Today in History:

91 Series I Volume XXXVI-II Serial 68 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part II


No. 29. Report of Captain Alfred P. Rockwell, First Connecticut Battery, of operations May 9-10.


SIR: I have the honor to submit, for the information of the brigadier-general commanding, the following report of the operations of the First Connecticut Battery during the 9th and 10th instant:

In obedience to the orders of the general commanding, the battery was hitched up at 4 p.m. May 9,and moved forward in the place assigned it in the column of march immediately in the rear of the First Brigade, First Division, until we reached the Richmond and Petersburg turnpike road. At this point I detached the right section under Lieutenant George Metcalf to take position upon this road about three-fourths of a mile from the cross-roads. About 11 o'clock I moved these two sections of the battery down the turnpike toward Petersburg to the point where it crosses the railway and there halted. During the night the guns were posted in the road at the point commanding the road and railway. The following morning the battery was ordered to move back along the turnpike, and about 9 a.m. it commenced moving in the rear of the Second Brigade. As we approached the cross-roads rapid firing was heard near the position in which my section was posted the day before. In obedience to the orders of the general commanding, I at once took the four guns with me rapidly forward to the cross-roads and up that road to the left, a few hundred yards, into the open field, where Lieutenant Metcalf with his section had for some time been actively engaged with the enemy. Finding him nearly out of ammunition, I ordered him to fall back to the turnpike and immediately came in battery in the field and opened upon the enemy,who were firing from a battery of 12-pounders. The enemy, appeared to have at least six guns in detached sections, one section posted about 800 yards in my front,commanding the narrow cross-road and the other two sections, giving me a cross-fire from the right, and also down the turnpike. The section in my immediate front twice ceased firing and changed position, whether or not forced to do so by the fire of mu guns I cannot say. Soon after the guns were in position firing commenced between our skirmishers and the enemy and increased. He twice charged from our left front and endeavored to carry the position, but was gallantly repulsed by my infantry support. I would take this occasion to express my appreciation of their efficient support. The enemy pressed hard upon our right but were there repulsed also. When his fire ceased I fired slowly until the order came to retire gradually, when I fell back to a new position and remained there until the infantry were ready to retire; then I withdrew the battery slowly down the road to the turnpike and took a new position with one section in the road on the left of Gibb's battery. The battery was in the field from an hour and a half to two hours, the greater part of the time under the fire of artillery and musketry more or less severe. In the latter part of the afternoon I moved back to camp within the intrenchments, as ordered by General Terry. The right section was detached and under command of Lieutenant Metcalf during the greater part of two days. He reports that he remained in position on the turnpike about 1 mile from the