Report of Maj. John Lane, Sumter (Georgia) Artillery, commanding Artillery Battalion
JUNE 3-AUGUST 1, 1863.--The Gettysburg Campaign
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
JULY 30, 1863.
Col. R. L. WALKER,
Chief of Artillery, Third Corps, Army Northern Virginia.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Sumter Artillery Battalion (Eleventh Georgia Battalion) from June 14 to the 15th instant, which was under my command during that period, owing to the absence of Lieutenant-Colonel Cuffs on account of indisposition:
In obedience to an order, I reported to Major-General Anderson upon leaving Fredericksburg, June 14, and was subject to his command, and accompanied his division upon the march through the Shenandoah Valley, across the Potomac River, through Maryland, and as far as Gettysburg, Pa., near which place we arrived about 3 o'clock on the evening of the 1st instant. No event worthy of mention occurred during the march, and it was made without loss on the part of this command, save a few horses broken down and left on the roadside.
Early on the morning of July 2, in compliance with an order, I sent Captain [G. M.] Patterson's battery, consisting at that time of two Napoleon guns and four 12-pounder howitzers, with one 12-pounder howitzer of Captain [H. M.] Ross' battery, to report to Brigadier-General Wilcox, while with the battery of Captain [John T.] Wingfield, consisting of two 20-pounder Parrotts and three 3-inch navy Parrotts, and the five remaining pieces of Captain Ross' battery, embracing three 10-pounder Parrotts, one 3-inch navy Parrott, and one Napoleon, I went into position by your direction on a ridge east of the town of Gettysburg, fronting the enemy's guns on Cemetery Hill, and distant therefrom nearly 1,400 yards. With these guns immediately under my command, I took part in the actions of the 2d and 3d instant, being at all times during the engagement subjected to a very heavy fire, chiefly from Napoleon guns.
In these two days' actions, Captain Ross' battery sustained a loss of 1 man killed, 2 seriously, 2 severely, and 3 slightly wounded, besides losing 9 horses killed, and having 2 wheels destroyed, firing 78 rounds of Napoleon shell and spherical case, 332 rounds 10-pounder Parrott shell, and 96 rounds 3-inch navy Parrott shell.
Captain Wingfield's battery had 2 men seriously and 7 slightly wounded, besides 8 or 10 others struck, but not disabled (Captain Wingfield had a very severe bruise on leg by piece of shell, but did not leave the field), and lost 20 horses killed, a caisson pole broken, and several sets harness torn up by shot, firing during the engagement 106 rounds of 20-pounder Parrott shell, and 300 rounds navy Parrott ammunition.
From Captain Patterson's report, I learn that he went into action only on the second day's battle, then with the brigade of General Wilcox, and, though engaged but a short while, sustained a loss of 2 men killed, 2 severely and 3 slightly wounded, losing also 7 horses killed, and firing 170 rounds.
During the march in Pennsylvania, this command lost 4 men not accounted for, supposed to have been captured.
On the evening of July 4, I withdrew my guns from their position near Gettysburg, and, with the remainder of the Third Corps, moved in the direction of Hagerstown, Md., arriving there the evening of the 6th instant.
On the 11th instant, by your command, I placed in position near where the left of the Third Army Corps rested, and north of Saint James' College, between the Potomac and Hagerstown, eight guns of this battalion--four guns each from the batteries of Captains Ross and Patterson--firing while there (two days) a half dozen rounds to dislodge the enemy's sharpshooters from a barn, by order of Major-General Heth, in which we were successful.
On the morning of the 13th, I crossed the Potomac into Virginia at Falling Waters, having lost in this last movement a few sponges and grease buckets.
Lieutenant-Colonel Cuffs arriving at camp at Bunker Hill, Va., on the 15th instant, I turned over the battalion to his command.
From the time of leaving Fredericksburg to the assuming of command by Lieutenant-Colonel Cutts at Bunker Hill, the whole loss sustained by the battalion was as follows: Men killed, 3; wounded seriously, 2; severely, 7; slightly, 13; missing, 4; total loss of men, 29. Horses killed and abandoned on the road on account of being unable to travel, 53, besides the loss of a few of the minor equipments of the batteries, which have been replaced.
In conclusion, colonel, I feel that I would be guilty of injustice both to the officers and men of this command if I failed to notice the gallantry displayed by them in action, as well as their patient endurance of the hardships of the march and the gnawings of hunger caused by being without rations for several days consecutively. It would be invidious to make special mention of any particular persons where all acted their part well, which, as far as my observation extended, I can safely assert, believing that no troops could have displayed greater courage during action or fortitude under difficulties than the officers and men of this command at the battle of Gettysburg.
We interred our dead decently, and brought every wounded man of the battalion across the Potomac, for which Chief Surg. [W. A.] Green is entitled to praise.
All of which is respectfully submitted, &c.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major of Artillery.
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