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Chapter 18:

November 1, 1864, to march 25, 1865.

  • Fort Stevenson
  • -- Fort Welch -- exit Hancock, enter Humphreys -- to the left and back -- forts Emory and Siebert -- shingling a stable -- by the left flank -- the battle of Armstrong's Farm -- the Fifth Corps badly used -- the Second Corps Helps them out— Battery E -- Resignation and departure of Major Sleeper—‘at it on the right’ -- Fort Steadman -- advance and captures of the Second Corps.

Fort Stevenson, in which we were now located, was the largest fort in the rear line of works before Petersburg. In a day or two the left section of the Battery was detached to Fort Blaisdell, a smaller work in the same line further east. Captain (now Major) Sleeper1 returned from leave of absence, and resumed command of the Battery. New quarters were built and the usual careful preparations made to stay.

On the 26th of November Lieut. Milbrey Green reported at the Battery for duty to succeed Lieut. Smith deceased. His military record was an unusual one and worthy extended notice.2 [377]

Major Milbrey Green 1863

[378] [379]

It is a record of which to be proud and while some of the company believed the Captain was unjust to his own command in filling vacancies from outside yet, since he had chosen to do so, we were glad to adopt into our membership one every way so worthy.

Time passed monotonously enough at this station nothing occurring worthy of note for four weeks; but November 29th brought a change, when we were ordered down to the extreme left to take position in Fort Welch, relieving there a Ninth Corps [380] battery.3 Headquarters were with the caissons near Fort Wheaton. We were in the front line again, with the Rebel works in full view, but a truce existed between the opposing pickets, so that we walked unconcernedly both in and outside the works, the Rebels doing the same. The difference in this respect between the present position and that at Battery XIV, was due to the greater distance between the lines at this point, the opinion prevailing on both sides at the former position seeming to be that eternal vigilance was the price of safety.

On the 5th of December, Lieut. Adams returned to the Battery from detached service, and past Sergt. George H. Day, who had been commissioned Junior Second Lieutenant the 1st of November, reported for duty in that capacity.

November 26th Gen. Hancock was taken from his command and sent north to raise a new corps. This was a matter of much regret to us, for while we had seen hard service under him, had been ‘shoved,’ as the expressive army slang had it, we were none the less anxious for him to retain command of the old Second Corps, whose renown was so indissolubly connected with his name, till the end. But the ‘powers’ had ordered otherwise, and the same day that he left us Major Gen. A. A. Humphreys, late Gen. Meade's chief-of-staff, took command of the corps.4

Thursday, December 8th, we were relieved by the Eleventh New York Battery, and ordered to take the position vacated by them in the rear line, about a mile distant, and south of Poplar Spring (Grove?) [381] Church. This exchange was said to have been made to enable us to participate in a projected movement. So we took what we hoped was temporary possession of barn-like quarters left by our predecessors, to pass the night and await the next turn of the wheel. It came the ensuing day in the shape of orders to join the First Division of the Sixth Corps at dusk.5 With the inception of this movement the weather changed from mild to stormy. We went perhaps two miles and a half and halted near an old hut in the woods, where having spent the night and a part of the subsequent day in the last degrees of wretchedness, shivering about a camp-fire in the cold and sleet, we returned to our starting-point Saturday afternoon. Not to Fort Welch as we had fondly desired, for we had left superior quarters there; and the hopes we had entertained of a return thither were soon dissipated by orders to place our guns in forts Emory and Siebert, near the extreme left of the rear line.

At headquarters camp, which had remained undisturbed by this brief movement, all was bustle and activity, for, in addition to remodelling the shabby stockade in which their lot was cast6 the men were engaged in building and shingling a stable for the horses — a work of considerable magnitude, and, as they felt, of questionable profit, considering the uneasy state in which the army then was. [382] The shingles were rifted from sections of huge pine logs, cut in the neighborhood, and sawed into three-foot lengths—all this by hand. After a month's labor the stable was about two-thirds covered with these, and would soon be ready for use, when marching orders were received, and shortly after daylight of Sunday the 5th (Has any one thought how many of the movements and battles of this army took place on the Sabbath?) we reported to the Second Division, now commanded by Gen. Smythe. The movement included but two divisions of our corps, the Second and Third, (Gen. Miles having been left in the intrenchments,) and two batteries, Battery K and the Tenth Massachusetts,7 and was only another reaching out around the Confederate right, in the direction of the Southside Railroad, which, if we beat the enemy, we should advance upon. By mid-afternoon we halted, and were ordered into position; but let Lieut. Adams' report to the Adjutant-General give one view of the story:8

I have the honor to report that on the 5th inst., at 6 A. M., I reported with the Battery to Brig. Gen. Smythe, commanding Second Division, Second Army Corps, and marched with that division on the Vaughan Road to near Hatcher's Run, and went into position; the Right Section, commanded by Lieut. Day, near the Tucker House, the Left Section, commanded by Lieut. Green, near young Armstrong's ,house, covering the front and right of Gen. Smythe's Division; and the Centre Section, commanded by First Sergeant Townsend, under my own immediate supervision, near Gen. Smythe's headquarters, covering a ford and Gen. Smythe's left flank. About 4.30 P. M., the enemy in strong force [383]


[384] [385] attacked the right of Gen. Smythe's Division, and attempted to turn his flank. Lieut. Green changed the position of his section, and opened an enfilading fire within three hundred yards of the right of the enemy's line of battle. The centre section changed front and fired to the rear, having an oblique fire on the centre and left of the enemy's line of battle. After a hard fight of an hour or more, in which we expended nearly three hundred rounds of ammunition, doing good execution, the enemy withdrew. The right section was not engaged . . . .

