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A. J. Bennett, private , First Massachusetts Light Battery, The story of the First Massachusetts Light Battery , attached to the Sixth Army Corps : glance at events in the armies of the Potomac and Shenandoah, from the summer of 1861 to the autumn of 1864. 58 2 Browse Search
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a, upon the Potomac meadows; there also we were quartered when we participated in the first grand review of the army by Geo. B. McClellan. From this camp details frequently, during the fall, were sent with wagons to the vicinity of Mt. Vernon for forage. We remember that the troops at this time lying farthest to the left and front on this side of the Potomac, and on the line of these foraging expeditions, were the three brigades of Heintzelman's division, commanded respectively by Generals Sedgwick, Jameson, and Richardson. Thanksgiving was observed here in genuine New England style; an oven had previously been constructed by one of our masonic comrades,—for we had representatives of every useful and honorable craft,—and the cooks drew out of it at dinner time a turkey nicely browned, dumplings, pudding, and sundries indispensable to a correct Thanksgiving menu. Nor were the necessary pre-prandial exercises omitted. Lieut. Sawin, the reader par excellence of our official corps,
s Corps being upon the left of Franklin, six miles above Bottom's Bridge. This force consisted of the divisions of Generals Sedgwick and Richardson, each division having a bridge over the stream opposite its position. At two o'clock on the 31st,inging the force in good order within the Federal lines. At six o'clock Gen. Sumner reached Gen. Couch's position, with Sedgwick's division; before his arrival, Gen. Devens, from the centre of Couch's line, made gallant efforts to regain portions of the lost ground. The road was so muddy that only one battery of Sedgwick's division (Kirby's) could be got in position; the First Minnesota being detailed for protection of the flank, the remaining infantry of the division was formed in line with tportion of Casey's division were massed in the rifle-pits on the left, at Seven Pines, Hooker bivouacked in their rear. Sedgwick remained relatively in the same position as at dark; all his artillery that could be moved was brought up, and Richardso
ght of the 28th. We were evidently a part of the rear guard. At daybreak we were in the vicinity of Savage's Station. We found upon reaching Savage's Station, commissary stores and quartermaster's supplies smouldering in piles, and the scattered debris of army property. A locomotive derailed was poised upon the embankment, its smoke-stack leaning like the Tower of Pisa. But there was yet some property undestroyed. At this time the contending forces were at no point a mile apart, while Sedgwick's division was but a few hundred yards from the Confederates; they had undoubtedly divined McClellan's purpose. They must flank White Oak swamp and get possession of the New Market cross roads before the Union army can pass through the swamp, at the same time that they are prodding our rear, or it will be too late for flanking movements to avail them anything. The commander of the extreme Federal rear guard had been ordered to retire slowly and hold the enemy in check. At Peach Orchard
the field, where his services had been indispensable. Within an hour afterward, Sumner's corps arrived, and on its general devolved the command of the right. Sedgwick's division and that of Crawford penetrated the woods in front of Hooker's and Mansfield's corps; French and Richardson were placed to the left of Sedgwick, thus Sedgwick, thus attacking the enemy toward his left centre. The battle now raged around a cornfield surrounded by woods, to which Hooker had in the beginning driven the enemy. Crawford's and Sedgwick's lines yielded to a destructive fire of the Confederates in the wood, suffering extremely, and, their leaders both being wounded, fell back in sothe aid of the right wing. The destructive fire of the artillery now prevented the enemy from pursuing his temporary advantage at the moment that Crawford's and Sedgwick's lines rallied. These were immediately replaced by the two fresh divisions of the Sixth Corps, whose infantry, advancing steadily, followed by its artillery, w
