Reports of Lieut. Col. H. P. Jones, C. S. Army, commanding Artillery Battalion.
JUNE 3-AUGUST 1, 1863.--The Gettysburg Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
AUGUST 18, 1863.
Maj. JOHN W. DANIEL,
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of this battalion from the time it was attached to General Early's division until its return into Virginia:
I reported with my battalion of artillery, consisting of four batteries, with an aggregate of thirteen guns, to Major-General Early, commanding division, near Spotsylvania Court-House, on June 5. We marched thence, halting three days at Culpeper Court-House, to Winchester, in front of which we arrived about noon of June 13.
We found the enemy occupying Kernstown, and both sides commenced skirmishing with infantry, but no occasion was found for the use of artillery on our side, because the range was too great for our guns to do much service. Parts of three batteries, however, were placed in position, so as to be ready for any emergency. A shell from the enemy, exploding among the batteries held in reserve, killed 1 man and 2 horses in Captain [A. W.] Garber's, and 1 horse in Captain [James McD.] Carrington's battery.
On Sunday morning, June 14, Captain Dance, commanding Brown's battalion, and Captain [W. H.] Griffin, commanding battery attached to the Maryland Line, reported to me, by order, with their commands. I then received an order from General Early to move with all the artillery (my own battalion under Captain Carrington, and Brown s battalion under Captain Dance) in rear of the division around to the left, excepting two batteries, viz, Griffin's battery and [A.] Hupp's battery, Brown's battalion, the latter commanded by Lieutenant [Charles B.] Griffin, which were ordered to report to General Gordon.
We made a détour of 6 or 7 miles without being perceived by the enemy, and at about 3 p.m. succeeded in reaching his right and rear. Here twelve guns (four of my battalion and eight of Brown's, under Captain Dance) were placed in position and about three-fourths of a mile on their left. At a point nearer, and from which a better enfilade fire could be directed on their works, eight guns of my battalion were placed, under command of Captain Carrington. The guns were unlimbered just under the crest of the hill, so that they might be concealed from the enemy until all proper dispositions should be made.
When everything was in readiness, acting under the orders of the major-general commanding, I ordered the guns to be run up by hand to the crest and open fire, concentrating their fire upon the outwork of the enemy, which, from our position, was to the left of the flag fort. So completely unconscious was the enemy of our presence until we opened fire, that 2 miles to our right, and in front of General Gordon, occupying the position we had held in the morning, we could plainly see the rear of his line of battle, composed of infantry, artillery, and cavalry. This line rapidly disappeared at the report of the first gun. We kept up such a well-directed fire on this work that we destroyed the aim of the enemy's guns, causing him to shoot wildly over our heads, and also kept his infantry support closely sheltered under the works.
The fire of the artillery was continued until General Hays' brigade commenced to charge the works. Captain Carrington was then ordered to cease firing, and Captain Dance to direct his fire on the flag fort.
After General Hays succeeded in carrying the works, Captain Carrington, commanding the batteries on the left of the line, was ordered to advance his eight guns, which he did under a heavy flank fire from the flag fort of the enemy, and took position near the works and opened fire. Four guns from the right of the line were also brought up (two of the Louisiana Guard Artillery and two of Carrington's battery, commanded by Lieutenant [Alexander B.] Cochran, the whole under Captain [C.] Thompson, of the Louisiana Guard Artillery), and placed, by order of General Early, on the right of the works, so as to fire upon the flag fort.
The firing continued until nightfall, when it ceased. All the guns were then brought and placed in position behind the works, so as to open a concentrated fire on the enemy the next day. Just before dark, the noble and gallant Captain Thompson, of the Louisiana Guard Artillery, received a wound which terminated his life. In him the service lost one of its best officers. Carrington's battery lost 1 man killed and 1 wounded, and Garber's battery 1 wounded. In the assault upon these works, six guns were captured, two of which were turned upon the enemy. Four of these guns enabled me to supply the existing deficiencies in my battalion.
At light on the morning of the 15th, the enemy was found to have evacuated the position. The artillery then marched in rear of the division to a point 4 miles beyond Winchester, on the Martinsburg road, where we halted for a time. We then recommenced the march, crossing the river at Shepherdstown, and passed on through Boons-borough and Cavetown into Pennsylvania, and then by Waynesbor-ough and Greenwood to Gettysburg. Here one battery (Captain [W. A.] Tanner's) was detached, and ordered to report to General Gordon. With the remainder of the artillery, we followed in rear of the division through Berlin to York. Captain Tanner, with General Gordon, marched up to Wrightsville, where he fired a few rounds at the enemy without his replying with artillery.