That Lieut. Adams is modest in his statement of the part the Battery had in this action, further testimony will show. The following is an extract from a letter written by Gen. McAllister to a friend in New Jersey. The General commanded a brigade of Mott's (Third) Division, and tool the brunt of the Rebel assault. He says:

The distance now between my Brigade and Gen. Smythe's First Brigade on my left across the swamp, was at least three hundred yards; through this the enemy might sweep with their heavy columns. . . . To prevent the enemy from passing into and through the open space, Adams' Battery (centre section) crossed my Seventh New Jersey (infantry) fire at nearly right angles, while Lieut. Green's Battery (section) had considerably more of an enfilade . . . The Rebels recoiled under our deadly fire, and the firing ceased in a measure. This gave our boys courage. In a few moments more the well-known Rebel yell rolled out on the evening breeze, and on rushed their massed columns. My line now opened a most destructive fire, . . . again the enemy were repulsed. The fire slackening some, I rode along the lines encouraging the men to stand firm and the day would be ours. They all struck up the song “Rally around the flag, boys.” The Rebels replied, “We will rally around your flag, boys!” The heavy firing had now ceased for the time being, but the pause was of short duration. The Rebel Mahone with his famous fighting division made a rush for the gap in our lines, . . . but our boys were ready for them, and as the darkness of the night had closed in upon us, the discharge of musketry and burning, flashing powder, illuminating the battle-scene, . . . and the loud thundering of the artillery, made the scene one of more than ordinary grandeur. We then rolled back the Rebel columns for the last time. . . . Cheer after cheer resounded along our lines. The battle was over, and victory perched on our banners.


Following is a short extract from Maj. Gen. Mc-Allister's official report to Gen. Humphreys:

Had it not been for this and the aid of the artillery commanded by Lieuts. Adams and Green of the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, who were throwing their tire across the swamp at a right angle with my enfilading fire, all would have been lost. These artillery officers deserve great credit, and I have the pleasure to mention them favorably.

I may preface the following extract from a letter written me by Gen. McAllister, by saying that Gen. Gordon, commander of the Rebel Second Corps, was in command of the enemy.

In a conversation with Gen. Gordon, relative to this 5th of February Hatcher's Run battle, I asked him how many troops he had charging against us. “Three divisions, and I was never more certain of victory. I expected to gobble you up, and don't know why I did not succeed,” was his answer. He then asked me, “How many troops had you in the fight?” I replied, “One brigade, assisted by a part of a Massachusetts battery on the other side of a swamp or low ground.” He was astonished when ,he learned this fact. He advanced in three lines, division-front, making three separate charges, each of which we rolled back as they came up.

He expected the right of his divisions to turn my left, and was thus pushing for the gap between the Second Division and my Brigade. Lieuts. Adams and Green of your Tenth Massachusetts Battery, seeing this, turned their guns on the advancing Rebels; at the same time I ordered Col. Price, of the Seventh New Jersey Regiment, to oblique his fire, which he did handsomely, crossing your battery fire at right angles, and thus doing its deadly work. Some of your shots came up to our breastworks, but with no injury to us.

You can now see what I owe to your officers and men who thus assisted me in that hard-fought and successful battle.

So much for official testimony. Little remains to be said except to tell the story in brief from a batteryman's standpoint.

Two sections of the Battery had taken position as [387] Lieut. Adams' report indicates, covering either flank of Gen. Smythe's (Second) Division, which was facing generally westward. Running nearly at right angles with this division, with a kind of swamp or marsh intervening, was Gen. McAllister's Brigade of the Third Division, facing northward. Our guns were on Smythe's side of the marsh, and had been engaging a Rebel battery, firing over his line, and anticipating an attack from that quarter, when, with hardly a premonition in the way of skirmishing, the enemy came out of the woods in McAllister's front, evidently having discovered the interval between his left and Smythe's right, and bent on penetrating it. The Tenth was the only battery on the field, and this was its opportunity. Lieut. Green at once directed his guns to fire to the rear, and being exactly on the Rebels' flank, every shot enfiladed their advancing lines. Lieut. Adams also turned his guns upon the triple line. His fire was oblique to the enemy's front and did great execution. Never did shells do more effective work than did those fired by these two sections. Their opportunity was a rare one, and most rarely did they improve it. The Rebel advance first appeared to view in a somewhat scattered tract of woods, mainly pines and oaks, and amid these the havoc was greatest. Five men were afterwards found lying dead near a tree, killed by a shell which, singuarly enough, first passed completely through the trunk of the tree, exploding on the further side.

Our assistance was invaluable in rolling back the three successive charges made by the three Rebel divisions to break through our lines. The enemy had evidently maneuvered to bring about another such result as that which confused and demoralized [388] the corps on the Boydton Plank Road in October; but although the weight of numbers was on their side, the God of Battles was on ours, and in this the last important tilt between the old Second Corps and Lee's army before the final break-up, Victory perched on the Union banners.

At one time, owing to the peculiar situation of the lines, the shells from Lieut. Green's guns dropped among Ramsey's Brigade (4th, of First Division), which had taken post at the right of McAllister, whereat Ramsey at once sent word to headquarters that his line was being enfiladed by a Rebel battery.

At the conclusion of the battle Gen. Smythe rode up to the lieutenants and handsomely complimented the Battery for its services, stating that but for it his division must have been flanked or captured, perhaps both. Gen. McAllister, too, admitted his inability to have held his post unaided by our guns. We were also mentioned favorably by the Chief of Artillery and by Gen. Humphreys in his congratulatory order.

