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The Artillery on the Gettysburg campaign.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel J. J. Garnett.

Headquarters Garnett's battalion light Artillery, Camp near Gordonsville, Va., Aug. 2, 1863.
Colonel,--In obedience to your “circular” dated July 29th, 1863, directing me to “make and forward to” these (your) headquarters, as soon as possible, an “official report of the operations of your (my) battalion of artillery from the time it left Fredericksburg to the present time,” I have the honor to report as follows: [162]

On the morning of the 15th of June, in obedience to your orders, I withdrew my command from the position it had occupied on Lee's Hill since the 6th inst., to the rear, immediately on the Telegraph road, and reported to Major-General Heth for duty with his division. At 2 o'clock P. M. I moved with Heth's division from Fredericksburg and accompanied this command on its daily marches through the Maryland and Pennsylvania campaign, until the morning of the 1st of July, when I was relieved and became directly subject to your orders.

The commencement of the battles around Gettysburg found my battalion at Cashtown, Pa., where it had arrived the previous evening from near Fayetteville, Pa. About 11 o'clock A. M. on the morning of the 1st of July, I received orders to bring up my command within supporting distance on the Gettysburg pike, which I reached after the battle had been in progress for several hours. On reaching the scene of action, as directed, I halted my battalion in column on the side of the road and awaited further orders. After a delay of about an hour, I received a message from Major Pegram, requesting that I relieve one of his batteries whose ammunition had become exhausted. I accordingly sent him Captain V. Maurin, of the Donaldsonville battery, with six of my rifle pieces, which almost immediately opened upon the enemy with apparent effect. These pieces kept up a slow and steady fire for about an hour, when, the enemy having been forced back out of range to the position held by them on the second and third days, together with the other pieces of the command they were advanced to the front in the rear of the line of battle, nearly opposite Cemetery Hill, where they remained in park until the following morning, protected from the enemy's fire by a high hill. On the morning of the second day, having received an order to send all of my rifles to the position immediately opposite Cemetery Hill, and to the right of the Fairfield turnpike, I accordingly dispatched Major Richardson with the nine rifle-pieces of the battalion to the hill indicated, where they remained in position until the following morning. At 3 o'clock P. M., when the engagement became general, these pieces opened fire upon the enemy's batteries opposite, which they kept up, without cessation, until about thirty minutes before sunset. Just as the sun had disappeared behind the horizon the enemy's guns were observed to be turned upon a portion of General Ewell's forces, which had attacked them in the rear, when Major Richardson, by opening upon them with his nine rifles, succeeded in diverting their fire. On the third day Major Richardson was ordered to the position held by Major-General Anderson's division, and to the right of Major Pegram's battalion. [163] Towards the close of the day, in obedience to orders from General Longstreet, he placed his guns in position under fire at this point, but did not fire a single shot, having received orders to that effect. The remaining six guns (four Napoleons and two howitzers) bore no part in these actions, although they were upon the field in readiness whenever they should be called upon. On the morning of the 4th, however, I placed them in the position occupied by the rifle pieces on the second day, where they remained until night, when they were recalled to take their position in the line of march for Hagerstown.

On the 4th inst., Major Richardson was ordered to report to General Imboden, in charge of the wagon train, with the three rifle-pieces of Company “B,” and the two rifles of Company “D,” which were thus temporarily detached from the battalion. Major Richardson being absent at Culpeper C. H., under orders, I am unable to make at present an official report of the operations of that portion of the battalion under his command, but will forward it as soon as I can communicate with him. It may not be improper here to state that three of these pieces, the two others having been turned over to Captain Hart on the march in consequence of the horses becoming too weak to pull them, formed a part of the escort of the wagon train under the command of General Imboden, and that they performed good service in the engagement at Williamsport.

On reaching Hagerstown the battalion was reunited under Major Richardson, who continued in command until the morning of the day on which the enemy fell back across the Potomac, when I resumed the command.

