Today in History:

105 Series I Volume XXXVI-II Serial 68 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part II


at which point I was halted by Colonel Voris, commanding the forces of that line, who immediately designated a point upon the turnpike, where I placed my guns in position, bearing directly upon the road, supported by the companies of infantry which had marched with me.

After having inspected my position, I found that no vedettes or pickets were posted in my front, and fearing that the very exposed position of my guns would draw upon them a quick and heavy attack, I requested the officers commanding my supports to post a line of pickets covering my front, and for the purpose of observing the movements of the enemy. A line was established in a very irregular and unsafe manner, the men composing it retiring before they had attacked our position. The first indications of the presence of the enemy given me was at 10 a. m., at which time he made a most furious attack upon me from a heavy underwood, skirting my right and left flanks at a distance not to exceed 50 yards, thus completely raking my section. I immediately commenced firing, using canister, and continued to do so until ordered by the colonel commanding my supports to retire. At this time an overwhelming attack was made upon my right and left flanks.

My support upon the left evinced great disorder and confusion, but upon the entreaties of the colonel commanding, and my own assurance that I would give them a charge of canister, they became more steady, but afterward broke and fled to the rear, which occasioned me the loss of one of my pieces. I withdrew my remaining piece and carriages to the rear, a distance of 100 yards, where I again placed myself in position and resumed my fire with shot and shell, having for my support a portion of the Seventh Regiment Connecticut Volunteers. I continued firing until the flames of the burning wood upon my left became intolerable, and the enemy had gained a distance of 200 yards in rear of my right flank.

After ceasing my firing, I advanced with my uninjured cannoneers, who were joined by lost piece, after which I retired my section a distance of one-half mile, where I reported to Brigadier General A. H. Terry the condition of my command, who instructed me to remain for a short time, which order I obeyed, after which was instructed to take my pieces to the rear.

During the engagement, which lasted a period of twenty minutes, I expended 48 rounds of ammunition, was wounded myself by being struck in two places upon my person, and having 8 men disabled and 5 horses shot.

I would most respectfully state that during the engagement the colonel commanding my supports of the One hundred and sixty-ninth Regiment New York Volunteers, behaved with great gallantry, and by his brave and manly example in striving to collect his partially disorganized force, assisted me greatly in saving my guns and my noble men.

I am, most respectfully, your,


Second Lieutenant Fourth New Jersey Battery.


Commanding Fourth New Jersey Battery.