Report of Maj. William T. Poague, C. S. Army, commanding Artillery Battalion
JUNE 3-AUGUST 1, 1863.--The Gettysburg Campaign
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
CULPEPER COUNTY, VA.,
July 30, 1863.
Col. R. L. WALKER,
Chief o/Artillery, Third Corps.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following account of the operations of the battalion under my command, from the time of leaving Fredericksburg, Va., to the present date:
Without referring in detail to each day's marching, which made up by far the largest part of its operations, it may suffice to state that the battalion, consisting of three batteries, leaving Fredericksburg on June 15 and reaching Culpeper Court-House on the 17th, was assigned to duty with Major-General Pender's division.
On the 21st, the command halted near Berryville, Va., where Captain [Joseph] Graham's (North Carolina) battery reported to me for duty. My battalion continued with General Pender's division until the morning of July 1, when it was detached, and directed to remain at Cashtown until further orders. About 11 o'clock I was ordered to the front, but the battalion took no part in the engagement of July 1 and 2 at Gettysburg, Pa.
Late in the evening of the 2d by your order, I reported to Major-General Anderson for duty, and at last succeeded in getting ten of my guns into position. The balance (six howitzers) were kept a short distance in rear, as no place could be found from which they could be used with advantage. Of the ten guns in position, three rifles and two Napoleons were posted on the left of Anderson's division, and not far from Pegram's battalion, and on the right of these and in front of Anderson's left, at the distance of 400 yards, five Napoleons were placed. These positions, separated by a body of timber, were about 1,400 yards from the enemy's batteries, strongly posted on an eminence. Immediately on my right were the batteries of the First Corps. My battalion being necessarily separated, that part of it next to Pegram's position, consisting of three of Wyatt's and two of Graham's guns, was placed in charge of Captain [James W.] Wyatt, while Captain [George] Ward was directed to superintend the guns of his own and of Brooke's battery.
About 7 o'clock on the morning of the 3d, while I myself was at the position occupied by Captain Ward, the guns under Captain Wyatt opened on the enemy's position. In a few minutes, the fire of several of their batteries was concentrated on these five guns, and seeing that the contest was a very unequal one, and not knowing the origin of the order for opening, I directed the firing to cease. I afterward ascertained that Lieutenant-General Hill had ordered it. In this affair, Captain Wyatt lost 8 of his best horses. A caisson of the enemy was exploded.
In the general engagement that occurred about the middle of the day, the battalion participated. Upon the repulse of our troops, anticipating an advance of the enemy, I ordered up the howitzers. The enemy, however, failed to follow up his advantage, and I got no service out of those useless guns.
About dusk on the evening of the 4th, the battalion moved in the direction of Hagerstown, Md., where it arrived on the 7th.
On the 11th, the battalion was placed in position in line of battle, which it occupied till the night of the 13th, when, with the army, it fell back, and recrossed the Potomac on the 14th.
After remaining several days in the vicinity of Bunker Hill, the march was resumed on the 19th, and on July 25 the battalion reached Culpeper Court-House, and moved to its present locality, near Mitchell's Station, on the 28th.
In closing this report, I refer with pleasure to the unexceptionable conduct of the officers and men of all the batteries in the face of the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. T. POAGUE,
Major, Comdg. Artillery Battalion, Third Corps.
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