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The Gettysburg campaign-operations of the Artillery.

Report of Colonel J. Thompson Brown.

Headquarters Artillery, Second corps, August 13, 1868.
Major A. S. Pendleton, A. A. G.:
Major,--In accordance with your order of same date, I beg leave to submit a report of the operations of this command since the army left the line of the Rappahannock.

About 12 M. June 13th Johnsons division with Andrews's battalion came in sight of Winchester, on the Front Royal road, driving in the enemy's advance and exploding one of their limbers. Nothing further was done by us this day with artillery.

On June 14th Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, with his own battalion and four batteries of First Virginia artillery, under Captain Dance, moved over with Early's division to a position to the right and rear of the enemy, and about 4 o'clock opened a most effective fire, with twenty guns, upon the work west of the flag fort.

This heavy artillery fire enabled the infantry to take this work with but little loss.

This artillery was afterwards advanced to the captured work, prepared to drive the enemy from the flag fort on the next morning.

To assist in this twelve additional guns were on this night in position on an abandoned hill in the Valley turnpike, and near Hollingsworth's [60] mills. At this point the Baltimore Light Artillery, attached to Jenkin's cavalry, did good service on the 14th.

This disposition would, I think, have insured the fall of their main work, but the enemy retired during the night.

On the morning of the 15th Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, with Dement's and sections from Raines's and Carpenter's batteries, had a sharp engagement with the enemy's infantry, who were retreating on the road towards Charlestown by Jordan's springs. Great credit is due the officers and men for the spirited and determined manner in which they fought the enemy's infantry at close quarters.

Especial credit is due Lieutenant Contee, of Captain Dement's battery, and the section under his command. Lieutenant Contee is recommended for promotion to Captaincy for gallantry on this occasion, and I ask that he be ordered to command of the Chesapeake artillery, made vacant by the death of Captain Brown. Sergeants Harris and Glascock and Corporals Compton, Thompson and May, of this section, are much to be praised for their coolness and bravery on this occasion.

This glorious victory, in which the artillery played so conspicuous a part, was saddened by the death of Captain Thompson, Louisiana Guard, Jones's battalion, whose gallantry as a soldier and high character as a gentleman were conspicuous in the corps.

Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews and Lieutenant Contee were also wounded. In addition to these casualties there were five killed and fourteen wounded.

There were captured from the enemy at Winchester four 30-pound Parrotts, seventeen 3-inch rifles and two 24-pound howitzers. The first two classes were exchanged for inferior guns, which were left at Winchester.

While these two divisions were engaged in the capture of Winchester, General Rodes with Carter's battalion had moved around by Berryville to Martinsburg, which place was abandoned after a short artillery fight, in which Captain Fry's battery lost one killed and one wounded. Five 3-inch rifles were taken at this point, which were also exchanged.

No further engagements with artillery occurred until the battle of Gettysburg.

On July 1st Rodes's division came upon the enemy near Gettysburg, and Lieutenant-Colonel Carter's battalion engaged them with fine effect, all his batteries being in action and behaving most gallantly, Captains Page's and Carter's suffering most severely.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jones's battalion coming up on the York road, [61] with Early's division, also engaged the enemy advancing upon Rodes's left and Early's right, and with fine effect.

After Gettysburg was taken Johnson's division, with Andrews's and the two reserve battalions came up under the impression and hope that the wooded hill on the enemy's right would be taken that evening.

I sent an officer to move on with the division and endeavor to find a road for the artillery. The attempt to take the hill was not made, however, that evening.

On the 2d, about four o'clock, a heavy fire was opened upon the enemy's line from Andrew's battalion, under Major Latimer, on our extreme left, aided by Graham's battery (First Virginia artillery), and from Dance's, Watson's and Smith's batteries (First Virginia artillery), on the right of our line, extending beyond the brick Seminary. This fire was well directed and effective. Unfortunately the enemy's position on their extreme right was so excellent, and the number of guns concentrated at that point so great, that after a most gallant fight, Major Latimer was forced to withdraw three of his batteries, leaving one to repel any advance of their infantry. It was while with this battery that this gallant and accomplished officer, and noble young man received the wound which has resulted in his death. No heavier loss could have befallen the artillery of this corps.

