Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Three sections of the First Company, under Captain C. W. Squires, with three 6-pounder smooth bores, and a platoon of the First Company, under Lieutenant J. B. Richardson, with two 6-pounder rifles, at the Henry House.

The opposing batteries near the Henry House were those of Briffin and Ricketts. Eleven guns were captured, one disabled, one caisson exploded and Captain Ricketts taken.

In January, 1862, $1,499.16 was subscribed by officers and men for the relief of fire-swept Charleston.

The Spring was spent in manoeuvering on the peninsula, and on May 13, the Third Company, under Captain Miller with three 14-pounder howitzers, blocked the advance of Federal gunboats on the James River at Drewry's Bluff.

On May 31, the Battalion was not engaged, but while the battle of Seven Pines was being fought, Captain Buck Miller of the Third Company, carried off an abandoned battery of four Napoleons, which, by a singular coincidence, had been commanded by a Captain Miller in the Federal service. An ambulance of the Second Rhode Island Infantry was also taken and was used throughout the war for a headquarters wagon and always referred to as “The Second Rhode Island."

On June 6, the First Company, under Captain Squires, engaged in a two-hour artillery duel at New Bridge at Garnett's Farm on the Chicahominy, exploding a caisson, after which the opposing force withdrew.

On June 20, Colonel Walton was appointed Longstreet's Chief of Artillery, and the Washington Artillery was assigned as the reserve artillery of Longstreet's Division.

. After the departure of the Battalion from New Orleans, those members whose family or business affairs had not permitted their leaving, began the organization of a fifth and a sixth battery. The call of General Beauregard in February of 1862, for troops to serve in the army of Tennessee, resulted in the consolidation of these two batteries into what was known as the Fifth Company, Washington Artillery. This battery was mustered in on March 6, under Captain W. I. Hodgson, with 156 men and two 6-pounder smooth bores, two 6-pounder rifles, and two 12-pounder howitzers. It entrained on March 8, for Grand Junction, where horses were supplied, and on the 27th marched to Corinth, Miss., where it was assigned to Anderson's Brigade, Ruggle's Division. On April 6th and 7th fought at Shiloh from five successive advanced positions, firing 738 rounds, losing 7 killed, 27 wounded and 28 horses killed; 3 caissons, a battery wagon and forge were abandoned for want of teams.

The battery under the command of Captain C. H. Slocomb played a conspicuous role in the capture of Mumsfordsville, Perryville, Knoxville, Murfreesboro and Jackson. It distinguished itself in the great battle of Chickamauga, and lost six guns on Missionary Ridge. It captured other guns and fought desperately in fight after fight throughout the Georgia campaign. After the siege of Atlanta, back they went to Nashville, spiked their four guns and ended their career in the siege of Spanish Fort in Mobile Bay.

The details of much of the service of this battery are difficult to obtain, as the papers of the Company were lost in the Tennessee campaign. In all, 418 men served in its ranks; 50 were killed and over a hundred were wounded. It fought twentythree battles and fifteen minor engagements, lost 143 horses, expended 5,906 rounds of ammunition and marched 3,285° miles.

At Beverly Ford, near Rappahannock Station, on August 23, 1862, the First Company, under Captain Squires, with four 3-inch rifles, and the Third Company, under Captain Miller, with four 12-pounder Napoleons, were engaged in what was purely an artillery battle which lasted four hours and resulted in the repulse of the enemy. The losses were 10 killed, 13 wounded, and 22 horses killed; 756 rounds were fired.

In the second battle of Manassas on August 29th, the First Company, under Captain Squires, with three rifles, and the Third Company, under Captain Miller, with four Napoleans, together with twelve other guns of other batteries, were placed between the flanks of Jackson's and Longstreet's Corps and fought for two hours, when the Third Company was sent to a new position on Longstreet's left. On the 30th, the Second Company, under Captain J. B. Richardson, occupied a position near the Chinn house with two 6-pounder bronze guns and two 12-pounder howitzers, and captured a battery of four Napoleons, fully horsed, which they manned and turned upon the retiring foe. The Fourth Company, under Captain B. F. Eshleman, with two 6-pounders and two 12-pounder howitzers, also occupied a position near the Chinn house and was hotly engaged. It later moved forward to the Conrad house and until 9 p. m. continued the action in the direction of Centerville. A platoon of the First Company, under Lieutenant Edward Owen, was used on the 31st to “speed the parting guest." The casualties for the three days were one killed and nine wounded. No record is available of the loss of horses or the expenditure of ammunition.

In the battle of Antietam, or as it is called in the South, “Sharpsburg,” the First Company, under Captain Squires, was posted on the ridge east of the town, on the right of the turnpike, with two 3-inch rifles and two 10-pounder Parrotts. On the right of the First Company was the Third Company, Captain Miller, with four 12-pounder Napoleons; across a ravine on the right, in an orchard in front of D. R. Jones' Division, the Second Company, under Captain Richardson, with two 12-pounder Napoleons and two 12-pounder howitzers. Still farther to the right was the Fourth Company, Captain Eshleman, with two 6-pounder bronze guns and two 12-pounder howitzers.

