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Re: Richmond Howitzers 1st VA Light Artillery Batt

Numbers 274. Report of Brigadier General William N. Pendleton, C. S. Army, Chief of Artillery.

HDQRS. ARTILLERY CORPS, ARMY OF N. VIRGINIA.

February 28, 1865.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the artillery serving with this army during the campaign of 1864:

The campaign opened with active movements on May 4.. . .

. . . . On this day and the succeeding (June 3 and 4), by direction of the commanding general, the fords of the Chickahominy below the right of our line were examined by the general chief of artillery, and the batteries of the Louisiana Washington Artillery Battalion, which had arrived from the south side of James River, were posted to guard of the Horse Artillery attending General Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry were placed in position, as were those of the Richmond Defense Battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Pemberton, at Bottom's Bridge. At all these points the enemy appeared and made demonstrations as if with a view to crossing, but the fire which they received seemed to deter them from any heavy attack, though skirmishing was for some days continued at certain points. On the 7th, the enemy having withdrawn from Field's front, Haskell's battalion was transferred to the south bank of the Chickahominy and posted to command the Grape Vine and Federal Bridges. Meanwhile, and to the 13th, the enemy remained in force upon our front from Pickett's line to the extreme right, and fighting was incessant at very short range, the opposing lines being at some points not a stone's throw apart. Our guns were often used with excellent effect, especially a number of howitzers adjusted as mortars on some parts of the line. This mode of using guns became the more important from the fact that they were screened from the sharpshooting, which was ceaseless and frequently fatal, owing to the extraordinary proximity of the lines. Guns on our lines had to be covered from sight, and many valuable men were lost at them, particularly in Cabell's battalion. Among these was Captain McCarthy, First Richmond Howitzers, a veteran officer whose gallantry had been conspicuous on nearly every field fought by this army since its organization. He was on June 4 instantly killed by a minie-ball through the head. While the armies were thus engaged near Cold Harbor and Gaines' farm, Sheridan's cavalry attempted, against Lynchburg via Gordonsville, another raid in co-operation with Hunter's movement down the Valley, and on the 8th Hart's, Thomson's, Johnston's, and Shoemaker's batteries, under charge of Majors Chew and Breathed, moved with our cavalry force to intercept this raiding expedition. In a serious of severe engagements, which occurred near Trevilian Depot, Virginia Central Railroad, these batteries materially aided in frustrating the enemy and compelling the abandonment of his enterprise. . . .

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. N. PENDLETON,
Brigadier General and Chief of Arty., Army of Northern Virginia.

Official Records, The War of the Rebellion:
V36 p. 1051 of Pendleton’s report, pages 1036 -1052

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Richmond Howitzers 1st VA Light Artillery Battery
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Re: Richmond Howitzers 1st VA Light Artillery Batt