Our casualties were three horses shot. The total loss of the corps was one hundred and twenty-five men killed and wounded. This insignificant loss is due to the fact of our troops being, in the main, protected by intrenchments. It fairly illustrated the difference between charging earthworks as our army had done from the Wilderness to Petersburg, and defending them from assault. The Confederate loss was heavy, but is not known.

This battle is known both by the name of Hatcher's Runand Armstrong's Farm,though the former more properly belongs to the action of the Fifth Corps further to the left, the next day. We usually call it the Second Hatcher's Run.

The weather, so mild a few days before, now [389]

Inside view of ‘Battery E,’ near Hatcher's Run.

[390] [391] changed to piercing cold, and February 6th gave us a driving storm of sleet, which froze as it fell, covering everything with a coating of ice. Bivouacking under shelters of brush and tarpaulins stretched against the storm, we shivered through the day and night. During the afternoon the Fifth Corps, having connected with the left of the Second, was reaching forward with its left to strike the Boydton Plank Road. Everything was progressing finely, —Crawford, in command of the left, having advanced and driven the enemy from Dabney's Mill. But the Rebels putting into practice their old game of sending a force by a. wide detour to the rear while they engaged attention in front, fell first upon Gregg's cavalry, driving it before them, then upon Ayres' Division of the Fifth Corps while in column going to Crawford's assistance, driving it back, and finally striking Crawford's Division, repulsing it with heavy loss. Here fell the Rebel General William J. Pegram, the ‘Boy Artillerist,’ as his Confederate associates called him.9 The discomfited men of the Maltese Cross now fell back pell-mell upon the position held by the Second Corps on Hatcher's Run. Elated with their easy victory, the Rebels burst from the wood two hundred yards distant, eagerly following up, when Battery K, which seemed to possess the faculty of being in the right place at the right time, and the supporting infantry of Mott's (Third) Division (De Trobriand's Brigade), —both posted at the crossing of the Vaughan Road over the Run,—gave them such a warm reception that they hastily retired. [392]

Early next morning reconnoissances were sent out, which advanced some distance, finally coming upon the enemy's pickets and driving them into the main line.10 There was some skirmishing during the day, and one section of our guns apparently silenced some Rebel guns, which had, at intervals, sent shells among us, killing one horse. But the fighting was now over, and preparations were making to hold the ground we had taken, by constructing a line of fortifications connecting with the former extreme left at Fort Gregg. As this position had been taken by the Second Corps, so now it was to retain it in possession, and Battery E was built for our guns,11 some six hundred yards to the rear of the field on which we had shattered the Rebel line, and in it the pieces were placed on the morning of the 11th. Not much farther to the rear, in the edge of a piece of woods, Battery headquarters were established, where we applied all our previous experience in building the neatest and cosiest quarters we had ever erected, and all the longer to be remembered because the last of their kind. Thus the whole of this newly acquired territory was in a sort time dotted with the white-roofed huts of the soldiery, and what we found a comparative solitude transformed into the stir and bustle of town life. Its sloughs were soon ribbed with corduroy, and in a few days Grant's modern marvel, the military railroad, was extended along the new lines, having its terminus a few rods in rear of our camp.

The truce already mentioned as existing between the lines at Fort Welch was unbroken here, and the only firing heard was that of Rebel pickets directed [393]


[394] [395] at members of their own side deserting to the Union army. Every night especially dark, brought squads of these men in, whom we saw marched past to corps headquarters, but with whom we rarely had opportunity to converse.

Five or six weeks wore quietly away in this camp with little, save a call from the paymaster, to vary their monotony. On the 27th of February Maj. Sleeper severed his connection with the Company, and in a short speech, delivered with illy suppressed emotion, turned us over to Lieut. Adams. He told us that if we ever came to Boston he should feel slighted if we did not give him a call; that anything he could do for us would be cheerfully done, and concluded by wishing us all a safe return home. Lieut. Adams was at once promoted to the Captaincy, and first sergeant George M. Townsend was commissioned junior second lieutenant, to fill the vacancy created by promotions.

The following letter was received by the Major just after his discharge:

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, March 1st, 1865.
Brevet Maj. Sleeper, Mass. Batt.
Major,—Sincerely regretting that you should have been induced to resign the command of your Battery I hope that you will always remember that you carry with you the very best wishes of all with whom you have been connected for four years. Intimately acquainted with you for the whole period of your services I congratulate you upon your military record with the hope of seeing you at no distant day giving a practical helping hand to those who are still striving to put down the Rebellion.

Sincerely your friend,

Alexr. S. Webb, Bv't Major General, Chief of Staff, A. P.

About the middle of March orders came to be ready to move at short notice, and to turn in one section of the Battery. [396]

March 24th a corps review was held, and sutlers and non-combatants generally were ordered to City Point.

We were now on the tiptoe of expectation. Sherman was marching northward by rapid stages, and great events were discernible in the near future. We did not look forward to the opening of the spring campaign with so much dread as we felt a year before, for two reasons,—first, because we had since become thoroughly seasoned by what was indisputably the hardest year's campaigning of the war; and second, because we knew the terrible strait to which our foe had been reduced in numbers and morale.We did not expect any more hard fighting. Everything during the winter had betokened a rapid wasting away of the so-called Confederacy, and we felt the end to be near.