On the 3d the First Virginia Artillery, and a portion of Carter's and Nelson's battalions, engaged the enemy's batteries in order to divert their fire from our infantry, advancing from the right. This fire was well directed, and its fine effect was very noticeable. Their fire from the Cemetery hill was at one time almost completely silenced, and had we been able to continue our fire with shell, the result would have been entirely satisfactory, but owing to the proximity of our infantry to the enemy, and the defective character of some of the shell, the batteries were compelled to use solid shot.

On the 4th the left was swung around on the ridge opposite the enemy's, and the guns placed in position, but no firing. On the 2d and 3d Green's battery, Jones's battalion, operated with Hampton's cavalry, and did excellent service. Tanner's battery, of same battalion, having been sent back with the wagon train, was enabled to do good service in driving off the enemy's cavalry at Williamsport. Captain Brown, of Andrews's, and Captain Page, of Carter's battalions, and Lieutenant Brown, of First Virginia Artillery, were also wounded in this engagement.

In addition there were twenty-one killed and 104 wounded. One Napoleon was captured and exchanged by Lieutenant-Colonel Jones for one [62] of his, disabled. In this engagement, as in the one at Winchester, the officers and men behaved with the greatest gallantry, fully sustaining the high character which they had previously borne.

After crossing into Virginia there was no serious fighting. Colonel Carter fired a few shots at the enemy advancing upon our rear in crossing the Potomac, and also fired upon them as they attempted to cross at Manassas gap.

Owing to the loss by capture of the transportation and forges (with few exceptions) of First Virginia artillery and Carter's and Nelson's battalions, and the loss of ninety-two horses at Gettysburg, the artillery of the corps has had great difficulties to contend with.

They brought off everything from across the river to this point, with the exception of one caisson, for the loss of which the officer responsible is now under charges. The horses are in low order, but are improving.

Very respectfully,

J. Thompson Brown, Colonel and Acting Chief Artillery Second Corps.

Report of Lieutenant-Colonel William Nelson.

Headquarters Artillery battalion, August 4, 1863.
Colonel J. Thompson Brown, Acting Chief Artillery, Second Corps:
Colonel,--In accordance with orders just received, I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the respective batteries of my command “in the battle of Gettysburg and all engagements since that time.”

I reached Gettysburg with my command Wednesday evening, July 1st, 1863, and received orders to report to Major-General Rodes, who ordered me to report to Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, commanding artillery of his division.

Having done so, I was ordered early on Thursday morning to keep my guns in readiness for action immediately in rear of heights over-looking the town, and about one-fourth of a mile to the left of the Cashtown turnpike. About 11 o'clock, A. M., I was ordered to bring my battalion to a point immediately in rear of the Gettysburg College, park my batteries and await events.

Having with your assistance selected positions which my batteries [63] could occupy in case the enemy should turn their attention to that portion of the line, I remained at this point until night, when I returned to the position which I occupied in the morning. On Friday, the 3d, I was ordered to report with my command to Major-General Johnson, commanding the extreme left of our line.

Having done so, I was ordered to reconnoitre the positions on our left, and if any could be found, from which I might attract the enemy's fire from our infantry, to occupy them.

Having reconnoitered the positions along this portion of our line, and finding none suitable for the purpose mentioned above, I kept my batteries concealed during the day behind the hills immediately in rear of the battlefield.

About 12 o'clock, M., I was ordered to draw the attention of the enemy's batteries from our infantry in connection with Captain Graham, commanding Rockbridge artillery, and fired about twenty or twenty-five rounds from a point to the left, and somewhat in advance of Captain Graham's position. On Friday night I encamped about one-half of a mile in rear of my position of that day, and about midnight received orders to move my command with General Johnson's division to the point which I occupied on Thursday morning.

