles, sieges and engagements, 108 in number, of this and other campaigns of the war. We can give only an outline of the general movements, with a brief reference to actions in which certain batteries particularly distinguished themselves.
Three kinds of field pieces composed the armament, 12-pdr. Napoleons, 10-pdr. Parrott rifles and 3-inch ordnance rifles. Most of our batteries received one kind of gun, but at the opening of this campaign two of them (A, F) had four 10-pdr. Parrotts and two Napoleons assigned to each organization.
Four batteries of the Fifth (C, D, I, K) assisted in the heavy artillery fire which met A. P. Hill's attack (June 26) at Mechanicsville, in Lee's effort to force a passage towards McClellan's right.
- * Regimental orders No. 1, dated Harrisburg, Penn., July 4, 1861, Lieut. Col. T. W. Sherman, 5th Artillery, commanding, assigned the captains as follows:
- A, George W. Getty; B, James A. Hardie; C, Truman Seymour; D, Charles Griffin; E, Samuel F. Chalfin; F. Romeyn, B. Ayres; G, Richard Arnold; H. William R. Terrill; I, Stephen H. Weed; K, John R. Smead; L, Henry V. DeHart and M, James McKnight.
- Transfers, April, 1861:
- Seymour from C to E, Chalfin from E to L, DeHart from L to C.
After a severe struggle the enemy retired with heavy loss, the artillery taking a conspicuous part in achieving the result.
The position at Beaver Dam Creek had its right flank so far in the air as to be easily enveloped by Jackson's force. The Federals fell back to the high ground at Gaines' Mill, where Lee attacked them next day with 124 regiments and 120 guns against Porter's force of 49 regiments and 96 guns.
"As the battle progressed, the batteries in reserve were thrown forward and took the best position available. The extreme simplicity of tile battle favored this, and enabled battery commanders (Smead and Kingsbury among others) to supplement by their own judgment what was lacking in the proper organization and command of the artillery."
Just before sunset—the last charge of the Confederates—80 guns were concentrated, virtually in one battery, covering the withdrawal of the retiring infantry. "These opened successively as our troops withdrew from in front of their fire, and checked in some places, and in others drove back the advancing enemy."
In this last position Battery D remained till after dark, when it was withdrawn and ordered towards Malvern.
"Two regular batteries (Weed's I, and Tidball's of the Second), almost entirely unsupported, were posted on the extreme right flank, and by their united and well sustained fire were enabled to repel three powerful assaults and prevent Jackson from enveloping and crushing in that flank. Jackson in his report says that he brought up parts of four battalions of batteries, in all about 30 pieces, to break this flank. The two batteries referred to withstood a good portion of the firing of these pieces."
General Sykes in his report states: "It is not too much to say that the enemy's attack on my right flank was frustrated mainly by the services of Captains Weed and Tidball."
On the extreme left the enemy gained a strip of woods towards dusk and forced the line, coming through in great numbers. General Cooke, fearful for the safety of three batteries, DeHart's, Easton's and Kerns', which had played an important part during the day at that point, ordered a charge of his cavalry. A volley of musketry broke the charge and sent the troopers and many riderless horses in utter rout to the rear through the batteries. Before the latter could recover from the confusion thus produced, the enemy were upon them.
"Captain De Hart's battery (C) did its best service, keeping its ground and delivering its fire steadily against the advancing enemy. Officers and men displayed the greatest gallantry, but no efforts could repel the rush of a now successful foe, under whose fire rider and horse went down and guns lay immovable upon the field." Captain De Hart was wounded at this time, and died not long after at Fort Hamilton, N. Y.
Captains Smead, Weed, De Hart and Lieut. Kingsbury received high praise "for the superb manner in which their guns were handled."
Thence to the James, every day was a fight, and our batteries struggled along with the rest, the horses held ever ready to move at a moment's notice.
Having repulsed the enemy at points where he had endeavored to break
the retreating column, the Federals assembled their army and made a final stand on Malvern Hill the morning of July 1.
Porter's corps and Couch's division occupied the left and upon them the brunt of fighting fell. Here were posted our batteries (A, D, I, K).
"Brigade after brigade formed under cover of the woods, and started at a run to cross the open space and charge the batteries, but the heavy fire of our guns, and the steady volleys of the infantry, sent them reeling back to shelter."
During one of these assaults Battery D so shattered a regiment charging upon it, that the infantry bolted, leaving their colors which were afterwards awarded to the battery.
"Just as the sun was setting, the enemy made his last and most determined assault, which fell entirely upon Porter. It seemed as though he must give way to the overwhelming pressure." But at this critical moment Colonel H. J. Hunt pushed forward the batteries of the Artillery Reserve (A and I) and an almost continuous battery of about 60 guns was opened on the enemy, crushing him back into the woods from which he did not again return.
Ames' battery remained on the firing line, in a particularly exposed position on the extreme left, during the entire day, and fired 1392 rounds of ammunition. 1st Lieut. Adelbert Ames and his subalterns, James Gillis and George W. Crabb, received particular mention for gallantry and skill both at Malvern Hill and Gaines' Mill (Golding's).
The Federals retired to their base, Harrison's Landing, whither our other batteries (C, F, M,) had already gone.
Lee soon set on foot a new campaign towards the old battle-ground of Bull Run, in which quarter an army had been created under General Pope. Thither too the Army of the Potomac was gradually transferred.
After some preliminary manoeuvring, the opposing forces met in action near Manassas, Va., August 29-30. Battery C took part in the fight of the 28th, C and D in that of the 29th and C, D, I, K, in that of the 30th.
Despite hard blows, the Federals were forced back all along the line. Had not a successful stand been made by a hurriedly assembled force massed on the Henry house hill, the afternoon of the 30th, the disaster would have been fatal to the Army of Virginia."
On the hill all our batteries took position.
As the broken columns fell back, Meade's and Seymour's brigades of Reynold's division, and their three batteries (Ransom's, C), were thrown in to resist the advancing enemy.
"The brigades and Ransom's battery after hard fighting moved to the Henry house, which position they most gallantly maintained for two hours," when they were ordered toward Centreville.
Hazlett distinguished himself in the desperate endeavor of Warren's brigade to protect the left of Sykes' division against an attack of greatly superior numbers, just before retiring to the Henry house.
Battery D had been ordered to an important position in support of an attack of our infantry, when Hazlett suddenly found that all the troops on
his left had been withdrawn, not even leaving pickets. He applied to General Warren on his right for support and received it. Not long after, the Confederates discovered this exposed flank and attacked.
"The enemy poured upon this little command a mass of infantry which enveloped and almost destroyed it, completely piercing our line," writes General Sykes. "It became necessary to change our ground. This the brigades accomplished under a severe artillery fire. Weed's, Smead's and Randol's batteries moving with and near them. After an interval, the remains of my command united on the plateau where my artillery joined me."
Captain Smead was unfortunately killed in bringing off his guns, and the command devolved upon Lieut. Van Reed who retired the battery to the Henry house and, later, conducted it to Washington.
