Report of Capt. Hezekiah Easton, Battery A, First Pennsylvania Reserve Artillery
DECEMBER 20, 1861.---Engagement at Dranesville, Va.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 5 [S# 5]
CAMP PEIRPOINT, December 21, 1861.
Brig. Gen. E. O. C. ORD,
Third Brigade, P. R. C.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from Brigadier-General McCall, commanding this division, I reported to you on the morning of the 20th of this month, at 6 o'clock a.m., and from thence proceeded with my battery, Company A, First Pennsylvania Artillery, in connection with your brigade, to a point on the Leesburg turnpike near Dranesville. No appearance of the enemy was visible until we reached Thornton's house, near the junction of the Alexandria and Leesburg turnpike, when a heavy fire of artillery and musketry was suddenly opened from a thick woods on our left, the enemy evidently lying in large force in ambuscade, while their artillery was posted on the Centreville road, leading through the wood and coming into the Alexandria turnpike between Thornton's and Coleman's houses. My guns were immediately put into battery and opened fire. Having nothing to indicate the position of the enemy but the smoke of their guns, I opened a brisk discharge of shells into the woods occupied by the enemy, which was kept up until your order to cease firing. The examination of the ground afterward showed the successful and destructive effects of our artillery fire. The rebel battery, in my opinion, was unmanned by our third fire. They succeeded in drawing off their guns, but I captured one caisson and one limber, and one other was exploded and the horses fatally injured. The woods in which the enemy were concealed were found thickly strewn with dead and wounded. The mangled bodies of the dead showed the terrible execution of our fire. Besides the ordnance captured, a large quantity of clothing, blankets, knapsacks, haversacks, &c., was found, which the enemy had cast off in their hasty and thorough rout.
I have the satisfaction to state that, although the injury and loss of the enemy was so severe, in my battery there was not a man or horse lost and no injury done my guns. Our only casualty was the slight wounding of one of my men (Charles Osborn), who was struck in the knee by a spent ball, which slightly harmed him.
I have only to add that I was firmly supported by a detachment of the Tenth Regiment (Colonel McCalmont's), and that my whole company, officers, non-commissioned officers, and men, acted with skill and energy and courage worthy the highest praise.
Captain, Commanding Battery A, First Reg't Pa. Art.
Source: "Official Records of the War of the Rebellion"
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