No. 174. report of Lieut. Joseph McKnight, Fifth Wisconsin Battery.
headquarters Fifth Wisconsin Battery, Jonesborough, September 6, 1864.Sir: I have the honor to herewith transmit a report of the operations of the Fifth Wisconsin Battery, Veteran Volunteers, during the late Northern Georgia campaign. The battery, commanded by Capt. George Q. Gardner, broke camp at Rossville, Ga., May 2, 1864, and advanced to Ringgold, Ga., where it remained May 5, when it marched to Cherokee Springs. On May 7 it marched with the Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, to Tunnel Hill, and on the 9th went into position in front of Rocky Face Ridge, where it remained until the 12th, when it marched to the right, passing through Snake Creek Gap during the night, and on the afternoon of the 13th marched with the Second Division to re-enforce General Johnson, commanding First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, six miles distant. At the battle of Resaca, Ga., May 14, at 3 p. m. the battery, by direction of Major Houghtaling, chief of artillery, Fourteenth Army Corps, took a position 500 yards from, and partially enfilading, the enemy's main works; fired-rapidly until night-fall, when it withdrew and replenished with ammunition. On the 15th relieved Battery I, First Ohio Artillery, one-half mile to the right of our former position, and kept up a slow fire on the enemy's works during the day. Marched with the Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, May 16 and 17 until 4 p. m., when it engaged the enemy with the division at Rome, Ga., where it remained until the 24th of May, when it took up the line of march toward Dallas, Ga., arriving on the 27th, and was in position in different sections of the lines for the most part, yet firing but a few rounds, until the enemy evacuated, June 5, 1864. After resting until the 10th of June the battery moved with the division and took up a position. June 15, in line in front of the enemy's first line at Kenesaw Mountain, where it remained until the 19th, when the enemy fell back to the mountain. On the evening of the 22d of June earth-works were constructed for the battery in the new line in front of Kenesaw, and went into position at daylight on the 23d, dismounting ammunition chests and sending limbers, caissons, and horses to the rear, in which position it remained, firing more or less every day at the enemy's batteries on the top and rifle-pits on the slope of the mountain, with an accuracy rarely equaled by smo(th-bore guns, until the  evening of July 2, when it moved to the right during the night, when the enemy evacuated the very strong position. The battery marched with the division in pursuit of the enemy four miles south of Marietta, Ga., July 3, and on the 4th constructed earth-works, and kept up a slow fire on the enemy's rifle-pits and main works during the afternoon, and at night the enemy fell back to the Chattahoochee River. Followed up the enemy on the 5th, and went into position in front of his works on the north side of the Chattahoochee River, where it remained constructing earth-works and keeping up a slow fire on the enemy's works until the evening of the 9th, when the enemy fell back across the river. It crossed the Chattahoochee July 17, and on the 20th crossed Peach Tree Creek and went into position on a commanding hill, and shelled the enemy out of their pits in front of the Third Brigade, Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. On the 22d of July the battery advanced with the Second Division, then on the right, to within two miles of Atlanta, Ga., and constructed earth-works, where it remained in line, without change of position or becoming engaged until the 28th. The battery, on July 28, 1864, Lieut J. McKnight commanding, changed position into the lines of the First Division, Fourteeenth Army Corps, by direction of Major. Houghtaling, and fired a few rounds at the enemy's rifle-pits, where it remained until the evening of August 3, 1864, when it moved four miles to the right, and was held in reserve until the 6th. On the 6th of August the battery relieved a 12-pounder battery of the Twenty-third Army Corps and fired a few rounds during the day, and on the 7th took a position to the left and front on a hill within 200 yards of the enemy's skirmish line, and fired rapidly at the enemy's batteries, covering our infantry, which took two lines of rifle-pits and many prisoners. At night erected earth-works, in which position it remained, firing more or less each day, and silencing the enemy's batteries in our immediate front, thus enabling our infantry to maneuver or fortify at pleasure, until the 26th of August, 1864. On the evening of the 26th of August the battery withdrew from the line and advanced with the other batteries of the Fourteenth Army Corps to the rear of Atlanta, crossing the Montgomery railroad on the 28th, and encamping on the 30th four miles north of Jonesborough, situated on the Macon railroad and eighteen miles south of Atlanta, where it remained on the 31st until 4 p. m., when it marched one mile east, then countermarched and advanced two miles south and went into camp for the night. September 1, the battery marched at 7 a. m., with the Second Division, to the left of the Army of the Tennessee, and went into position by direction of Capt. Charles M. Barnett, commanding Second Battalion Artillery, Fourteenth Army Corps, when it fired vigorously at the enemy's batteries for two hours, then changed position to the left and front and .again opened on the enemy's lines and batteries, and ceased when our lines, charging, were but a few yards of their works. On the 2d marched into Jonesborough, Ga., where it is at this date in a serviceable condition in all its parts, the men hale and hearty and in the best of spirits. The casualties of the command, after firin.g 4,232 rounds, being but 4 slightly wounded and perhaps a dozen others struck with spent balls or pieces of shell, and none prisoners of war, would not meet the ideal brilliancy of some minds, considering the long and arduous campaign, yet it is such a record that we can best afford,  with the consciousness of having done the enemy as great damage as we could have done and had the result otherwise. Commanding officers of the battery have, without an exception, had the hearty co-operation of the subordinate officers, who merit equal honor with themselves for the fortitude and endurance of the command during the longest and most arduous campaign of the war. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Joseph McKNIGHT, Senior First Lieut., Comdg. Fifth Wisconsin Battery.
Maj. Charles Houghtaling, Chief of Artillery, Fourteenth Army Corps.