I regret to state that owing to the jaded condition of the horses, which had been but scantily supplied with forage since the 1st of July, during all of which time they had not received a single feed of corn, I was forced to abandon two rifle-pieces belonging to Captain Lewis's battery, on the night of the retreat from Maryland. Every effort was made to bring them off, but being the rear of the artillery, and before my arrangements could be completed, which were made with all possible dispatch, the enemy's cavalry charged and took them, together with six men and spare horses which had been sent back for the purpose of bringing them off. On reaching the Virginia shore I was ordered to place six of my pieces (two Napoleons and four rifles) in position on the hills to the left of the turnpike and commanding the pontoon bridge, which I accordingly did, and very soon thereafter, General Pendleton being present, they opened upon the enemy's skirmishers and checked their advance upon the bridge. These pieces kept up an [164] irregular fire until evening, when I ordered them to cease firing, the enemy evincing no intention of attempting to cross and their formations not being sufficiently large to warrant the further expenditure of ammunition. The subsequent movements of my battalion are identical with those of the corps to which it is attached until we reached near Front Royal, when in obedience to orders received through you, I turned off at that point and proceeded up the Valley pike by New Market to this place, having arrived here at 3 o'clock P. M. on the 29th ultimo, by easy marches.

I regret to state that the losses which my battalion has incurred during the recent campaign are especially heavy in horses, those now remaining being for the present almost totally unserviceable. It is my opinion, however, that with a short respite I will soon be able to report them as serviceable. I would respectfully state that at the time of leaving Fredericksburg their condition was generally bad, in consequence of the hardships they had encountered during the past winter, together with what they had gone through with during the spring campaign.

The various losses in detail I have already sent you. The casualties in my command are as follows: Severely wounded, two enlisted men; slightly wounded, three enlisted men; missing, supposed to be in the hands of the enemy, fourteen enlisted men.

Respectfully submitted,

John J. Garnett, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Battalion Artillery. Colonel R. L. Walker, Chief Artillery Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.

Report of Colonel H. C. Cabell.

camp Cabell's battalion, near Culpeper C. H., August 7th, 1863.
Colonel J. B. Walton, Chief of Artillery first Corps, A. N. V.:
Colonel,--In compliance with your order at the earliest period to make a report of the operations of my battalion from the time it left the Rappahannock for Maryland and Pennsylvania to its return, I have the honor to submit the following report:

The battalion left Stanard's farm, about ten miles in the rear of [165] Fredericksburg, on June 3d. Camped near Culpeper Courthouse June 7th. Remained near Culpeper Courthouse till the 16th. Were ordered to accompany the division to meet the enemy, who were pressing Stuart's cavalry at Brandy Station. The enemy did not advance, being driven off as it seemed by the appearance of our forces. On the 16th resumed the march. We arrived at Ashby's Gap on the 19th, and camped on the mountain. There being some fighting between the cavalry, crossed the Shenandoah the evening of the 20th. The division recrossed the river accompanied by Capt. Fraser's battery on the 21st. Subsequently the rest of the battalion moved across the Shenandoah and took position at Ashby's Gap, where we again camped. On the 22d we again crossed the Shenandoah, and resuming our march on the 24th, on the 26th crossed the Potomac. We camped a mile beyond Chambersburg on the 28th. On July 1st we camped a few miles from Gettysburg, and on the 2d of July moved up with the division. When we commenced to ascend the road leading to the crest of the hill, where the battle was subsequently fought, my battalion moved to the head of the column. Near the crest of the hill I turned to the right and placed the battalion in position on the edge of the wood, the right resting near the road leading from Gettysburg to Emmettsburg. One horse was wounded while crossing the field, although this movement was made beyond the view of the enemy. On our right and slightly in front the enemy occupied a rocky mountain with several batteries, and directly in front about six or seven hundred yards distant was a large number of batteries occupying a peach orchard. Receiving orders, we opened a most effective fire upon these batteries. Exposed ourselves to a flanking fire from the enemy's mountain batteries. Our position gave us a similar advantage in firing upon a large part of his line, which was drawn up nearly parallel with the Emmettsburg road. The battalion being first to open fire, received for a short time a concentrated fire from the enemy's batteries.

The fire from our lines and from the enemy became incessant, rendering it necessary for us sometimes to pause and allow the smoke to clear away in order to enable the gunners to take aim. During the same time two guns were ordered to play upon the batteries on the stony mountain, I have reason to believe, with great effect.