rd crossing of the Rappahannock Thus light-weighted, on the 28th of April, 1863, the Sixth Corps, now commanded by Gen. Sedgwick, was once more in column, moving toward the river, creeping through woods, through ravines, behind ridges, to conceal confronted Lee. Through the afternoon of this day there was little change in our situation. We were lying in wait. Gen. Sedgwick was alone in command. In the meanwhile the bulk of the Federal army, consisting of the Eleventh Corps, Gen. Howard; e right, where the Eleventh had been, previous to its discomfiture. It was now, at midnight on the 2d of May, that Gen. Sedgwick received orders to cross the Rappahannock, carry the heights behind the town, and advance on Chancellorsville until h the south side before dawn; then Gen. Gibbon with a division 8,000 strong joins us, he having crossed this morning. Gen. Sedgwick must now have had under his command, 30,000 men. It was proposed to carry Marye's Hill, yonder before Early's corps,
of the Sixth, held the Union left. Gen. French, with the remainder of the Third, and the Second Corps, the centre; Gen. Sedgwick with his Sixth Corps, the right, and the Third Brigade of the Second Division of our corps, consisting of the Seventh Maine, Forty-third, Forty-ninth, and Seventy-seventh New York, and Sixtyfirst Pennsylvania, was the right of Sedgwick's infantry line, and our company was the right battery of the light artillery of Sedgwick's corps. Our appproach to this place hadSedgwick's corps. Our appproach to this place had been carefully concealed, and elevated ground in our front hid us from the view of the enemy, who were within range of our smooth-bores. Silence was enjoined upon the men of our command; it was forbidden to light fires, and that night a majority offe, but no man hesitated. The First Massachusetts Battery opened the ball on the extreme right, and soon the thunder of Sedgwick's artillery was heard by the other sections of the Federal line. Nearly an hour had the right been engaged, yet no soun
he Army of the Potomac in the Wilderness the 5th, 6th, and 7th of May, 1864 flank movement Spottsylvania death of Gen. Sedgwick Laurel Hill success of the Second Corps flank movement north Anna flank movement Cold Harbor incidents of the . Toward evening, there was a furious attack on the extreme right of our corps; our company wheeled into position. Gen. Sedgwick, riding down between our guns, rallied and reformed our infantry line, and hurled back the enemy. The Ninth Army Corg this time the sharpshooters on both sides were busy in the trees, picking off officers, when our corps commander, Gen. Jno. Sedgwick, came between the guns of our right section, evidently to superintend placing them in a different position. Seein having a paper in his hand, which doubtless contained instructions to the corps commander, for Gen. Wright succeeded Gen. Sedgwick. There was rapid firing from this part of our line, and continuous reply through the major part of the day. The p
nd; and at Antietam his division, coming to the relief of Sedgwick and Crawford, in the afternoon of the 17th of September, of the police commission of the city of New York. Gen. Jno. Sedgwick Was born in Cornwall, Ct., September 13, 1813. Ge northern frontier in the Canada border troubles. Young Sedgwick accompanied Scott's expedition to Vera Cruz, and participral of volunteers. During the fall and winter of 1861, Gen. Sedgwick commanded a brigade of Heintzelman's division. In the e Army of the Potomac, after the winter of 1862, found Gen. Sedgwick at the head of the Sixth Corps, as the commander of whim the main army confronting Hooker. The force opposing Gen. Sedgwick was further strengthened the next morning, May 4, and ienceforth in the action of the 2d and 3d of July. Gen. Sedgwick commanded the right of the Army of the Potomac at Rappalso at Mine Run, November 26 to December 7, 1863. Gen. Sedgwick was conspicuous in the battles of the Wilderness, and t
ahannock Ford.. 138 Rapidan ...... 42, 149 Refugees .........182 Reminiscences, 64, 65, 68, 69, 70, 74, 85, 89, 134, 138, 139. Reynolds, Gen. John F ... 93, 97 Reno, Gen. ......... 78 Return ........ 182, 185 Right Grand Division ... 89 Rockville .......... 72 Rodes, Gen.....165, 171, 175 Rosters .....13, 42, 47, 105, 128 Russell, Gen. D. A ... 138, 175 Salem ...........87 Salem Church ....... 109 Scouse ......... 68 Second Corps .... 124, 143, 153 Sedgwick, Gen. John . 39, 111, 112, 152 Seven Pines ........40 Sharpsburg .......78, 81 Shenandoah Valley ... 165, 176 Sheridan, Gen. P. H. 155, 168, 169, 170, 172, 189. Sickles, Gen. Daniel ..106, 107, 122 Signal Station ........ 170 Slave Pen .......... 31 Slocum, Gen. H. W. .. 11, 12, 22, 45, 50, 52, 59, 60, 79, 107, 124, 125. Snicker's Gap. .. 164, 165 South Mountain.. 78 Spottsylvania.. 151-153 Stevensburg .. 152 Strasburg...166, 170, 178 Stuart, Gen. J. E. B.