At a critical moment when the center of Lee's front was heavily pressed, the Third Company was in front of a corn field and orchard, through which the enemy was advancing in force. Here one of its caissons was exploded, but the battery remained in position, inflicting heavy loss, until 4 p. m., when it was withdrawn to replenish ammunition. So depleted were the gun detachments that Longstreet's staff officers served as cannoneers, the general himself directing the fire.

The sectors of the First and Second Companies included the Stone Bridge. At about noon the Fourth Company shifted its fire to a six-gun battery just going into action near the lower ford.

A. P. Hill reached the field at 2:30 p. m., and in the last phase of the fight on September 17th, the Washington Artillery was represented by ten guns drawn from all the batteries and played an important role in checking and pushing back Buruside's Corps. The casualties were 13 killed, 51 wounded, and 2 missing. No record is available of the expenditure of ammunition, but this must have been considerable as caissons were frequently refilled throughout the day or new ones sent to the guns.

At Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, the First, Third, and Fourth Companies occupied redoubts on the crest of Marye's Hill, while the Second Company reported to General Pickett,

near Lee's Hill. This was the first occasion on which the Washington Artillery used earthworks. The Fourth Company, Captain Eshleman, with two 12-pounder howitzers and two 12pounder Napoleons, occupied the right. On the left of the Fourth Company came the Third Company, under Captain Miller, with two 12-pounder Napoleons. On the left of the Third was the First Company, Captain Squires, extending to the Plank Road, with two 3-inch rifles and one 10-pounder Parrott, one of which, under Lieutenant Galbraith, being placed in the road. Incessant fire was maintained for five hours, and the guns were withdrawn at 5 p. m., the losses being 3 killed and 24 wounded. This was, like Gettysburg, one of the great panoramic battles where the whole field was in sight, and the effect of the fire at point blank ranges was easily observed. During the battle one of the Napoleons was taken from the redoubt and placed in the open to secure greater effect.

Some days after the battle a subscription was raised to relieve the destitute people of Fredericksburg and the Battalion Washington Artillery contributed $1,391.00.

While Lee and Jackson were fighting Hooker in that astounding battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863, a very important duty was assigned the Battalion, which, with Barksdale's Mississippians and Hay’s Louisianians, was sent back to retard Sedgwick in any effort to reach Hooker in time to aid him. Again the guns of the command occupied the crest of Marye's Hill, with the 18th and 21st Mississippi in the sunken road. The First Company, under Squires, with two 3-inch rifles, occupied a position to the right of the Marye's house. An ammunition chest under the tree still marks the spot. The Second Company, with four guns, under Richardson, was sent to Hamilton's Crossing, on the extreme right. The Third Company, with two 12-pounder Napoleons, under Lieutenant Brown, was posted near the plankroad. One gun, under Lieutenant A. Hero, accompanied General Hayes to the left. One howitzer of the Second Company and one of the Fourth, under Lieutenants Apps and DeRussy, occupied works to the left of the plank road. These works are still plainly traceable. On the extreme left the Fourth Company placed two guns under Captain Joseph Norcom.

After a stubborn defense, the weakness of the line was dis. covered during a flag of truce, and Marye’s Hill was overrun. Each battery lost one gun, except the First Company, which lost two, the first guns lost by the Battalion. Four men were killed, nine wounded, and three officers and 29 men were captured with their guns. The Second Company, coming to the rescue, could accomplish nothing and sacrificed a gun before it would retire, making six guns lost in all, two 3-inch rifles, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two 12-pounder Napoleons. Sedgwick, however, failed to reach Hooker. The officers and men captured were taken to Washington, thence to Fort Delaware, and on the 20th were exchanged and reported for duty after an absence of just twenty days.

At Gettysburg, the Battalion reached the field at 8 a. m. on the 2nd of July, and on the morning of the 3rd was placed on the left of the peach orchard under the command of Major B. F. Eshleman. The two signal guns for the great cannonade which preceded Pickett's charge were fired by the right platoon of the First Company, under Lieutenant C. H. C. Brown, the right gun under Sergeant W. T. Hardie, the second under Sergeant P. O. Fazende, each exploding a caisson of an opposing battery.

The First Company with two 12-pounder Napoleons, under Captain Squires, occupied the extreme right of all the artillery, near the Emmitsburg Road, at the peach orchard; the Second Company, with one 3-inch rifle, one 12-pounder Napoleon and one 12-pounder howitzer, under Captain Richardson, was placed on the left of the First Company. The Third Company, under Captain Miller, with three 12-pounder Napoleons, occupied a position on the left of the Second Company, and on their left was the Fourth Company, under Captain Norcom, with two 12pounder Napoleons. The First and Third Companies followed Pickett's charge to a point where they could enfilade the enemy's line until Pickett fell back and their ammunition was exhausted. ·

The losses were 3 killed, 26 wounded and 16 captured; 39 horses were killed. The expenditure of ammunition is not recorded, but must have been heavy as the cannonade was continued until the chests were empty.

At Drewry's Bluff on May 16th, 1864, Hagood's Brigade and the First Company, under Captain Edward Owen, with four guns, were sent forward on the turnpike to a point near the outer line of works and there captured Captain Belger and his two 12-pounder Napoleons and Captain Ashby's (3rd N, Y.

« ПретходнаНастави »