We were aroused from our slumbers one morning (March 25) by the roar of artillery from the front of Petersburg, and soon came orders to pack up and be ready to move at once. It was occasioned by the Rebels assaulting Fort Stedman at daylight, carrying it with almost no opposition; but not following up their success, they were served much as was the assaulting column at the Elliott Salient the memorable 30th of July previous. This fact we, of course, did not learn until later. We heard simply that Fort Stedman had been captured, but as the firing died away, and no enemy appeared sweeping down on our flank, and as preparations were now making for an attack in our front, we became convinced that their advantage must have been short-lived.

When everything was in readiness the infantry advanced along our front and captured the enemy's fortified picket line, during which we employed our [397] time at intervals in shelling what seemed vulnerable places, expending about ninety rounds in this operation.12

Several hundred prisoners and deserters were a part of the fruit of this move, and it was diverting to us to hear the conversation taking place among a somewhat jolly crowd of them confined in a ‘bull ring’ (i. e. a cordon of sentries), as new accessions to their company were received; such as ‘Hallo! is that you, Sam?’ ‘How are you, Old One-eye? How did you get away?’ ‘Here's another of 'em, boys!’ And at last one with stentorian voice bellows out, ‘Well, Cap'n, I guess you may as well call the roll of Company A.’ And, sure enough, here was one entire company of an Alabama regiment that had come in one by one, and seemed nothing loth to call their roll under the old flag.

Morning reports.


Nov. 1. Lieut. H. H. Granger died at City Point Hospital, Va., Oct. 30, of wounds received in action Oct. 27.

Nov. 2. Received notice of the following enlisted men missing since Aug. 25, being at Annapolis, Md.; Serg't A. B. Parker, Corp. F. M. Howes, privates J. S. Bailey, Jr., Richard Martin, O. F. Glidden, W. E. Endicott and John E. Mugford.

Nov. 3. Private P. A. Terbriggen sent to brigade hospital. Sergeant G. M. Townsend promoted First Sergeant. Corporals Parker and Currant promoted sergeants. Private Allard promoted sergeant. [398] Privates Goldsmith, John E. Mugford (?), O. F. Glidden (?), W. E. Endicott (?), Ellis (?) and Carr (?) promoted corporals (?). Private Estee Lance Corporal to date from Dec. 1.

[The above record is a sad jumble of fact and fancy. Mugford, Glidden, Endicott, Ellis (whoever this may mean) and Carr were notpromoted. Estee, Leverett Pierce and John D. Billings were made Lance corporals.]

Nov. 4. Privates William Allen and Thomas Smith returned to duty from general hospital.

Nov. 6. Notice received of Corp. G. A. Smith and privates Wm. Rawson, Thos. Cusick, G. W. Stetson, L. W. Adams and J. P. Brown being at Camp Parole, Md., as paroled prisoners.

Nov. 7. Notice received of private C. D. Thompson at hospital, Annapolis, Md.

Nov. 8. Four horses turned over to Capt. Strang by order of Lieut. E. L. Smith Battery K, 4th U. S. Art'y, A. A. I. Officer.

Nov. 11. Private H. Orcutt reported to quarters. Nov. 12. Private Baxter reported to quarters.

Nov. 13. Notice received of the death from wounds received in action on Aug. 25, 1864, of Private George K. Putnam Nov. 2, 1864. Private C. A. Mason dropped from the rolls having been mortally wounded and left on the field at Reams Station, Va., Aug. 25, 1864. Private information received of his death.

Nov. 14. Private C. D. Thompson at Div. 1, U. S. General Hospital, Annapolis, Md. Notice received. One horse died—worn out.

Nov. 16. Notice received of the discharge of James Peach, private, by Maj. Gen. Augur, on surgeon's certificate of disability Nov. 10, 1864. Monthly inspection of Battery by C. A. Clark, 1st Lieut. and A. I. G., Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps. [399]

Nov. 18. John Maynard, a recruit received from Draft Rendezvous, Galloup's Island, Mass. Private Henry Murphy returned to duty from Galloup's Island, agreeably to a letter A. G. O., Washington, D. C., Oct. 12, 1864.

Nov. 19. Privates Thayer and H. Orcutt excused from duty. Privates Terbriggen and Quimby in brigade hospital.

Nov. 20. Private H. Orcutt reported to duty. J. L. Thayer and J. F. Baxter excused from duty.

Nov. 21. One horse died—stoppage.

Nov. 23. One horse died—fit. Private Baxter reported to duty.

Nov. 24. Private Thayer reported to duty.

Nov. 25. One horse died—Blind Staggers. Private Thayer excused from duty. Corp'ls J. H. Stevens and R. Goldsmith and Private J. L. Schwartz absent without leave. Milbrey Green reported for duty as 2nd Lieut., vice Smith deceased. Commissioned Oct. 28, 1864.

Nov. 26. Corp'ls J. H. Stevens and R. Goldsmith and Private Schwartz returned to duty from absence without leave. Private Thayer reported to quarters.

Nov. 27. Private Thayer reported to quarters.

Nov. 28. Private Thayer reported to quarters. Private M. M. Pierce returned to duty from general hospital.

Nov. 29. Eighteen horses received from Capt. Fisher. Received marching orders at 12.20 A. M. Moved out of camp at 9 A. M. and relieved the 11th Mass. Battery in Fort Welch at 2 P. M. Left Section occupies Fort Gregg.

Nov. 30. Moved the caisson camp to Fort Wheaton. Left section rejoins the Right and Centre in Fort Welch. [400]

Dec. 1. Private Hiram B. Oliver injured in foot by axe. Sent to brigade hospital.

Dec. 2. Corp. Leverett Pierce reported to quarters.