"Weed was in action throughout the day, and strengthened the reputation he had already acquired" (Sykes' report).
Hazlett remained on the hill, firing, after his division had left, till ordered away by General Hooker.
No sooner had the broken members of Pope's army been gathered within the defenses of Washington, than McClellan, reinstated, found it necessary to move up the left bank of the Potomac to encounter his old foe on the soil of Maryland.
He first met Lee (Sept. 14) at the passes of South Mountain, through which the latter was withdrawing from Frederick to a strong position on the Sharpsburg ridge, extending across a bend of the Potomac, behind Antietam creek.
Batteries C and F participated in the fight of the 16th and A, C. D, F, I, K in the main one of Sept. 17th, Antietam.
Battery A (Lieut. Charles P. Muhlenberg) was attached to Rodman's division, IX. Corps, Burnside's, and took position near bridge No. 3 on the left. In the afternoon, after shelling the opposite bank during the day, Muhlenberg crossed over with his division in the attack upon the Confederate right.
Weed, Hazlett and Van Reed took position at the centre, near bridge No. 2, with Porter's corps.
The batteries of Weed and Van Reed were among those that did such effective work against Jackson's right near the Dunker church. Of these Jackson says: "The Federal batteries, so posted on the opposite side of the Antietam as to enfilade my line, opened a severe and damaging fire."
Ayres (F) was in the thick of the fight in his old division (Smith's, VI. Corps), while Ransom (C) remained with the Pennsylvania Reserves, now Meade's division of the I. Corps, Hooker's, on the right, where the severest fighting took place.
"At about 10 o'clock," wrote Lieut. Gansevoort, who actually commanded Battery C during the day, "General Hooker ordered our battery to the extreme front, and took it there himself. We passed through a wood, then over a ploughed field into a pasture.
"The infantry on our right fled, and also on our left. As we came in, a battery on our left retired, and we were left alone without support. The rebels were coming down upon us, and we would have retired to save our
pieces; but many of the horses were killed and it was impossible. We therefore continued firing; and, after a short time, the horses of the caissons came up with the caisson limbers, containing fresh ammunition. The enemy after a while retired, and with the last horses we also retired, having accomplished our mission, but with great loss."
General Meade in his report says:—"I cannot close this report without calling your attention to the skill and good judgment, combined with coolness, with which Captain Ransom, his officers (Lieutenants Weir and Gansevoort) and men, served his battery. I consider this one of the most critical periods of the morning, and that to Captain Ransom's battery is due the credit of repulsing the enemy."
Smith's division also attacked on the right and with it Ayres' battery (F). Captain Ayres says:—"My own battery was brought upon the line under heavy fire at about 11:30 o'clock A. M. From this time it was mostly under the command of First Lieut. L. Martin, my duties (chief of artillery) calling me to other points on the field.
"The splendid services of the battery of Lieutenant Martin, 5th Artillery, posted near my right," reported General Irwin, "attracted the admiration of all who saw it in action. For several hours it engaged the enemy at short range and with deadly effect. In this action I felt a particular interest in Lieut. Martin's battery, for to its fire the safety of my brigade may be largely imputed. Had he not checked the heavy fire from the batteries of the enemy, they would have destroyed the greater part of my command."
The Confederates retired into Virginia, whither the Northern army followed, and by the end of November, 1862, our batteries found themselves at Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg.
Batteries A, C, D, F, I and K took part in the battle of December 13.
The artillery, except one battery for each division, was withdrawn from the corps and temporarily attached to the Artillery Reserve, and all arranged in four divisions posted in positions favorable for the purpose. Battery K (Lieut. D. H. Kinzie) alone of the Fifth, remained permanently with the Reserve and served in the second of these divisions. Battery D (Hazlett) fought in the first, and Battery A (Gilliss) was temporarily attached to the third division on December 11, and aided in covering the crossing of the troops. On the 13th it crossed the river and remained in Fredericksburg during the fight as also did Battery I (Lieut. M. F. Watson).
Batteries F (Lieut. Leonard Martin) and C (Captain Ransom) crossed the river and did gallant service in the attack of Franklin's Grand Division against the Confederate right.
Lieut. Martin received mention for the gallant style in which he commanded his battery.
The dreary winter wore away in the cantonment at Falmouth, and in April the defeated army, now recuperated, moved by its right flank across the river to Chancellorsville, again facing Fredericksburg.
General Hooker, who had assumed command, prefaced this movement by a feint under Sedgwick, below Fredericksburg, while he cleverly stole a march by the upper Rappahannock to the left flank of Lee's army.
With his wonted boldness, Lee divided his force, and sent Jackson around his adversary's right to take him in reverse and thus cut him off from the U. S. Ford.
In the battle that followed, (May 2, 3, 4) the Fifth was represented by Batteries C, D, F, I and K. On May 1, Battery K of the reserve moved to the north side of the river, covering Banks Ford, where it remained during the fight.
Meanwhile Hooker weakened his right and thus enabled Jackson to complete his manoeuvre and crush the XI. Corps (May 2). On the morrow, by dint of massed blows, Lee fairly drove the Federal army into a corner.
The batteries, as a rule, stuck closely to their divisions and were posted without regard to concert of action and often where they were entirely useless. "The woods seemed full of batteries."
Battery D (Hazlett) formed one of a group of batteries on a knoll at the left of the line. The favorable position of these batteries undoubtedly deterred any attack upon them.
Battery C (Ransom) (April 28) marched with its division a few miles below Fredericksburg where it became engaged with the enemy while covering the crossing of the troops, and lost a few horses. On the 30th it crossed the river, and thence marched to Chancellorsville where it took position (May 3) in a group of batteries on the front and right of the army.
Battery I (Watson) after the action of May i, took position near the Chancellor House and on the 3d formed one of a group of batteries collected by Captain Weed.
"The Federal troops were forced back to the new line, the centre occupying the open space on which stood the White House, which line also had a salient, the apex of which, pointing in the direction of the Chancellor House, was about three-fourths of a mile in rear.
"General Meade (V. Corps) directed Captain Weed, his chief of artillery, to collect all the batteries that he could and place them in position in this salient. Thus armed with proper authority, that energetic officer soon had 56 pieces in a commanding position looking in the two most exposed directions."
During this and the following day the enemy made attacks upon Weed's batteries, but they were never driven home, and the line held its ground till the whole army retired.
Weed's services on this occasion obtained for him promotion to a brigadier generalcy.
Battery F (Martin) crossed the Rappahannock in Sedgwick's command (May 2), after covering the crossing of his division (Howe's). The next morning it took positions so as to reach the heights held by the Confederates and rendered efficient service in keeping down their fire.
The battery accompanied the infantry in its assault against a position where Burnside had lost 13,000 men only a short time before, and, moving with the firing line, arrived on the crest but a few seconds after its capture.