The loss of my battalion was very heavy during the cannonading. Captain Fraser, who had always in previous engagements as in this, set an example of the highest courage, coolness and gallanty, fell dangerously wounded by the bursting of a shell. The same shell killed two sergeants and one man. [166]

Lieutenant Cooper, of the same battery, was wounded during the same engagement. The batteries in the peach orchard were driven off, and our fire was suspended to allow the infantry to advance. The guns on the right continued to fire on the enemy's batteries on the mountain, as soon as the infantry had charged.

The next day, finding that Captain Fraser's command was so much crippled by the loss of men, I placed two of his guns (3-inch rifles) in charge of Captain Manly. These two guns, under command of Lieutenant Payne of Manly's battery, two 3-inch rifles of Captain McCarthy's battery, under command of Lieutenant R. M. Anderson, and two Parrott guns of Captain Fraser's battery, under command of Lieutenant Furlong, were ordered to take position on the new and advanced line of battle.

These guns were placed several hundred yards in front of the infantry, near a small brick house, and fronted the road leading from Gettysburg to Emmettsburg. The line of artillery extended up the road for some distance. Captain Carlton's battery and a section of Captain McCarthy's battery (two Napoleons) were ordered to the left of the line, in front of Pickett's division; the guns being placed slightly in echelon, owing to the conformation of the line of battle. Their position was considerably to the left of the brick house, the interval being occupied by batteries of other battalions. Captain McCarthy had, early in the morning, been placed three or four hundred yards in advance of the skirmishers, fired twenty rounds, and with a section of another battery, succeeded in driving back an advancing line of the enemy. The fire of the artillery was opened about 1 o'clock P. M. For over two hours the cannonading on both sides was almost continuous and incessant; far, very far, exceeding any cannonading I have ever before witnessed. The last named batteries were opposite the cemetery position of the enemy.

During this cannonading, Lieutenant Jennings, a brave and gallant officer, fell wounded, and later in the day, Captain Carlton, who has in action so gallantly commanded his battery, fell also wounded. The command of the battery fell upon, and was at once assumed, by First Lieutenant C. W. Motes.

The artillery ceased firing, and a part of Pickett's division passed over the ground occupied by these batteries in their celebrated charge. Captain Manly occupied, slightly shifting the position of his guns, the same position occupied the day before, and engaged the mountain batteries particularly with effect.

After Pickett's division was ordered back from their assault on the [167] Cemetery Hill, Captain McCarthy and Lieutenant Motes were ordered to move forward, and came in position immediately on the road above mentioned, occupying the left flank of the line extended, upon which were placed the sections commanded respectively by Lieutenant Anderson, Lieutenant Payne, and Lieutenant Furlong. One of Lieutenant Furlong's guns being entirely out of ammunition, was ordered to the rear, and the other piece was placed about 300 yards on the left of his previous position. The enemy's sharpshooters were continually firing and annoying us. Only a few of our pickets were in front of us. No infantry in sight in our rear, but Anderson's division was in the woods about 400 yards in the rear. The ammunition of the guns was nearly exhausted. The positions occupied by these guns was about 700 yards from the Cemetery Hill. The change in the position of the guns was made about 4 o'clock P. M., with orders to hold it till night.

We fired upon a line of infantry approaching, and with the other batteries, dispersed them or drove them back. The attack was not renewed. The guns remained in this position till after dark, when they were withdrawn. During the next day there was but little firing on either side. During the night of the 4th we withdrew from our position, and after a most distressing march, camped at Monterey Springs the night of the 5th. We arrived at Hagerstown the next evening, and camped about one mile from the town.

On the 8th of July Captain Manly's battery was ordered to picket near Frankstown, Md., on the Antietam. On Friday, July 10th, this battery crossed the Antietam and went to the assistance of General Stuart's cavalry. They engaged the enemy at about 6 A. M., near the suburbs of Frankstown, and fought him from that position until late in the afternoon, compelling his artillery to change positions twice during the engagement. Captain Manly was then ordered by Lieutenant-General Longstreet to report with four guns to Major-General Pickett. He rejoined the battalion after we recrossed the Potomac. Lieutenant Dunn, of this battery, with one gun, remained with the battalion.