Dec. 3. Notice received of the death of Private Henry L. Ewell at Lincoln General Hospitals, Washington, D. C., of Pyaemia, Nov. 21, 1864. Corp'l Pierce reported to duty. Private Thayer to quarters. Sixteen horses received from Capt. Fisher.

Dec. 4. Corp. Geo. A. Pease returned to duty from general hospital. Lieut. J. W. Adams returned to duty from detached service having been absent since Sept. 24, 1864.

Dec. 5. Corp. Pease and Private Thayer reported to quarters. Serg't George H. Day discharged the service, for promotion agreeably to Special Order 312 Headquarters 2nd Corps, Dec. 4, 1864, and mustered into service Dec. 5, 1864 as 2nd Lieut. 10th Mass. Battery. 2nd Lieut. Wm. G. Rollins commissioned 1st Lieut. and mustered as 1st Lieut. Dec. 4, 1864.

Dec. 6. Notice received of the discharge of Private Elisha T. Quimby for epilepsy, Nov. 11, 1864. Private S. H. Foster returned to duty from general hospital. Two horses shot by order Lieut. Clark, A. T. G. Art'y Brig. Second Corps.—Glanders and Lameness.

Dec. 7. Corp. G. A. Pease sent to Brigade Hospital. Lance Sergeant L. L. Estabrook promoted full Sergeant. Lance Corporal Estee full corporal. Corp. J. H. Stevens and Private W. S. Roundy promoted Lance Sergeant and Corporal respectively from Dec. 5, 1864.

Dec. 8. Right and Centre Sections placed in Fort Emory; Left Section in Fort Siebert. Private E. J. Wilson released from confinement and returned to duty as Orderly at Headquarters Art'y Brigade, 2nd Corps. [401]

Dec. 9. Right and Centre sections march at 6 o'clock P. M. with 1st Division, Sixth Corps. Advanced to within one mile of Hatcher's Run and remained in park till next P. M.

Dec. 10. Notice received of transfer to general hospital of Corp. G. A. Pease, and Private H. B. Oliver. Private J. Edwards sick in quarters. Right and Centre Sections returned. Pieces of Right Section placed in Fort Emory at 4 P. M.

Dec. 11. Privates Jos. Edwards and J. L. W. Thayer reported to quarters.

Dec. 13. Private Jos. Edwards sent to brigade hospital. Privates J. T. Goodwin, C. E. Prince, Thomas Ellworth returned to duty from general hospital.

Dec. 14. Privates J. L. W. Thayer and Henry Orcutt reported to quarters. Private A. C. Billings returned to duty from general hospital. Monthly inspection by Lieut. Clark A. I. G. Art'y Brigade.

Dec. 15. One horse died—Stoppage. Thirteen (13) horses turned over to Capt. Strang by order of Lieut. Clark, A. I. G. Art'y Brig. Private information received of the death of Judson Stevens at East Boston while on furlough, Aug. 31, 1864. Lieut. Geo. H. Day on leave of absence of 15 days to Boston.

Dec. 16. Nine recruits received from Draft Rendezvous, Mass.; Wm. H. Clark, Francis A. Cook, Michael Foley, Joseph Lear, George Nichols, Chas. F. Clark, Patrick Foran, Samuel Otis, Moses Mercier.

Dec. 17. First Lieut. Wm. G. Rollins temporarily detailed on special service at Headquarters Art'y Brigade, Second Corps, agreeably to Special Orders 213, Headquarters Art'y Brigade.

Dec. 18. Private J. L. W. Thayer sent to brigade hospital. One horse died.—Glanders.

Dec. 19. Privates H. Orcutt, E. C. Jewell, T. [402] Herlehy, S. A. Atwood on detailed duty with Q. M. Dept. Art'y Brigade, agreeably to S. O. 215 Headquarters Art'y Brigade. Corp. G. A. Smith and Privates J. S. Bailey, Jr., J. P. Brown, J. Millett and Thos. Cusick returned to duty from Camp Parole, Md. Privates Pierce, Orcutt and Lucas reported to quarters.

Dec. 20. Brevet Major J. Henry Sleeper absent with leave on court-martial. Privates J. A. Lucas and Samuel Otis reported to quarters.

Dec. 21. Major J. Henry Sleeper returned from absence with leave. Private Samuel Otis reported to quarters.

Dec. 22. Private M. M. Pierce reported to quarters. Private Samuel Otis returned to duty.

Dec. 23. Private Hiram Warburton returned to duty from general hospital. Private M. M. Pierce reported to quarters

Dec. 25. Privates F. A. Cook and M. M. Pierce reported to quarters.

Dec. 26. Private Jos. Edwards returned to light duty from brigade hospital. Private Pierce reported to quarters. Corp. A. F. Richardson (?) absent on furlough of fifteen days dated from Dec. 27. (The name is omitted in the Morning Report Book.)

Dec. 28. Notice received of the presence of Alvin Thompson, private, at general hospital, Annapolis, Md., as paroled prisoner; also of C. D. Thompson at same place. Private M. M. Pierce reported to quarters.

Dec. 29. Privates Ham, Pierce (?) and Gross excused from duty.

Dec. 30. Lieut. George H. Day returned to duty from 15 days leave of absence. Privates Ham and Pierce reported to quarters.

Dec. 31. Privates L. Ham and F. A. Cook sent to brigade hospital. Private M. M. Pierce reported to quarters.



Jan. 2. Serg't Stevens and privates Pierce and Mercier reported to quarters.