On Saturday morning, July 4th, I was ordered to take position on the heights west of the town, and about one-fourth of a mile to the left of the Cashtown road, supported by a brigade of General Johnson's division; here we remained until night, awaiting an attack of the enemy. On Saturday night we fell back from Gettysburg, in the direc-of Hagerstown, which we reached on Tuesday, the 7th. Here we remained until Friday, the 9th, when I was ordered to send one Napoleon gun and one rifle piece to report to Brigadier-General Daniel near the Antietam Creek.

The rifle piece was engaged for a short time. I then received orders to move my command, in connection with General Johnson's division, to a point about equi-distant from the National road and the Williamsport and Hagerstown turnpike, and one mile and a-half from the town.

On Saturday, the 10th, I was ordered to post my batteries, two on the left of Williamsport road and one immediately to the left of the Frankstown and Williamsport road, supported by a portion of General Johnson's division. We remained in position until Monday evening, awaiting an attack of the enemy, when we fell back in the direction of Williamsport. Arriving at that place, we were ordered to move to Falling Waters and cross the river on a pontoon bridge, which we did, [64] reaching the Virginia shore about 9 A. M. Tuesday, 14th, and emcamping about six miles from the river.

I remain, Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


W. Nelson, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Artillery Battlion. Official: S. V. Southall, Adjutant Artillery, Second Corps.

Report of Lieutenant-Colonel H. P. Jones.

head quarters Artillery battalion, August 4, 1863.
Lieutenant Southall,--On the morning of the 1st July, while marching in rear of Early's division, I received an order from General Early to bring the batteries at once to the front for the purpose of engaging the enemy. This I did, and found on arriving at the front that the enemy were posted in front of Gettysburg, and engaging hotly what I afterwards learned was General Rodes's division.

I immediately brought twelve guns into position and opened a brisk fire upon the enemy's artillery and infantry, taking them in flank as they were being massed upon Rodes's left and General Early's right. The batteries were very soon driven from the position and forced to retire, leaving one carriage disabled, which, however, they afterwards succeeded in getting off. Our fire was very effective upon their infantry, presenting as they did large bodies in easy range of us. In this engagement I had three guns temporarily disabled and one permanently so. One man was killed of the “Louisiana guard Artillery,” and one wounded of the “Staunton Artillery.”

For your better information I have the honor herewith to enclose the reports of Captains Tanner and Green of the operations of their batteries at Wrightsville, Hunterstown, South Mountain and Williamsport.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


H. P. Jones, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Artillery Battalion. Official: S. V. Southall, Adjutant Artillery Second Corps.


Report of Colonel T. H. Carter.

Headquarters Artillery battalion, August 5th, 1863.
Colonel,--In accordance with special order No. 24, Headquarters Artillery Second Corps, I herein transmit a report of the operations of my battalion in the battle of Gettysburg. On reaching the field, the 1st of July, the enemy was found to be in possession of a high ridge west of Gettysburg. Their advance line occupied a small crest still further west, and was engaged with A. P. Hill's corps when we arrived.

Rodes's division was deployed in two lines at right angles to the high crest, and to the enemy's lines of battle. The batteries of Captain Carter and Captain Fry were ordered to a high point in front of Rodes's line, near the Cashtown turnpike, to enfilade the enemy's lines and batteries, which stretched along the small crest to the railroad cut. The batteries fired with very decided effect, compelling the infantry to take shelter in the railroad cut, and causing them to change front on their right.

The enemy's guns replied slowly. Owing to the exposed position of Captain Carter's battery, which was unavoidable, it suffered much at this point, having four men killed outright and seven more or less severely wounded.

The enemy finding their position untenable and turned by a strong force, extended their line to their right, to confront us. General Rodes therefore sent for two batteries, and posted them on the left. Captains Page and Reese, then not engaged, were ordered to report to him.