After resting at York one day, we marched back in the direction of Gettysburg, before which place we arrived on Wednesday, July 1. Here, finding the enemy heavily engaging General Rodes on our right, the major-general commanding ordered me to put the batteries in position, so as to open fire. Acting under his orders, I immediately placed twelve guns in position, and opened fire with considerable effect on the enemy's artillery, and upon the flank of a column of troops that were being massed upon our right.
On the advance of General Gordon's brigade from our right, we directed our fire farther to the left, on the disordered masses of the enemy that were rapidly retreating before our troops. This was continued until the advance of our men rendered it dangerous to continue firing from that position. I immediately, by order of General Early, sent Captain Carrington's battery across the creek to take position in front of Gettysburg, but, moving with all rapidity, as it did, before it could reach any position the enemy had been driven through the town by Hays' brigade. In the first position we occupied, three guns were temporarily disabled by having shots wedged in the bores, and one Napoleon permanently disabled by being struck on the face of the muzzle and bent by a solid shot from the enemy.
We had 1 man killed of Captain Green's, and 1 man of Captain Garber's battery wounded. The guns that were temporarily disabled were soon rendered fit for service again, and I was enabled to replace the Napoleon gun permanently disabled by one of the two Napoleon guns captured by General Hays' brigade. The disabled gun and the other captured Napoleon I had carried and turned over to the ordnance department, thereby securing them.
In the other two days of the battle of Gettysburg, my battalion was not actively engaged, but was in position to guard against a reported flank movement of the enemy on our left, and afterward any advance the enemy might attempt to make from the hills in front of Gettysburg.
On the 2d, I ordered two guns of Captain Green's battery, at the request of General Stuart, to report to General Hampton at Hunterstown, where he engaged the enemy, with a loss of I man killed and 1 sergeant and 14 men wounded.
Captain Tanner having exhausted his ammunition, excepting a few rounds of canister, and it being impossible to supply him, I ordered him to go with the wagon train to the rear. When this was attacked in the mountains, he rendered very efficient service with his few rounds of canister, driving back the enemy's cavalry. Here he lost 2 men, missing. On reaching Williamsport, he received more ammunition, and rendered good service when the wagon train was attacked, with a loss of 1 man and 2 horses killed and 1 horse disabled. On the morning of the 5th, we fell back from Gettysburg, the division bringing up the rear of the army, and continued our march to Hagerstown, where we remained in line of battle a few days; then recrossed the river. Two empty wagons, ordered to report to the surgeon at Gettysburg, to bring off the wounded, have never since been heard from. One forge sent over with the wagon train was lost at the river.
In the expedition to and around Hedgesville, Captain Tanner's battery was detached, and went to Johnsontown with Colonel [Lawrence S.] Baker, commanding cavalry brigade, where it fired a few rounds at the enemy across the river. From Hagerstown to this point the horses suffered very much from long marches and want of proper food.
My thanks are due to both officers and men for their conduct in presence of the enemy and the patience with which they endured the hardships of the campaign.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. P. JONES,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Artillery Battalion.
AUGUST 4, 1863.
Lieutenant [S. V.] SOUTHALL,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
SIR: On the morning of July 1, while marching in rear of Early's division, I received an order from General Early to bring the batteries at once to the front, for the purpose of engaging the enemy. This I did, and found on arriving at the front that the enemy were posted in front of Gettysburg, and engaging hotly what I afterward learned was General Rodes' division. I immediately brought twelve guns into position, and opened a brisk fire upon the enemy's artillery and infantry, taking them in flank as they were being massed upon Rodes' left and General Early's right.
The batteries were very soon driven from the position and forced to retire, leaving one carriage disabled, which, however, they afterward succeeded in getting off. Our fire was very effective upon their infantry, presenting, as they did, large bodies in easy range of us.
In this engagement, I had three guns temporarily disabled and one permanently so. One man of the Louisiana Guard Artillery was killed, and 1 of the Staunton Artillery wounded.
For your better information, I have the honor herewith to inclose the reports of Captains Tanner and Green, of the operations of their batteries at Wrightsville, Hunterstown, South Mountain, and Williamsport.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
H. P. JONES. Lieutenant-Colonel,
Commanding Artillery Battalion.
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