Report of Col. J. Thompson Brown, First Virginia Artillery, Chief of Artillery.
JUNE 3-AUGUST 1, 1863.--The Gettysburg Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
HEADQUARTERS ARTILLERY, SECOND CORPS,
August 13, 1863.
Maj. A. S. PENDLETON,
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 13, Johnson's division, with Andrews' 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 14, Lieutenant-Colonel [H. P. ]Jones, with his own battalion and four batteries of the First Virginia Artillery, under Captain [W. J.] 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 afterward 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 [placed] in position on an abandoned hill on the Valley turnpike, and near Hollingworth's Mills. At this point, the Baltimore Light Artillery, attached to Jenkins' 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 [R. S.] Andrews, with Dement's and sections from Raine's and Carpenter s batteries, had a sharp engagement with the enemy's infantry, who were retreating on the road toward Charlestown, by Jordan Springs. Great credit is due the officers and men for the spirited and determined manner with which they fought the enemy/s infantry at close quarters. Especial credit is due Lieutenant [C. S.] Contee, of Captain [W. F.] Dement's battery, and the section under his command. Lieutenant Contee is recommended for promotion to a captaincy for gallantry on this occasion, and I ask that he be ordered to command of the Chesapeake Artillery, made vacant by death, by wound of Captain [W. D.] Brown. Sergeants [John G.] Harris and [J. E.] Glas-cocke, and Corporals [William P.] Compton, [Samuel] Thompson, and [William H.] 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 [C.]Thompson, Louisiana Guard, Jones' battalion, whose gallantry as a soldier and high character as a gentleman were conspicuous in the corps. LieutenantColonel Andrews and Lieutenant Contee were also wounded. In addition to these casualties, there were 5 killed and 14 wounded. There were captured from the enemy at Winchester four 20-pounder Parrotts, seventeen 3-inch rifles, and two 24-pounder 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 [C. W.] Fry's battery lost 1 killed and 1 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 1, Rodes' division came upon the enemy near Gettysburg, and Lieutenant-Colonel [T. H.] Carter's battalion engaged them with fine effect, all of his batteries being in action and behaving most gallantly, Captains [R. C. M.] Page's and[William P.] Carter's suffering most severely. Lieutenant-Colonel Jones' battalion, coming up on the York road with Early's division, also engaged the enemy, advancing upon Rodes' left and Early's right, and with fine effect. After Gettysburg was taken, Johnson's division, with Andrews' 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 4 o'clock, a heavy fire was opened upon the enemy's line from Andrews' battalion (under Major [J. W.] Latimer), on our extreme left, aided by [A.] Graham's battery (First Virginia Artillery), and from Dance's, [David] Watson's, and [B. H.] Smith's, jr., 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 [William] 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 not firing.
On the 2d and 3d, [Charles A.] Green's battery, Jones' 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', and Captain Page, of Carter's battalions, and Lieutenant [William M.] Brown, of the First Virginia Artillery, were also wounded in this engagement. In addition, there were 21 killed and 104 wounded. One Napoleon was captured, and exchanged by Lieutenant-Colonel Jones for one 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 the First Virginia Artillery and Carter's and Nelson's battalions, and the loss of 92 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.
J. THOMPSON BROWN,
Colonel, and Acting Chief of Artillery, Second Corps.
Tabular statement of number of killed, wounded, and missing at the battles of Winchester and Martinsburg, Va., and Gettysburg, Pa., in the artillery, Second Corps, commanded by Col. J. Thompson Brown.
At Winchester and Martinsburg, Va. Command Officers
Brown's Regiment ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- Andrews' Battalion ---- 3 2 12 ---- ---- Nelson's Battalion ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- Jones' Battalion 1 2 ---- 2 ---- ---- Carter's battalion ---- 1 ---- 1 ---- ---- Total 1 6 2 15 ---- ----
At Gettysburg, Pa. Command Officers
Brown's Regiment ---- 3 1 17 1 55 Andrews' Battalion ---- 10 3 46 ---- ---- Nelson's Battalion ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- Jones' Battalion ---- 2 ---- 6 ---- ---- Carter's Battalion ---- 6 1 35 ---- ---- Total ---- 21 5 104 1 55 Grand Total 1 27 7 119 1 55
S. V. SOUTHALL,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
OCTOBER 6, 1863.
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