Captain Page opened from a point at the foot of a high ridge on the infantry advancing on Colonel O'Neal. The artillery of the enemy by this time had taken position in the valley north of Gettysburg and delivered a very destructive oblique fire on Page's battery; his loss here was heavy--two men killed, two mortally wounded, and twenty-six more or less badly wounded; seventeen horses killed and disabled, but it was borne with unflinching courage by the gallant Captain and his officers and men, until ordered to retire to another position.

General Doles, on the left of the front line of General Rodes's division, reported a large force massing on his front and left near the [66] Hidlersburg road, and asked to be supported by artillery. Leaving Captain Fry at the first position on the high ridge, Carter's, Page's and Reese's batteries were put in position at the foot of the high ridge and in rear of Doles's brigade, to prevent the enemy from turning Rodes's extreme left. Here these batteries rendered excellent service, driving back both infantry and artillery. Captain Carter's battery was particularly effective in its fire at this position.

General Early now advanced. Doles took it up, and Rodes's whole line pressed forward, forcing back the enemy at all points. My battalion followed, a few pieces unlimbering from time to time to break up the formations of the enemy as they endeavored to rallly under cover of the small crest near the town. After the capture of Gettysburg no further movement was made during the afternoon.

On Thursday, the second of July, my battalion was held in readiness to move into position, but was not engaged. On Friday, the 3d of July, ten rifle guns were posted on the high ridge on right and left of the railroad cut, and their fires directed on the batteries planted on the Cemetery hill.

This was done to divert the fire of the enemy's guns from Hill's and Pickett's troops in their charge across the valley, and also to divert their fire from three batteries of the First Virginia artillery under Captain Dance and temporarily in my command. These three batteries had been ordered to fire in conjunction with a large number of guns on their right on a salient part of the enemy's line prior to the charge of infantry. The effect of this concentrated fire on that part of the line was obvious to all. Their fire slackened and finally ceased. It was feebly resumed from a few guns when Pickett's and Hill's troops advanced, but the most destructive fire sustained by these troops came from the right and left of this salient. The smooth-bore guns of my battalion were held in readiness to move in rear of Gettysburg College, but were not needed. My whole battalion took position at Falling Waters to cover the crossing on the pontoon bridge; a few rounds were fired at the enemy's line of sharpshooters as they attempted to press our skirmishers approaching the bridge. The pursuit was checked without further difficulty. At Front Royal the battalion turned off to the Manassas gap, and took position about two miles from the top. Two batteries (Page's and Fry's) only were engaged. Our skirmishers held the enemy's lines of battle in check for some time, but were finally driven back by greatly superior numbers. The above mentioned batteries then opened and kept back the enemy until dark, [67] when our troops were withdrawn. The enemy displayed one battery and 12,000 or 15,000 infantry.

Total loss in killed, wounded and prisoners, sixty-five.

I am, Colonel, very respectfuly, your obedient servant,


Thos. H. Carter, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Battalion Art'y. Official: S. V. Southall, Adjutant Artillery Second Corps. Colonel J. T. Brown, Chief Artillery Second Corps.

Report of Colonel R. Snowden Andrews.

Headquarters Andrews's Artillery battalion, Camp near Liberty Mills, August 5, 1863.
Colonel,--I have the honor to submit the following reports of the movements and operations of Lieutenant-Colonel R. Snowden Andrews's battalion of artillery, attached to General Edward Johnson's division infantry in the battle of Gettysburg. On this occasion this battalion of artillery was under the immediate command of Major J. W. Latimer, Major of said battalion.

Major Latimer moved the battalion from its camp near Chambersburg on the 1st July, and moving along the Chambersburg road appeared in front of Gettysburg just before dark of the same day. After dark, being in close proximity to the enemy, Major Latimer, making a detour to prevent the enemy from finding out his movements, moved his battalion to the extreme left of Gettysburg between the York and Baltimore roads facing the Cemetery Hills, when the command was parked and camped for the night. About 4 o'clock, the following morning, July 2d, Major Latimer having carefully examined the ground, had selected the only eligible position in his front. The ground offered very few advantages, and the Major found great difficulty in sheltering his horses and caissons. The hill which he selected brought him directly in front of the wooded mountain and a little to the left of the Cemetery Hills. All the guns, except two long range guns, had to be crowded on this small hill, which was not in our favor. About 4 o'clock Major Latimer received orders from yourself, as also from General Johnson, to take position and open on the enemy. Fourteen [68] guns of the battalion were then planted on this hill above mentioned. The two remaining guns, twenty-pound Parrots, were placed on an eminence in rear of the battalion with Captain Graham's battery. Captain Brown's battery occupied the right, Captain Carpenter's occupied the centre, while Captain Dement and Captain Raine, the latter with one section of his battery, took the left.