Early next morning, May 4, the enemy made a determined attack against Howe's division, which was successfully repulsed by Martin's battery and a portion of Neill's brigade. But in the afternoon Lee turned all his available force against Sedgwick, who had been ordered to rejoin the main army. Our battery kept up a sharp enfilading fire, changing position as the enemy
advanced, and withdrew only when its ammunition was exhausted and the enemy within a few yards of its guns.
The Confederates retired with the growing darkness, and during the night Sedgwick withdrew across Bank's Ford.
"Great credit is again due our artillery," writes General Howe, "for their services in repelling the attack. In the action at Guest's farm the section under Lieut. Simon, 5th Artillery, and Captain Rigby's battery were largely instrumental in breaking the attack of the enemy's left, and the artillery on our left, under Captain Martin, 5th Artillery, was used with great effect in checking the advance of the enemy on that point, and afterwards, in connection with Lieut. Butler's battery (2d Artillery), in wholly breaking the attack."
Battery L (Chalfin) had been stationed since its organization just outside of Baltimore, Md., from whence it took part in the effort to head off Stuart's raid (Sept. 1862), and in May '63 joined General Milroy's division in the Valley under command of Lieut. W. F. Randolph.
Now supervened another rest in the thrice occupied Falmouth camp, while Lee planned a second raid into the Northern States. Still grasping with his right the old defenses at Fredericksburg, he covertly advanced his left, under Ewell, to Culpeper and thence into the Shenandoah Valley. Ewell pushed rapidly up the valley and trapped Milroy at Winchester from whom he captured some 4000 prisoners and much material, among which figured the equipment of Battery L and most of its personnel.
Battery L, after participating with credit in certain minor affairs, was ordered by General Milroy on the 14th, to occupy, without adequate support, an isolated, unfinished outwork dominated by a mountain to the west, within range. Here the battery remained till late in the afternoon, when the enemy opened upon it with plunging fire from 16 guns which he had succeeded in getting into position on the mountain. Many of the men and most of the horses were shortly killed or wounded, and caissons and limbers blown up. The battery was so disabled inside of ten minutes that it become impossible to remove the guns.
Suddenly the enemy charged with five regiments which had been massed behind a neighboring ridge in front. The timber had been only partially cut away and troops, could approach unseen to within 100 yards. Nothing inside the work could stop this onslaught, but our men stood by their guns till the enemy had planted his colors on the parapet. Not till then did Randolph order his men to fall back. Lieut. Spooner with 18 men escaped. Lieut. Randolph was carried, wounded, into the town and fell into the hands of the Confederates.
As soon as Hooker discovered the nature of Lee's movements, he started his army for the Potomac and concentrated it at Frederick, Md.; here Meade succeeded him in command. The opposing forces met at Gettysburg where Batteries C, D, F, I, K. sustained their part in the battle of July 2, 3, 4.
The XII. Corps arrived on the field at sundown July 1, and took position on the extreme right, resting on Culp's Hill. Its artillery brigade (K) was held in reserve on account of the unfavorable nature of the ground till the
afternoon of the 2d, when space was found for one section of Battery K. The enemy opened immediately upon this section and a spirited duel resulted in the silencing of the Confederate guns. The conduct of Lieut. Van Reed, who commanded his section, was mentioned with praise in General Hunt's report.
The next day the entire battery occupied a trying position opposite the centre of its corps and rendered efficient service in repelling the attack on that part of the line.
Sickles had moved his corps to the front, into a peach orchard near Little Round Top, so as to form an angle not only with itself but with the rest of the line.
After Longstreet's attack had developed and Sickles was being forced back to the main line, Battery C was placed in position on the right front of his corps.
"I opened with solid shot and spherical case," says Weir, "and as the enemy continued to advance, with canister. Soon it was reported that we were out of canister. The enemy being within a few rods of us, I limbered up, and was about to retire when a regiment of their infantry appeared on my left and rear and opened fire. I endeavored to get my guns off the field, but lost three of them, as some of the drivers and horses were disabled while limbering up. The guns were subsequently recovered and during the afternoon of July 3, Weir's battery, among others, was placed in position in front of the advancing enemy—Pickett's charge.
"I was conducted to General Webb's line," states Weir, "and came into battery under a heavy fire. I opened at once with canister. After a time our infantry charged and the enemy were driven back."
Captain Ransom and Lieut. H. H. Baldwin were wounded.
While Battery I was awaiting orders during Longstreet's attack of the 2d, it was seized upon by a staff officer of General Sickles and placed in position with the III. Corps.
Lieut. Watson was soon wounded and the command devolved upon Lieut. MacConnell, who writes:—
"The battery was without support of any kind. The enemy appeared shortly after taking position. As they approached the battery poured in canister until our men and horses were shot down or disabled to such an extent that the guns had to be abandoned."
"They were, however, recaptured by the bravery and determination of Lieut. Samuel Peeples, 5th Artillery, who, having procured the services of the Garibaldi Guard, took a musket and led the charge himself, driving the enemy from the guns, and, retaking everything that had been lost, conveyed it safely to the rear."
Lieut. Peeples was commended for "heroic conduct" and First Sergeant Lemuel Smith for gallantry.
When General Warren discovered the attempt to take Little Round Top on the afternoon Of July 2d, he hurriedly obtained Vincent's brigade, V. Corps, to protect the summit.
"The contest here became furious and the rocks alive with musketry. Hazlett's battery (D), supported by O'Rorke's regiment of Weed's brigade,
was sent to the support of Vincent. Hazlett's guns were dragged by hand, with great labor, through the rocks and bushes to the crest of the mountain, from which position they opened a damaging fire upon the flank of the enemy."
"Night closed the fight. The key of the battle-field was in our possession intact; but Vincent, Weed and Hazlett, chiefs lamented throughout the corps and army, had sealed with their lives the spot intrusted to their keeping, and on which so much depended." (Sykes.)
Weed had been hit by a sharpshooter who was picking off our officers, and Hazlett was struck while leaning over his friend.
The six rifle guns of Battery D took part, under Rittenhonse, in the cannonade of July 3, enfilading Pickett's lines, and by their steady and accurate fire caused the charge to "drift " in the opposite direction.
Later, with the rest of the army, the batteries followed Lee back into Virginia where the opposing forces again faced each other near Culpeper.
From here Lee dispatched Longstreet to assist Bragg in the impending battle of Chickamauga. Upon learning this the War Department detached the XI. and XII. Corps (Battery K) to reinforce Rosecrans, but the troops arrived too late for the fight.
Battery K, Captain Bainbridge, was attached to Geary's division, XII. Corps, Army of the Cumberland.
It was relieved from duty with Geary's division about the middle of March, 1864, and became part of the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Cumberland.
After minor services it was assigned, about the first of November, to the garrison artillery of Chattanooga, Tenn., where it remained till the end of the war.
Battery H, after partial recruitment in Pennsylvania under direction of Captain William R. Terrill, was transferred to Carthage, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where three officers and 141 men reported present for duty the last day of October. In obedience to telegraphic instructions Terrill went to Munfordville, just north of Bowling Green, where the battery remained till the middle of February, 1862.