Jan. 3. Private M. Mercier sent to brigade hospital. Privates McAllister and Pierce (?) reported to quarters. Corp. G. A. Pease returned to duty from general hospital. Notice received of discharge of Private W. E. Hooper on surgeon's certificate of disability Dec. 30, 1864.

Jan. 4. Privates Ellsworth, (?) Southworth and McAllister reported to quarters. Corp. F. M. Howes and Private Richard Martin returned to duty from Camp Parole, Md., Paroled (exchanged?) prisoners.

Jan. 5. Corp. Geo. A. Pease excused from duty.

Jan. 6. Corp. Pease and privates McAllister and Campbell reported to quarters. Private F. A. Cook reported from brigade hospital. Privates J. P. Brown, T. Ellworth, D. C. Blackmer, M. Campbell, James A. Lucas, H. N. Bemis on detached duty at Q. M. Dept., Art'y Brig. 2nd Corps.

Jan. 7. Corp. Pease reported to quarters:

Jan. 8. Lieut. J. Webb Adams on furlough of 20 days. Corp. G. A. Pease reported to quarters.

Jan. 9. Corp. G. A. Pease reported to quarters.

Jan. 10. Corp. Pease, privates Floytrop and Otis reported to quarters. One horse died—farcy.

Jan. 11. Corp. Pease reported to quarters. Private L. Ham returned to duty from brigade hospital.

Jan. 12. Corp. A. F. Richardson absent without leave. Private Hiram P. Ring a furlough of 15 days to Millbury, Mass., and to Maine.

Jan. 13. Private M. Campbell returned to duty from Q. M. Dept. Corp. A. F. Richardson absent without leave.

Jan. 14. Corp. Pease and Private Ham reported [404] to quarters. Priv. Chas. D. Thompson returned to duty from absence with leave. Paroled prisoner.

Jan. 15. Private L. Ham reported to quarters; Corp. G. A. Pease and Private J. A. Lucas sent to brigade hospital from Q. M. Dept. Art'y Brig. 2nd Corps. Lieut. W. G. Rollins detached to Q. M. Dep't as A. A. Q. M., by S. O. No. 4, Jan. 6, 1865, Headquarters Art'y Brig. 2nd Corps. Monthly inspection by Lieut. C. A. Cla * * A. A. G. Art'y Brig. 2nd Corps.

Jan. 16. Serg't Lewis R. Allard and Corp. Tobias Beck reduced to the ranks agreeably to Special Orders No. 1, Headquarters Tenth Mass. Battery, Privates James S. Bailey promoted sergeant and Corporal G. W. Blair, Gunner. Corporal W. B. Lemmon assigned to the Fifth Detachment. Private (?) L. Pierce * * * days furlough to Mass.

Jan. 17. Private Moses Mercier returned to duty from Brig. Hospital. Private L. Ham reported to quarters.

Jan. 18. Recruits John Riley, Daniel Keefe, Edwin A. Hill and James Gallagher joined the Battery. Private J. M. Ramsdell returned to duty from general hospital. Corporal B. C. Clark and L. Ham reported to quarters.

Jan. 19. Private L. Ham reported to quarters.

Jan. 20. Private Michael Campbell on furlough of 15 days to Boston, Mass. Private J. L. W. Thayer returned to duty from brigade hospital; Private E. A. Hill sent to brigade hospital; Corp. Clark and Private Ham excused. Private A. L. Gowell on pass of 48 hours to 54th (?) Corps.

Jan. 22. Two horses received from Capt. Ellsworth, A. Q. M. Art'y Brigade, 2nd Corps. Corp. B. C. Clark reported to quarters.

Jan. 23. Private J. L. W. Thayer sent to brigade [405] hospital. Private L. Ham reported to quarters. Private A. L. Gowell returned from absence with leave. Eight horses received from Capt. Ellsworth A. Q. M. Art'y Brig. 2nd Corps.

Jan. 25. Privates G. H. Nichols and L. E. Hunt reported to quarters.

Jan. 26. Corp. G. A. Pease reported to duty from. brigade hospital. Privates Hunt, Cook and Woodis reported to quarters. One horse shot—order of Lieut. W. L. Bull, Ass't Inspector Art'y Brigade— Glanders.

Jan. 27. Privates Hunt and Woodis reported to quarters.

Jan. 28. Privates Hunt and Woodis reported to quarters.

Jan. 29. Private D. R. Stowell detailed as mechanic in Q. M. Dep't., Art'y Brigade. Private E. C. Jewell returned to duty from Art'y Brigade, Q. M. Dep't 2nd Corps. Privates Woodis, Hunt and Bacon and Serg't Bailey reported to quarters. Private Hiram P. Ring returned from furlough. Lieut. J. W. Adams absent without leave.

Jan. 30. Lieut. J. W. Adams returned from absence without leave. Unavoidable detention. Privates Bacon, Hunt and Woodis reported to quarters.

Jan. 31. Private Jas. L. Schwartz detailed as attendant at Art'y Brigade Hospital. Private Hunt reported to quarters.

Feb. 1. Maj. J. Henry Sleeper on leave and Private Joseph Cross on furlough of 20 days each.

Feb. 2. One recruit, Timothy Devine received. Private L. E. Hunt reported to quarters. Notice received of transfer to general hospital Feb. 1, 1863, of privates James A. Lucas, Edwin A. Hill, J. L. W. Thayer and P. Terbriggen.

Feb. 3. Private L. E. Hunt reported to quarters. [406]

Feb. 4. Private L. W. Temple on furlough of 20 days to Boston, Mass.