As soon as the Major opened the enemy replied with a well-directed fire from a superior number of guns, causing many casualties among officers, men and horses. This unequal contest was sustained by both the officers and men with great fortitude until near night. The enemy in the meantime planted some guns on the left, which partially enfiladed our batteries, which caused Captain Carpenter to suffer very severely. By this time two of Captain Dement's pieces had expended all their ammunition, and one caisson had been blown up. Captain Brown had a piece disabled and his detachment so reduced that he could work only two guns, and Captain Brown had been shot down. At this juncture, the enemy pouring a destructive fire upon them, Major Latimer sent his sergeant-major to General Johnson to say that owing to the exhausted state of his men and ammunition and the severe fire of the enemy, he was unable to hold his position any longer. General Johnson sent him word “to withdraw the battalion if he thought proper.”

Most of the guns were then withdrawn, leaving four guns on the hill to repel any advance of the enemy's infantry. Soon after this Major Latimer again opened on the enemy with the four guns left in position, to cover the advance of our infantry, which drew a terrible fire upon him. And it was here that the accomplished and gallant Latimer was severely wounded in the arm, of which wound he has since died. The command then devolved upon Captain Raine, the senior captain of the battalion. Night coming on, Captain Raine, at Major Latimer's suggestion, withdrew the battalion a short distance and encamped for the night. The next morning, 3d July, the condition of the battalion was reported to you, when Captain Raine received orders to park near the ordnance train and to have his ammunition chests replenished, and await further orders. The same evening Captain Raine received orders to go to the front, which order was promptly obeyed. On the 4th Captain Raine fell back with his division near the Cashtown road, where he remained until our army left the front of Gettysburg. The list of casualties will show the severity of the conflict, and it is believed we did the enemy infinitely more damage than we sustained, for they had to change their positions frequently and had to be relieved by fresh [69] batteries, while our men stood unflinchingly to their posts the whole time.

I herewith furnish you with a list of the casualties in the different batteries:

Casualties in Captain Raine's battery--second section commanded by Captain Raine: One man severely wounded and left in enemy's lines, several others slightly wounded, but are now doing duty; three horses killed. First section--Lieutenant Hardwick commanding--three men severely wounded; axle-tree of No. 1 gun damaged by solid shot; the horses of this section were taken to the rear, and hence did not suffer.

Casualties in Captain Brown's battery: Captain Brown severely wounded; Lieutenant Roberts wounded; four men killed and ten wounded; nine horses killed or permanently disabled.

Casualties in Captain Dement's battery: One Corporal killed; four men wounded; nine horses killed or permanently disabled; one caisson exploded and one disabled.

Casualties in Captain Carpenter's battery: One Corporal killed; four men killed; one Sergeant wounded; one Corporal wounded; seventeen enlisted men badly wounded; several others very slightly wounded — now on duty; nine horses killed.

Summary: One Major severely wounded; one Captain severely wounded; one Lieutenant wounded; one non-commissioned officer and nine men killed; two non-commissioned officers wounded and thirty men wounded; thirty horses killed.

Major Latimer informed me that all officers, with the exception of Lieutenant John E. Plater, behaved with great gallantry. The Captains report that their officers, non-commissioned officers and men, behaved with such unparalleled gallantry that they can make no distinction.

I am, Colonel, your ob't serv't,


R. Snowden Andrews, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Artillery Battalion. Official: S. V. Southall, Adjutant Artillery Second Corps.

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