During the campaign which opened the following spring, it was attached to Rousseau's brigade of the 2d Division, McCook's, General Buell's Army of the Ohio.
When Fort Donelson fell, the battery marched to Nashville, and on April 6, found itself at Savannah on the Tennessee River, not far from Pittsburg Landing, to which place General Grant had transferred his army. General Halleck, who now commanded the department, had ordered General Buell with about 37,000 men, across country, to join the army at Pittsburg Landing, and our battery had, of course, accompanied its brigade.
After waiting in a drenching rain all night, Terrill's battery embarked by daylight, and immediately after landng, "hurried to the field, where it was ordered into action on the left with Nelson's division, the advance one, against which the greater numbers of the enemy pressed heavily.
"I advanced the centre and left sections onto the skirmish line, where the fire was most galling," writes Captain Terrill. "I was compelled to this in order
to gain a crest of a ridge from which to fire upon batteries that had opened on our skirmishers. After silencing the enemy's fire they seemed to receive fresh troops, for with vociferous cheers they now charged along the whole line. The infantry with us gave way before the storm of musket-balls, shot and shell, which was truly awful. Lieut. Ludlow's section was immediately sent to the rear to protect the withdrawal of Lieut. Smyser's. One of Lieut. Ludlow's caissons had to be abandoned, all the horses having been killed, but we recovered it later in the day.
I served one of Lieut. Smyser's pieces, and he the other. We fixed prolonges and fired retiring. The enemy charged us, but were staggered by our discharges of canister, whilst Lieutenants Guenther and Ludlow on our left poured spherical case into them. We checked their advance three times, retiring as they charged upon us. For a time Lieut. Smyser and Corporal Roberson served the fifth piece alone."
By 3:30 P. M. all was quiet in front of Nelson's division, but seeing McCook's command sharply pressed, Terrill called for a detail of men from a neighboring regiment, and advancing his battery, opened upon the guns that were doing so much mischief to McCook's force. "Soon McCook's whole line advanced with a cheer and drove the enemy before them, and the day was ours."
General Nelson writes:—"Captain Terrill's battery was a host in itself. It consists of four 12-pdr. brass guns and two Parrott rifles. Its fire was terrific. It was handled superbly. Wherever Captain Terrill turned his battery silence followed on the part of the enemy.
"Captain Terrill, his officers and soldiers, won for themselves this 7th of April both the admiration and thanks of the 4th Division."
He received a brigadier-generalcy for this action, and was mortal wounded at Perryville while at the head of his brigade, aged 29.
Lieut. Guenther assumed command about the middle of June and soon marched with the brigade when Buell moved eastward to repair the railroad, protect Nashville and threaten Bragg. By a sudden manoeuvre the latter stole a march around Buell's left and made straight for Louisville.
Thoroughly alarmed, Buell swung his left in pursuit and finally came upon a portion of the Confederate force, under Hardee, at Perryville, Oct 8. Half of Buell's army, including the 2d Division, had advanced beyond to Frankfort. Here parts of the battery went into action on the 6th, and again, three days later, at Chesser's store, where "a section of Guenther's battery was handled with the usual vigor and skill of that accomplished officer."
Bragg retreated to Chattanooga and Buell concentrated at Nashville, where he was relieved by General Rosecrans, the last of October. This general made many changes in his army, one of which resulted in transferring our battery to the 3d Division, Rousseau's, XIV. Corps, Thomas'. In the 3d Division it joined the regular brigade commanded by Lieut.-Col Shepherd, 18th U. S. Infantry.
Towards the middle of November, Bragg advanced to Murfreesboro, Tenn., and in the last days of the year Rosecrans moved against his position. After some skirmishing, the armies confronted each other north of the town at Stone River, Dec. 31.
Rosecrans planned to throw Crittenden across the river upon the opposing right, but scarcely had he crossed the river and launched Crittenden's columns, than he was forced to recall them to the assistance of his already routed right-wing.
To counteract the enemy's assault upon McCook, General Thomas ordered the regular brigade and one other to form in a cedar thicket, facing west, in support of Sheridan. The latter was compelled to fall back about 11 A. M., and this forced Thomas out of the thicket into open ground.
"General Rousseau's two batteries found it impossible to operate in the cedar thicket. This Lieut. Guenther pointed out to General Thomas, a veteran artillerist, and he directed the two to take position in an open field where they would be of service in case the line should be forced back. This had most important results for when the line did fall back shortly, these two batteries not only repulsed the enemy but formed a nucleus upon which other batteries and troops formed, until the line proved impregnable."
"As the enemy emerged from the woods in great force, shouting and cheering, the batteries of Guenther and Loomis, double-shotted with canister, opened upon them. Four deliberate and fiercely sustained assaults were made upon our position and repulsed." (Rousseau.)
It was during one of these charges that the battery captured the flag of an Arkansas regiment advancing upon it.
Guenther gives Lieutenants Ludlow and Fessenden "honorable mention for coolness, gallantry and judgment" in this series of engagements.
"Of the batteries of Guenther and Loomis I cannot say too much," reports General Rousseau. "Both these men deserve to be promoted and ought to be at once. Without them we could not have held our position in the centre."
Bragg retreated from Murfreesboro as a consequence of this battle and it was occupied by our troops. Here the battery remained in camp until the last days of June, 1863, when it marched to Hoover's Gap under Thomas and engaged the enemy in the manoeuvre which turned Bragg's right and caused him to retire from his well-fortified position at Shelbyville.
About two weeks later Lieut. Guenther received orders to join Battery I, then reorganizing at Washington, and 1st Lieut. H. M. Burnham took charge.
The position which Rosecrans finally assumed, in front of the town of Chattanooga, faced Chickamauga creek, and here on September 19-20, was fought one of the most severely contested battles of the war.
The assault fell upon Thomas, who commanded this part of the line. The fighting was stubborn, and during the day he was thrust back, but by nightfall regained his old position.
On the first day Baird's division, which included the regular brigade and Battery H, took position at daylight facing towards Reed's bridge over the creek. Here the battery went into position, but shortly advanced with King's brigade and came upon the enemy in a dense wood. While hotly engaged, King was forced to change front to meet an attack from masses of the enemy suddenly approaching on his right. Only one regiment and the battery had time to get into the new position before the blow fell and scattered the entire brigade and the next one to the rear.
Lieut. Fessenden, who, upon the fall of the other two officers, succeeded
to the command of the battery, says: "During the morning, after an all night march, we were ordered forward by General King. The battery was hardly in position before the troops on the right gave way and it was exposed to a most terrific fire of musketry from front and flank. General King ordered us to limber to the rear, but it was impossible to execute the order, since many of the cannoneers were either killed or wounded, and the horses shot at the limbers. At the first fire, Lieut. Burnham fell mortally wounded; Lieut. Ludlow was also wounded and fell into the enemy's hands, and myself slightly wounded in the side. The battery was taken by the enemy, after firing sixteen rounds of canister." Our troops rallied and recaptured the battery and also took one gun of the Confederates. Lieut. Fessenden, though wounded, kept the field and brought off the pieces, without their caissons, however, as these had to be abandoned through lack of horses.