On the 7th of July First Lieutenant R. M. Anderson, of McCarthy's battery, was ordered to take command of Captain Fraser's battery; owing to the wounds received by Captain Fraser and Lieutenant Cooper, this battery had been left with only one officer. On the morning of the 10th the battery was ordered to report to Brigadier-General Kershaw, on the Sharpsburg turnpike. It was placed in position on the right of the road. About 2 o'clock the battery took position on a hill to the left of the bridge over the Antietam, and in close range [168] of the enemy's sharpshooters, who immediately opened a vigorous fire, killing one man and slightly wounding another. Lieutenant Anderson opened fire into a brick building on the opposite side of the creek, under cover of which the enemy's sharpshooters were collecting, and seriously annoying our forces. After a few rounds from each piece he succeeded in dispersing them from the house, as well as for the time silencing their sharpshooters in his immediate front. At twilight he received orders to withdraw his pieces and report to Colonel Munford, commanding a brigade of cavalry, remained with him until about 9 A. M. the following day, when, by order, he reported to the battalion. Lieutenant Motes, commanding Carlton's battery, reported to Brigadier-General Wofford on the morning of the 10th, and was placed in position on the left of the Williamsport and Sharpsburg pike, near St. James Church, where he remained till the next evening, when, under orders, he retired to a position on the right of the road. My battalion was placed in position on this line, on both sides of the road, with orders to fortify it, which was done during the night and the following day. During the evening of the 13th I was ordered to send my caissons across the Potomac and to withdraw my pieces at dark. The order was promptly obeyed, and we recrossed the river without loss on the morning of the 14th.

We arrived at Culpeper C. H. on the 25th, having camped successively, near Bunker's Hill, on a farm about ten miles from Winchester, near Millwood, on the left bank of the Shenandoah, at Gaines's Cross-Roads, and on the right bank of Hazel river. During this march, although threatened by the enemy, there was no engagement, and we suffered no loss of any kind. I was much indebted to Major S. R. Hamilton for assistance rendered me on every occasion. I desire to return my thanks to my Ordnance officer, Lieutenant H. L. Powell, and Ordnance-Sergeant O. M. Price, for their efficiency. Lieutenant Powell, though wounded, continued on duty. Captain Manly, in his report, calls attention to an act of coolness by Private H. E. Thair, by which many lives were probably saved. Thair was acting No 6 at one of the guns, and while adjusting a fuze-igniter it accidentally exploded and ignited the fuze already in the shell, he seized the shell and ran with it several yard from the limber, at the same time drawing the burning fuze from the shell with his fingers.

Captain McCarthy pays the following high but no less deserved tribute to Corporal Allan Morton, who fell on the 3d of July: “In Corporal Allan Morton, the battery lost its best and bravest soldier, one who had endeared himself to all by his unflinching bravery, his [169] strict attention to all duties, and his cheerful obedience to all orders.”

Lieutenant Furlong says that he “was much indebted to Corporals Campbell and Kernan for the manner in which they managed their respective pieces.”

The battalion sustained the following casualties: In Manly's battery, 3 killed, 4 wounded, and four (4) missing; 13 horses killed and 7 disabled. In McCarthy's battery, 2 killed and 8 wounded; 23 horses killed and 2 disabled. In Carlton's battery, 1 killed, 2 officers and 3 enlisted men wounded; 13 horses killed and 4 wounded (disabled, but for a short time, one.) In Fraser's battery, 6 killed, 2 officers and 11 enlisted men wounded; 18 horses killed. Total — killed, 12; wounded officers, 4; enlisted men, 26; 67 horses killed and 13 disabled. I have the honor to enclose the reports of the battery officers.

I have not language to express my admiration of the coolness and courage displayed by the officers and men on the field of this great battle. Their acts speak for themselves. In the successive skirmishes in which a portion of the battalion was engaged, and when placed in line of battle near Hagerstown, inviting and expecting an attack, their cool courage and energy are above praise.

In crossing rivers, in overcoming the difficulties of a tedious march, in providing for the horses of the battalion, no officers ever exhibited greater energy and efficiency. Passing over muddy roads, exposed to rain nearly every day, they bore the difficulties of the march without a murmur of dissatisfaction. All seemed engaged in a cause which made privation, endurance and any sacrifice a “labor of love.”

Very respectfully,

H. C. Cabell, Colonel Commanding.

General W. V. Pendleton, Chief of Artillery, A. N. V.:
General,--This report not having been finished before Colonel Walton left Virginia, is respectfully forwarded to you.

Very respectfully,

H. C. Cabell, Colonel Commanding.

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