Report of Captain Crenshaw.
Dr. Friend's house, Wednesday, twenty-fifth June) to cook two days rations, and prepare to march that evening, the enemy opened fire upon us from the earthworks he had just thrown up near Hogan's house, on the opposite side of the Chickahominy. This fire was kept up very constantly during the day, and resulted only in the killing of two of my horses. In accordance with your orders, the fire was not returned by me. Soon after, we started on the march, bivouacked near the brook about three o'clock at night, rested nearly all of Thursday in the road, and in the afternoon crossed the Chickahominy at the Meadow Bridge, in the rear of your brigade. In accordance with your orders, I halted the battery under shelter of the hill, about half a mile this side of Mechanicsville, where we remained until next morning, receiving the shells of the enemy, but without taking any part in the fight. This shelling resulted in no loss to us. On Friday morning, twenty-seventh June, we started down the Chickahominy in rear of your brigade, and my battery was the first to cross the bridge at Gaines's Mill, which was effected about one o'clock P. M. Soon after crossing, in accordance with your orders, we went into battery near New Cold Harbor House, and commenced firing at the enemy's infantry, who were drawn up in line of battle across the hill above us. They were soon scattered and driven out of our sight, and we were opened upon by three batteries of the enemy, on the same hill, who fired very rapidly, and against whom we then directed our fire. Unfortunately for us, our position was such that we could not manoeuvre our battery ten yards to the right or left, the opening in the woods through which we had to fire being very narrow. We continued under the incessant fire of the enemy's batteries for nearly two hours, ceasing our own fire more than once, when the charge on the enemy's batteries was ordered to be made by our infantry. During this engagement, I received your message to manoeuvre the battery or remove it from the field under fire, at my discretion. Finding that no infantry of the enemy were in sight, and that we had been so long under fire of their several batteries that they had been able to get our range very accurately, and that we were being damaged by them, having lost in killed and seriously wounded five men and eleven horses, I, in the exercise of the discretion you gave me, withdrew my battery some two hundred yards from the field. After resting about three quarters of an hour, and finding the enemy's infantry had formed on the hill above us again, we returned with the battery to its original position, soon scattering them, and then continued firing upon their batteries. While firing upon the infantry on the hill to my left, it was suggested that they might be friends; and we ceased firing upon them, a few moments, until, with your assistance, we could examine them minutely with our glasses. You being satisfied that they were not friends, we, by your order, opened upon them again, when they soon disappeared from our view. We continued in this second engagement about an hour, when, two of our brass pieces becoming disabled by the breaking of the axles, and the other two brass pieces too hot to fire with safety, you ordered us to retire, to make room for Captain Johnson, who had been ordered up to relieve us. We had lost in it four men killed and seriously wounded, and eleven horses, but succeeded in taking off the two disabled pieces by hand, and the others by dismounting our chiefs and hitching their horses to most of the pieces. In accordance with your orders, the battery was then taken to the rear, and Lieutenant Hobson started at twelve o'clock, that night, to Richmond, with the disabled carriages for repairs, and a wagon for ammunition, and men to bring out more horses. The next morning, Saturday, twenty-eighth June, what ammunition we had left, consisting almost entirely of solid shot, canister, and long-range rifle shell, was placed in the chests of three pieces, which we carried upon the battle-field of the previous day. Soon after we arrived there, we received orders from Major-General Hill to return with my battery to Richmond to refit, and remain for orders. Upon my informing you of these orders, you authorized me to rejoin you as soon as I had fitted up, and that you would take the responsibility of my doing so without orders. I accordingly returned to Richmond, Saturday afternoon, remained there until the Thursday morning following, having succeeded in getting a temporary detail to my company of thirty men. With these I proceeded down the road, and overtook your brigade just below the battle-field of the Tuesday previous, remained with you until the return of the division to its present position near the city, without being in any other engagement. We fired between seven and eight hundred shots, with what loss to the enemy I do not know. I thus sum up my loss. Nine men killed and seriously wounded, per list annexed, besides several others slightly wounded, and twenty-four horses killed and seriously wounded, including the two killed on the twenty-fifth of June. I went into the engagement with ninety-four men and four officers. None of my men left their guns while they were in battery; only two who were in the first engagement failed to be present in the second; both of these sent me certificates of physicians that each had a foot so badly mashed as to unfit them for duty. Therefore, where all behaved so well, I cannot draw any distinction, and shall always be contented, if, in the future, all do their duty as well as they did on the twenty-seventh of June, which was the first regular engagement the men were ever in. Respectfully submitted by Your obedient servant,