"I take this occasion to speak in the highest terms of the officers of Battery H, 5th Artillery, 1st Lieut. H. M. Burnham and 2d Lieutenants Israel Ludlow and J. A. Fessenden," reports General King. "The officers of this battery, finding it impossible to retire, remained with their pieces, firing, until they were forcibly taken from them by the enemy."
The departments of the Ohio and the Cumberland were now united under Grant, General Thomas being in command of the Army of the Cumberland. How to drive Bragg's army from his front was the immediate problem before General Grant.
Sherman's part of the task was to capture the Ridge, Hooker's to patrol Lookout Valley, while Thomas concentrated in Chattanooga Valley to hold the enemy there in force. (Nov. 23-24-25, 1863.)
On the 25th, Thomas was ordered to attack all along his front. His troops assailed the field-works, and capturing them, advanced up the Ridge and overran the works at the summit.
Having been supplied with horses from General Sherman's artillery, the battery moved to the front the morning of November 24th under Captain Guenther, who had rejoined at Chattanooga on October 31.
"During the day I was joined by Captain Guenther's battery," says Sheridan, who commanded the 2d Division, IV. Corps, "which I placed on Bushy Knob. On the next morning I directed Colonel Harker to drive in the enemy's pickets from my front. Guenther's battery was moved to a position in front of Harker's centre. In the afternoon, the signal being given, the division advanced under a most terrible tornado of shot and shell, and passed over the first line of pits. Believing the Ridge could be carried, orders were given, and obeyed with a cheer."
"In my special mentions," reports General Sheridan, "must be included Captain Guenther, commanding a battery temporarily assigned to me, to whom I am indebted for valuable services rendered."
The battery encamped at Chattanooga until March 25, 1864, when it left for Nashville, where it remained till the last day of August.
1st. Lieut. E. D. Spooner assumed command the latter part of September.
On the 29th, the battery proceeded by rail to Tullahoma, Tenn., from whence it participated in the movements against the cavalry leader Forrest, during October, returning to its camp at Nashville the last day of the
month. The next day the few horses remaining fit, for duty were turned in at the depot.
In April, 1865, Battery H was transferred to Fort Richmond, N. Y. H., and there remained till the close of the war.
In November, 1863, Meade crossed the river and routed Lee from Rappahannock Station (Batteries D and F), and forced him to retire behind the Rapidan. Here the two armies remained until the opening of the Wilderness campaign the following spring.
In accordance with the general plan of this campaign the Army of the Potomac (Batteries C-I, D, E, M) and the IX. Corps moved by the overland route on the east of Richmond; the Army of the James (Battery A) moved up the James River; Sigel (Battery B), Crook (Battery B) and later Sheridan with both these forces, and the VI. Corps (Batteries B, L, M) operated by way of the Shenandoah Valley.
So dense was the undergrowth over the country called the Wilderness that artillery became of far less than its normal value. To fire down a road or across a clearing was about all it could do—concert of action almost disappeared.
It is impracticable, therefore, to give more than the barest mention of the services of our batteries from May 4 to June 16.
Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-9, 1864.
Battery C-I was present in position on the 5th, but not engaged. On the 6th it was on the firing line at the time the 3d and 4th Divisions, II. Corps, were driven back into their entrenchments.
Battery D was engaged at times during the afternoon of the 5th against bodies of the enemy passing near the Lacy House. Again on the 6th it was in position, but not engaged.
Battery M was present but not engaged.
Battle of Spottsylvania, May 8-21.
Battery C-I was engaged during the attack of the V. Corps, May 10, and again in the afternoon.
On May 12, it engaged the enemy during the attack of the VI. Corps—one of the bloodiest fights of this campaign. When Hancock had forced the salient, called Bloody Angle,—the key of Lee's position—and had reached the second line, he met stern resistance.
"After the capture of the Confederate works," relates Sergeant W. E. Lines, "we were put in position near the small pine trees so much spoken of, and fired a few rounds of solid shot. While we were waiting, General Wright rode up to Lieut. Gillis and desired a section. Lieut. Metcalf came over to our section and gave the command, and away we went up the hill past our infantry, into position."
"At this moment," writes an eye-witness, "and while the open ground in rear of the Confederate works was crowded with their troops, a section of Battery C, 5th U. S. Artillery, under Lieut. Richard Metcalf, was brought into action and increased the carnage by opening at short range with double canister. This staggered the apparently exultant enemy. In the maze of the moment these guns were run up by hand close to the famous Angle and fired again and again, and they were only abandoned when all the driv-
ers and cannoneers had fallen, In a few moments the two brass pieces of the 5th Artillery, cut and hacked by the bullets of both antagonists, lay unworked with their muzzles projecting over the enemy's works." ["Battles and Leaders."]
"This is the only recorded instance in the history of the war of a battery charging on breastworks."
Metcalf's double-canister cleared his own front and undoubtedly contributed to the success gained.
"This battery was gallantly served throughout the day." (Hancock.)
Battery D was in position near the Court House on the 9th, and engaged batteries of the enemy which had opened against the right of our line. On the 10th it opened on troops across the Po during the attack of the II. Corps. On the 14th it again took position beyond the bridge over the Ny, not far from the Beverly House, and on the 18th it formed one of a grout) of batteries pushed forward to the advanced works and which became engaged in a sharp artillery due!- during the II. Corps advance, and continued in action throughout day.
Battery M went into position the morning of the 12th, opened fire and continued in action throughout the day, expending 910 rounds. It was again engaged the 21st upon the movement of the army from the Court House.
Battle of North Anna, May 23-26.
Battery C-I was in position during May 26, but was not engaged other than in covering the recrossing of the troops.
Battery D took position on the north bank of the river and assisted in silencing the enemy's guns during the attack of the V. Corps on the 23d.
Battle of Cold Harbor, May 31-June 12.
Battery C-I was engaged in General Mott's brigade at Totopotomy Creek against works 300 yards in front, on the 31st. On June 3d and 4th it was in position but not in action. On the 8th it was engaged in Birney's division at Barker's Mill and again on the 12th.
Battery D was engaged the 29th, and took part in a sharp contest near Bethesda Church on May 30th, and was again in position near the pike road and severely engaged under a heavy fire on June 1. During the night it advanced with the main line and took position in a group of four batteries near the pike road on the left of the V. Corps. Here it was "exposed next day to the fire of a large portion of the enemy's lines and to an ugly crossfire from a detached work" within short range. The sharpshooters were able to work up to within 200 yards and subjected the battery to a trying ordeal, but it remained on the line hotly engaged throughout the day. The next morning, June 3d, during the assault of the II., VI. and XVIII. Corps, this group was pushed forward by battery with the line of battle, "gaining ground under a galling fire of artillery and musketry at considerable loss, the enemy's batteries being posted under cover.