Feb. 5. Corporal Leverett Pierce and Private John Campbell returned from furlough and reported for duty. Battery moved out of camp at 8 o'clock A. M., and arrived at Armstrong's Farm about four miles to the left where the left and centre sections were engaged, right section three-fourths of a mile on the right. One horse shot and killed and one wounded.

Feb. 6. Private Francis Mins on furlough of 20 days to Barre, Mass. One horse died of wounds.

Feb. 7. One horse died; exhaustion.

Feb. 9. Privates P. T. Hill and L. E. Hunt reported to quarters.

Feb. 10. Privates E. D. Thresher, J. D. Smith, P. Terbriggen and J. L. W. Thayer returned to duty from hospital. Privates L. E. Hunt and J. P. Allen reported to quarters.

Feb. 11. Private F. A. Cook sent to brigade hospital.

Feb. 13. Serg't Charles W. Doe sent to brigade hospital. Serg't James S. Bailey and Private Hunt reported to quarters.

Feb. 14. One horse died, worn out; 9 horses turned over to Capt. Ellsworth, A. Q. M. Art'y Brigade. Serg't Bailey, Corp. Pease, privates Hunt, Pierce, Hill and Handlin reported to quarters.

Feb. 15. Private D. C. Blackmer returned to duty from Q. M. Dept. Private Wm. B. Nichols temporarily detailed in Q. M. Dep't Art'y Brigade Second Corps, agreeably to Special Orders No. 30, Headquarters Art'y Brigade.

Feb. 16. Corporal Billings, Privates Jewell, Hunt, Handlin and Devine sick in quarters.

Feb. 17. Private Patrick E. Neagle absent without [407] leave since April 29, 1864, returned (under arrest) Feb. 6, 1865. Serg't Chas. W. Doe to duty from brigade hospital. Corp. G. A. Pease reported to quarters.

Feb. 18. Monthly inspection (foot) by Lieut. W. S. Bull A. I. G. Art'y Brigade. Corp. G. A. Pease reported to quarters also James Lee.

Feb. 19. Private Charles Slack on furlough of 20 days to New York City. Private James Lee reported to quarters.

Feb. 20. Privates .Wm. Rawson and Alvin Thompson from Camp Parole (Exchanged Prisoners). Private B. H. Phillips returned to duty from General Hospital.

Feb. 21. Private E. J. Wilson returned to duty from brigade headquarters. Private T. W. Strand detailed as orderly at brigade headquarters. Private Joseph Cross returned to duty from furlough. One horse died; exhaustion.

Feb. 22. Maj. J. Henry Sleeper returned to duty from leave of absence.

Feb. 23. Privates Harry Chase and Thresher sick in quarters.

Feb. 24. Privates H. Chase and Thresher sick in quarters. Second Lieut. Milbrey Green on leave and Private James Dwight on furlough to Mass. of 20 days each. Eight horses received from Q. M. D., Art'y Brigade 2nd Corps.

Feb. 25. Privates M. Orcutt and H. Chase, excused.

Feb. 26. Privates M. Orcutt and H. Chase reported to quarters. Private L. W. Temple returned from furlough. Brevet Major J. Henry Sleeper mustered out of United States service agreeably to provisions of circular 75, War Dep't, Sept. 22nd, 1864. Battery commanded by Lieut. J. Webb Adams. [408]

Feb. 27. Lance Corporal Chas. E. Osborne promoted corporal vice Beck reduced, to date from Jan. 16, 1865. Privates Wilson, Orcutt and Chase reported to quarters; Private Francis Mins reported to duty from absence on furlough.

Feb. 28. Privates J. W. Wilson, M. Orcutt, H. Chase, and F. Mins, excused from duty. Notice received of the transfer to general hospital of Private J. A. Lucas.

March 1. Privates H. Chase, J. W. Wilson and M. Orcutt reported to quarters.

March 3. Privates F. Mins, M. Orcutt and J. M. Ramsdell reported to quarters. Q. M. Serg't W. H. Fitzpatrick and Private Timothy Nowell on furlough of 20 days each to Boston. One horse died, worn out.

March 4. Private James A. Lucas reported for duty from general hospital; F. Mins, H. Chase, M. Orcutt reported to quarters.

March 5. Serg't A. B. Parker and Bugler J. E. Mugford, exchanged prisoners, returned from absence with leave to duty.

March 6. Privates M. Orcutt, H. Chase, F. Mins and S. Otis reported to quarters.

March 7. Serg't B. F. Parker on furlough of 20 days to Mass. Privates H. Chase, F. Mins and M. Orcutt reported to quarters.

March 8. Private Ellis A. Friend returned from General Hospital. Artificer Gross and Privates H. Chase and Orcutt (?) reported to quarters.

March 9. Private Geo. H. Putnam on furlough of 20 days to Boston, Mass. Privates H. Chase, F. Mins and M. Orcutt reported to quarters.

March 10. Private Chas. Slack returned to duty from furlough. Privates Otis, Chase and Orcutt reported to quarters. Two horses died; glanders and worn out. [409]

March 11. Privates H. B. Beal and H. P. Ring detailed in Brigade Q. M. Dep't. Notice received of absence on furlough of D. R. Stowell, mechanic in Brigade Q. M. train. Private Charles Fiske sent to Brigade Hospital. Privates Orcutt, Chase and Otis reported to quarters. Bugler J. T. Sullivan sick in quarters.

March 12. Private F. A. Chase detailed to Brigade Q. M. Dep't. Privates Chase and Orcutt (?) reported to quarters.