On the 6th of May, Battery A disembarked at Bermuda Hundred, south side of the James, and joined the 1st Division, XVIII. Corps. It participated in the demonstration towards Richmond and was sharply engaged, under Lieut. Beecher, 4th Artillery, in the repulse of the enemy's attack near Drewry's Bluff. On the 27, the corps sailed via Fort Monroe to White
House, Va. From this point it joined the Army of the Potomac in time for the battle of Cold Harbor, and took part in the fights both of the 1st and 3d of June, under command of Lieut. Theodore K. Gibbs, 1st Artillery, who writes the following: "On the 1st of June our corps was ordered to attack the enemy's position, and Captain Elder, chief of artillery, directed the battery to move up to the head of column. The enemy was forming and throwing up works, and the battery opened fire which it kept up till our line, then forming in rear, was ready to charge. The corps passed us and we followed up the movement until a knoll was reached which had quite a depression in front. Here we halted and again opened fire over the heads of our men and continued it until they commenced to ascend the otherside of the valley. On the morning of the 3d a section of the battery was ordered to a very exposed position near the IX. Corps under a heavy fire. We threw up a small earthwork and remained in action all day." Here Lieut. Gibbs was severely wounded and was carried to the rear.
Gradually moving successive corps from the right, Grant extended his left towards the James which the army reached and crossed about the middle of June.
Battery F, Lieut. Martin, joined the XVIII. Corps early in July, and our guns were gradually moved up into earthworks, from which they frequently opened as the investing lines drew closer.
Batteries A, C-I, D, E, F and M are credited with the siege of Petersburg, June and July, 1864.
General Hunter's retreat from Lynchburg offered an excellent chance against Washington, which General Early quickly seized. The VI. Corps (Battery M) was hurried to the threatened point, leaving certain batteries behind in the trenches, among them E.
The forces coöperating with the Army of the Potomac from the Valley, consisting of Crook's Kanawha Army and Sigel's troops, were under command of the latter officer.
Sigel moved southward about May 1, but suddenly met the Confederates at New Market, Va., where Battery B was engaged, and suffered a defeat which caused him to retire to the line of Cedar Creek, where he was superseded by General Hunter. This general again moved up the valley and defeated the enemy at Piedmont (Battery B again). Generals Crook and Averell now joined him, and the command, about 18,000 strong, reached Lynchburg a few days later, which place General Hunter assaulted, but unsuccessfully. Here the battery was busily occupied the entire day under Captain DuPont, Chief of Artillery. General Hunter retired, followed by Early, who forced his way into Maryland, resorting to the old game of threatening Washington, but the VI. and XIX. Corps interposed in time.
General Early retired into the Shenandoah Valley, where, after some preliminary manoeuvring, the opposing armies met September 19, when Sheridan advanced against Early's right at Winchester.
The VI. Corps, Getty's division leading, advanced through the Berryville gorge, and turning to the left, formed the left of the line. McKnight's and Cowan's batteries were posted just in rear of Getty's right brigade,
"and advancing and firing as the lines advanced, rendered most important service." (Getty.)
General Crook's force arrived on the field some time past mid-day and formed on the right, but the blocking of the gorge road delayed DuPont and his batteries till 3 P. M., when they advanced on the right of the corps and took part in the attack on the Confederate left.
Averell's division with Battery L advanced along a converging line at the extreme right, driving the enemy before them.
Sheridan pursued Early up the Valley to Mt. Jackson, where Averell attacked with Battery L and aided in driving him from this third position.
The Federal army now returned and went into camp, echeloned on ground overlooking Cedar Creek, in the angle between it and the Shenandoah River.
In mid-October Early, reinforced, planned a surprise for our army in its new position. Under cover of a dark night and foggy dawn, Gordon suddenly attacked the left and drove it to the rear in confused retreat.
Battery B and one other occupied a work to the left front of its corps, on a ridge overlooking Cedar Creek and near the point of first attack. While harnessing its teams, just at daybreak, amidst a heavy fire, the battery, under Lieut. Brewerton's command, turned its guns on the enemy, and continued firing canister till they were within a few yards of the muzzles.
Abandoning his limbers, Brewerton ran his guns down the hill by hand to the caissons, unlimbered these, and limbering up his pieces he succeeded in saving five guns and his train, notwithstanding the utter confusion and loss of horses and men. While endeavoring to extricate his last gun, which had gotten jammed among some trees, Lieut. Brewerton was captured and Lieut. Southworth, 2d Artillery, the only other officer present, was killed. Fighting its way, Battery B rejoined the brigade, refitted, and after taking up certain positions in aid of efforts to reform the line, "galloped forward to the firing line as this advanced and did most admirable execution till dark" under Lieut. Holman, 5th Artillery, who was absent at the time of first attack.
First Lieut. H. F. Brewerton and First Sergeant J. A. Webb were commended for coolness and gallantry, and Captain Du Pont, Chief of Artillery, received "particular mention" for "conspicuous gallantry and valuable services." (Crook.)
So rapidly did all this happen that Battery M (McKnight) first went into action just in front of its own camp. Lieut. H. M. Baldwin took charge of two guns and Sergeant Yoder a third, and endeavored to remove them. Only two horses each remained to the limbers, and the two belonging to the third gun being killed, that one went with the others to the enemy who now captured Lieut. Baldwin. The remaining guns were the last to leave the field.
"The guns under command of Captain McKnight were admirably handled and rapidly fired, although under heavy and close musketry fire of the enemy," reports General J. W. Keifer.
Moore's cavalry brigade, with Battery L, guarded the Buckton Ford, some
distance to the left, at early dawn, October 19. They reached the field about 9 A. M. during the hottest part of the fight.
Changing its position in the rapid phases of the battle, Battery L rendered gallant and effective service till the utter rout of the enemy late in the afternoon. The brigade and battery were attached to General Merritt's command.
At a critical period the guns of the horse artillery brigade were the only ones on the field, the others having been captured or driven to the rear disabled. "The Horse Artillery, Batteries K-L, 1st Artillery; B-L, 2d Artillery; L, 5th Artillery, Lieut. Wier, and Martin's battery, 6th New York, rendered invaluable services on this day, as for five or six hours the only artillery used was that of the cavalry, and nobly did they do their duty, having but about two rounds per piece left after the engagement." (Torbert.) The VI. Corps, minus Battery M, returned to the Petersburg lines, and our batteries, B, L and M gradually withdrew; B to Cumberland, Md.; L to Fort Reno, D. C. and M to Fort Sumner, Md., where they remained till the latter part of 1865.
On the Petersburg line General Warren moved by a détour to the rear August 18, and struck the Weldon Railroad at Globe Tavern. On advancing up the road towards Petersburg he was met by a considerable force which attacked him. As the line fell back Battery D, now under command of Lieut. Van Reed, opened fire, with others of the V. Corps, and silenced the enemy's guns after a sharp fight, aiding materially in repelling the assault.
"Lieut. Van Reed served his battery with distinction on the 21st, the principal service being on that day." (Ayres.)
Before settling down to winter-quarters, General Grant desired to deal one more blow, in hope that some permanent gain might be made with which to close the year.
The force consisted of the bulk of three corps.
Parke assaulted in front, near Hatcher's Run, while Warren, on his left, tried to turn the enemy's right. Both failed of their purpose, upon which General Meade ordered Hancock to halt on the Boydton Road till Warren could coöperate with him. But before these two corps could join, Lee thrust Hill's corps into the gap. The assault fell on Hancock's flank and came near ending unpleasantly, when Egan's division changed front, and after hard fighting, compelled Hill to withdraw.
Lieut. Beck, commanding C-I, reported to General Egan and moved out westwardly with the 2d Division to where the Boydton Road crossed.
General Egan having advanced his line to the north, up the Boydton Road, Lieut. Metcalf was ordered to a position on a ridge to the right, near Hatcher's Run, where he opened on the enemy deploying to his front. Our line again advanced to the neighborhood of the Burgess Tavern, about 300 yards to the left front of Metcalf's position. Here General Egan ordered another section placed, and it went into action under a heavy fire from a battery on the left of the road. Soon another battery opened to the right, enfilading the section, which however kept up a vigorous fire. The centre
section now came up at a gallop and opened at right angles to the first. Two more guns immediately opened from the right and with the others enveloped Beck's two sections in a hail of flying fragments, much of which, however, flew wild through poor practice. Lieut. Metcalf replied with his guns and a lively fight ensued, but the enemy could not drive Beck from his position.
"At about 3 P. M. the enemy commenced a furious assault on our right, which swept away Lieut. Metcalf's section, after killing nearly all the horses and severely wounding the lieutenant, whom they captured. The charge of Egan's division forced them to retire and our infantry hauled off the. guns." Beck's guns had immediately advanced and opened upon the point of woods through which the enemy had broken, and aided in repulsing the attack. Here it remained till 8 P. M.
During the afternoon the battery had expended about 700 rounds and had lost 1 officer killed, 1 captured, 14 men killed or wounded, and 4 missing, out of an effective of 77.
"Lieut. Beck is mentioned for the gallant manner in which he maintained his position against a greatly superior force of the enemy's artillery." (Hancock.)
Battery G remained at Fort Hamilton, N. Y., after its organization till December 18, 1862, when it proceeded south by sea under sealed orders, which being opened while off Mobile, disclosed its destination to be New Orleans, La. The officers were Captain Richard Arnold, 1st Lieut. J. B. Rawles and 2d Lieut. E. R. Craft.
Captain Arnold was made Chief of Artillery, Department of the Gulf, upon reaching New Orleans, and soon after, received a commission as brigadier general of volunteers. He did not again serve with the regiment till some time in 1866, when he assumed command of this same battery at Little Rock, Ark.
The following March it moved to Baton Rouge, and from thence participated in the campaign and siege of Port Hudson, the spring and summer of 1863, culminating in the surrender of that stronghold.
After the first assault at Port Hudson a second was tried, both of which the artillery supported and in which our battery was hotly engaged. Regular approaches were then resorted to; Battery G moved up into an earthwork on the line of investment, where it was almost always under fire, and from which more or less firing continued till the surrender, July 8. It remained in camp at Port Hudson, assisting in rebuilding the fortifications and on other active duty, until the fall, when it returned to New Orleans and there wintered.
It was now made a horse-battery, with four 12-pdr Napoleon guns and a strength of 156 men who elected to join the battery from various organizations serving in the department. It became thoroughly re-equipped and drilled, ready for the campaign up the Red River.
There was more or less skirmishing with the enemy's horse and outposts along the entire Red River route; and near Mansfield, at Sabine Cross Roads, the vanguard met the enemy in force.
Our battery had been assigned to General A. L. Lee's cavalry division and was engaged, more or less, daily in skirmishing and fighting in the advance guard, against the gathering forces of the enemy; until Lee's cavalry, supported by a brigade of infantry, attacked the Confederates at St. Patrick's Bayou, drove them from the position and pursued to Sabine Cross Roads. Here the enemy was found in large force. Soon they attacked and drove the Federals to Pleasant Grove, where they sustained a check. The next day they attacked General Banks' command at Pleasant Hill and were driven off with loss.
The battery had been divided, Lieut. Rawles taking one section and Lieut. Homer Baldwin the other.
The sections were constantly engaged at different parts of the field with the cavalry brigades to which they were attached. On the final retirement of the expedition they united, and again found themselves encamped near New Orleans, from which point our battery proceeded to the vicinity of Mobile, Ala., and took part in the siege of Fort Morgan, after turning in the light battery equipment at the depot.
Battery G appeared upon the scene August 16, 1864, and was at once set to work laying platforms, building magazines, and preparing a battery for two 10-inch mortars. This battery occupied a site about goo yards from Fort Morgan. Lieut. Rawles commenced firing at 5 o'clock A. M. the 22d, throwing a shell from each mortar every 15 minutes. This was kept up during the day and night with slight variations in rapidity. About 7:30 A. M. the 23d, a white flag appeared, the firing ceased, and at 2 P. M. our troops took possession.
Shortly after this the battery returned to New Orleans and embarked for New York, where it remained at Fort Hamilton until November 1, when it took passage for City Point, Va.
In the Army of the Potomac it was consolidated with Battery D and assigned to the V. Corps, Lieut. Rawles still in command.
As the spring of '65 opened General Lee accumulated a supply of rations at Amelia Court House, west of Richmond. In order to retire, as he desired, by the south side of the Appomattox River, Lee must drive Grant from his hold on the Boydton road.
This led to a series of sharp encounters, one of which included the attack on Fort Stedman, near the centre, a movement undertaken by General Lee as a cover for operations by his right.
Battery No. 9 on the right of Fort Stedman was occupied by Battery C-I, which had been temporarily detached with the IX. Corps. Our men were at once at their posts on hearing the firing "and when the advancing enemy were distinguishable in the dusk, opened upon them so hotly as to check and cause them to seek shelter in a depression of the ground, where they were held under canister fire till 7 A. M., when an officer escaping from this position informed Captain Stone that if he would not fire upon them, there were between 200 and 300 of the enemy who would come in. This arrangement was promptly effected."
Battery C-I remained in Forts No. 9 and McGilvery on the IX. Corps
line. At about midnight of April 1, Stone opened fire in the bombardment ordered, and continued with varying rapidity till 3:30 A. M. of the 3d, when he requested of Colonel Ely, commanding the infantry brigade, that if he advanced he would at least take a section of the battery with him. This he promised to do. Soon the order came, and cutting through the parapet, the section advanced as rapidly as possible and arrived inside the city by 4:15 A. M. It was probably the first artillery unit to enter the town. Stone claims that no other artillery had entered the town when he arrived.
The VI. Corps proceeded to Sailor's Creek April 6.
Battery E having been assigned to the 3d Division, VI. Corps, "accompanied the division in all its marches and participated in all engagements." In the afternoon of the 6th, the battery was ordered by General Seymour (5th Artillery) to a position commanding the enemy's lines "and fired with all its guns till the works were carried." The corps continued the pursuit till, on April 9, it halted at Clover Hill where Lee's army surrendered.