March 13. Private H. Chase reported to quarters. One horse died of exhaustion.

March 14. Private M. Orcutt reported to quarters.

March 15. Privates Orcutt and Fales reported to quarters.

March 16. Monthly inspection (mounted) by Lieut. W. S. Bull. One recruit, Thos. J. Pratt (?), received. Private M. Orcutt reported to quarters. Notice received of the transfer to General Hospital from brigade of Privates F. A. Cook and Charles Fiske.

March 17. First Lt. J. Webb Adams mustered out and re-mustered as Captain, agreeably to circular A. G. O., State of Mass. Private M. Orcutt reported to quarters. Two horses died; exhaustion.

March 18. Second Lt. Milbrey Green and Private James Dwight returned from leave of absence and furlough.

March 19. First Sergeant Geo. M. Townsend mustered out and mustered in as Second Lieutenant. Reviewed by Maj. Gen. Humphreys. Lieut. Green mustered in as 1st Lieut. Sergt. J. S. Bailey, Jr., promoted to Orderly Sergeant.

March 20. One horse died of exhaustion.

1 He had been breveted Major by general orders for gallant and meritorious service.

2 He was a member of the Roxbury Horse Guard from its beginning, and after the war began drilled under Col. Hodges regularly till the First Massachusetts Battery was organized under Captain Porter. In this he decided to enlist and was mustered into service Aug. 28, 1861. This battery was largely recruited from the old Boston Light Artillery just back from three months service. All its officers except Lieut. Sleeper and all its non-commissioned officers except Lieut. Green were old members of the Boston Light Artillery. The First went to Washington Oct. 3rd and was soon sent to join Franklin's Division at Fairfax Seminary, Virginia. Oct. 12, Lieut. Green was notified that Gov. Andrew was ready to issue a commission of second lieutenant for him in the First Massachusetts Cavalry and he might be discharged to receive it. But rumors of an advance of the Confederates were rife and the commission was declined, Lieut. Green being unwilling to leave the Battery under those circumstances.

He was soon detailed to the Signal Corps, remaining with it till the army went to Yorktown when he was made A. A. Q. M. and A. C. S. of the artillery brigade, first division, (Slocum's) Sixth Corps. This position he held till Sept. 21, 1862, when he was commissioned second lieutenant in the First Mass. Battery. As A. A. Q. M. he was always with the chief of artillery, in action or on the march. After the Seven Days Battles he was commended by his superior officers ‘for bravery under all circumstances and for efficient service in carrying orders and acting with great coolness under heavy fire.’ He was also commended by the chief of artillery for similar services at the battles of Second Bull Run, Crampton Pass and Antietam. His service was then with the First Battery from October, 1862, till October, 1864, when its term expired. In September, 1864, he was recommended for the command of a battery by generals Sheridan, H. G. Wright (commander of Sixth Corps), James B. Ricketts, David A. Russell, and Albion P. Howe (who wrote of their personal knowledge of his services in their divisions), by Gen. George H. Getty, and Col. Tompkins, Chief of Artillery, Sixth Corps. He received a commission in the Fourth Mass. Heavy Artillery but declined it as the regiment was in the defences of Washington and he preferred active service, but accepted a commission later as second lieutenant in the Tenth it the request of Captain Sleeper.

He participated in twenty-six battles and received four wounds during the war, one a bullet in the thigh, still causes him suffering, another in the left ankle still gives constant pain and has completely disabled him for months at a time. He was breveted captain and major at the close of the war ‘for gallant and meritorious services.’

3 Jones' Eleventh Massachusetts.

4 Brig. Gen. A. S. Webb succeeded Gen. Humphreys as Gen. Meade's chief-of-staff.

5 Our division (Third) moved to Hatcher's Run on the 9th, in a terrible storm of snow and rain, as a supporting column to Warren and Mott, who had gone still further to the left to destroy the Weldon Railroad. . . . . .—History of Tenth Regiment Vt. Vols.

6 If the reader is of the opinion that too frequent reference is made to building quarters, he must bear in mind that the best soldiers as a rule had the best quarters; that the Massachusetts troops as a whole were unusually tidy and ambitious in the character of their huts; and finally that they spent a great many days during the year in their construction, which fact may, perhaps, alone justify what reference is made to them. It was an interesting and important feature in army life.


Smythe's Division had been directed by me to diverge to the right from the Vaughan Road, near the Cummings House, secure the crossing at Armstrong's Mill, cover it, and extend to the right, past the R. Armstrong house, and rest his right upon the small swamp in that vicinity. Lieutenant Adams' Battery of rifled guns was sent with him. General Humphreys' Official Report.

8 Lieut. Adams was now in command of the Battery, Major Sleeper being away on leave of absence.


In the spring of 1861, a youth of modest demeanor, he entered the military service as a private soldier; in the spring of 1865, still a mere lad, he fell in action, Colonel of Artillery, mourned by an army. . . . . Such was William Johnson Pegram of the Third Corps, who, at the early age of twenty-two, died sword in hand at the head of his men.

Capt. W. Gordon McCabe,in Army of Northern Virginia Memorial volume.

10 Gen. Humphreys' Report.

11 In recognition of our service in the fight. It was the only battery posted along this part of the line. Lieut. Green was in command at the guns, and remained so during our stay here.


During the day the Tenth Massachusetts, ‘B,’ First New Jersey, Eleventh New York, and First New Hampshire, fired on the enemy's position from their respective works, but the distance being so great it is doubtful if they rendered any material assistance. Official Report of Lieut. Col. John G. Hazard, Chief of Artillery, Second Corps.

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