On March 30, the V. Corps pushed forward to the crossing of the Boydton and Quaker roads, Rawles's and Vose's batteries being placed at the junction. In the afternoon the enemy made an assault at this point, but met with repulse, "the two batteries doing efficient service." The troops made a rapid march on the 9th and soon came in sight of our lines engaged with the enemy.
In December, 1864, the X. and the XVIII. Corps were discontinued, and the XXIV. and XXV. Corps organized from the troops composing the Army of the James. The former of these two corps, the XXIV., included our batteries A and F.
On March 27, two of its divisions withdrew from the north side of the James, and marching all night, took position behind the II. Corps on the left, leaving the 3d Division (Battery F) to keep the lines. Battery F, Lieut. Beecher, broke camp on the New Market road, April 3, and marched with its division directly to Richmond.
Battery A joined Foster's division, the first, and reaching Hatcher's Run, March 29, took position in front of the interior lines of the Petersburg defenses, April 2, during the assault on Fort Gregg, "one of the most desperate of the war."
"While the Army of the Potomac followed in the track of the enemy, the Army of the James and the cavalry advanced on their left and endeavored to head them off.
"General Lee succeeded in crossing the Appomattox, but upon arriving at the Court House found Sheridan's cavalry in his front, and the Army of the James on his left, while the Army of the Potomac followed hard upon his rear.
"General Foster's division entered the field and opened fire on the enemy who had gained the hill near Appomattox Court House. Lee' surprised at finding a division of infantry in front of him, at first gave ground but seeing only a division, he attacked with the evident intention of cutting it off." The appearance of other troops fast coming up, however, soon proved the futility of such an attempt, and the white flag put an end to further hostilities.
Battery A had been assigned a position opposite the enemy's extreme right, and there engaged, thus dividing with Battery B, 1st Artillery, the honor of being one of the last two batteries engaged against the Army of Northern Virginia.
The II., V., VI. and IX. Corps, with batteries C-I, D-G and E, after various services of a minor character, proceeded to Washington and took part in the final review.
The XXIV. Corps remained in Richmond and its vicinity. Battery A was to be found at Lynchburg, Va., in October, '65, while F remained at Richmond three years later.
If losses are any indication of hard fighting, the Fifth can claim a high place in such a category. Of all the regular regiments, infantry, cavalry, and artillery, the four having the greatest average loss per unit of organization are the Thirteenth Infantry, 23.2; the Seventeenth Infantry, 20.6; the Twelfth Infantry, 20, and the Fifth Artillery, 20. The total loss of the Fifth is considerably larger than that of any other artillery regiment, and there are only five larger among all those of the Regular Army.
Burnham's battery, H, lost 44 at Chickamauga; Watson's, I, 22 at Gettysburg; McKnight's, M, 23 at Cedar Creek; Griffin's, D, 27 at Bull Run ; Metcalf's section of C-I, 23 at the Salient, and DeHart's, C, 19 at Gaines Mill.
All the field officers originally commissioned in the regiment, besides most of the captains, became at one period or another either brigadier or major generals of volunteers. The fame of Generals Harvey Brown, T. W. Sherman, Barry, Getty, Griffin, Hunt, Hayes, Terrill, Ayres, Upton, Weed, Ames, Arnold and Williams, all officers of the same regiment, illumine the brilliant record which the Fifth Artillery earned during the War of the Rebellion.
After the war, the regimental headquarters removed from Fort Richmond, N. Y. H., to Fort Monroe, Va., Oct. 25, '65, and there remained till June 10, '67, when it proceeded to Columbia, S. C. On Feb. 8, 1868, it went to Richmond, Va., and on Nov. 7 to Fort Jefferson, Fla.
Most of our batteries were withdrawn from the field the latter part of October, 1865, and occupied stations at Fort Macon, N. C.; Charleston, S. C.; Key West, Fort Jefferson and Barrancas, Fla. With the exception of Batteries F and G they turned in their horses and guns and became foot-batteries.
The regiment turned northward early in 1869 and took stations along the New England coast, from Fort Trumbull, Ct., to Fort Sullivan, Me., with headquarters at Fort Adams, R. I., excepting Battery G, which went to Plattsburg, N. Y., and Battery K, which in October, '73, abandoned Fort Sullivan for Madison Barracks, N. Y.
Bvt. Major General Henry J. Hunt, who had been promoted from major of the Fifth to lieut.-col. of the 3d Artillery, returned to the regiment as colonel, April 4, 1869, and assumed command about the middle of May.
During May, 1870, the Fenians made their attempted invasion of Canada, and A, B, E, H, I, G, L, M. left their stations and proceeded to the
scene of disturbance in northern New York and Vermont, returning early in June.
In the fall of 1875 the Fifth visited its old stations in the South, the headquarters going to Charleston, S. C., and later to McPherson Barracks, Ga. The batteries took post at Charleston, S. C., St. Augustine, Key West moved to and Barrancas, Fla., and Savannah, Ga. When the headquarters Atlanta, certain batteries that had garrisoned Savannah and Charleston took station at McPherson Barracks.
The railroad and coal strikes of 1877 took Batteries B, C, D, E, I and M to various towns in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland to aid in suppressing violence and protecting property.
During November, 1881, the regiment turned northward again and garrisoned the forts in New York Harbor with headquarters at Fort Hamilton.
General Hunt, who has left such a brilliant and enduring record as Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac, retired September 14, 1883, after being colonel for a little over fourteen years. He was succeeded by Colonel John Hamilton, the father of the present system of sea-coast target practice which was originated and developed to a certain point by the officers of the Fifth Artillery, under his direction.
Battery D, Captain Rawles, became a light-battery August 15, 1882, with station at Fort Omaha, Neb., from September 11, and later, Fort Douglas.
As the spring of 1890 approached, it became evident that another movement lay in store for the Fifth, and soon it could be found on "our western most frontier" garrisoning the posts in San Francisco Harbor, and Fort Canby, Wash., with headquarters at the Presidio of San Francisco,
Colonel Alexander Piper had assumed command of the regiment, August 10, 1887, but did not accompany it to the West, and retired not long after parting with it.
The railroad disturbances of 1894 took Battery B from Fort Canby for a time and it was engaged in guarding railroad property and in furnishing escorts for trains from Hope, Idaho, to Missoula, Montana and Sprague, Washington.
General Graham and staff with Batteries A, E, H, K and L proceeded to Sacramento, Cal., July 10, under orders from department headquarters, for the purpose of removing obstructions to the mails and to execute any orders of the U. S. Courts for the protection of property and to prevent interference of inter-state commerce.
Order having been satisfactorily restored, the batteries returned to their stations, Sept. 3, 1894. Here they now remain doing the round of garrison work under the orders of Bvt. Brigadier General William M. Graham, Colonel 5th Artillery, the intrepid commander of Battery K, 1st Artillery, at Antietam and of Horse-Battery K at Gettysburg.