Official Records of the Rebellion

Thursday, April 17.—By pushing close reconnaissances the engineer officers have seen at least fifty guns in the enemy’s works. Of these thirty-three are on water front and looking down York River, of which twenty-three will bear on our battery No. 1. The remainder, seventeen guns, are on land front. There are probably more, which are masked by sand bags.

Friday, April 18.—Batteries 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 laid out, and ground broken in Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 6. At daylight working party in No. 1 well [342] covered in. No. 2 less advanced. 3 progressed far enough to shelter men. 6 raised to height of sole of embrasures.

Saturday, April 19.—Colonel Hunt, commanding artillery reserve, ordered to detail a 20-pounder Parrott battery for Battery No. 3, to occupy it after dark to-night. Also ordered to detail fifty-four harnessed horses to haul the 100-pounders into No. 1, the work to be continued all night. Platforms laid and magazine completed in No. 1, and all preparations made for mounting guns. Rain for the past twenty- four hours, and ground soft and slippery and altogether unfavorable for heavy work.

Monday, April 21.—Batteries 4 and 5 commenced. The officers and cannoneers of Randol’s and De Russy’s batteries making gabions and fascines, under Brigadier-General Woodbury. Cannoneers of Lieu tenant-Colonel Brickel’s brigade, under Major Arndt, revetted the embrasures of Battery No. 7 with gabions and finished the battery generally. Ames’ battery (A, Fifth Artillery) in position in Battery No. 7, relieving Diederichs’ battery, First Battalion New York Artillery. One hundred horses hauling siege guns to Batteries 3 and 6.

Battery No. Received from depot four 100-pounder Parrotts, 250 shell, 50 shot, and implements. Five 100-pounders are now mounted, and this battery fully ready for service.

Battery No. 3. Received from depot four 4 1/2-inch siege guns and platforms. Two platforms laid.

Battery No. 6. Received from depot six 4-1/2 inch siege guns and platforms. The artillerymen excavated the terre-plein to the depth of 14 inches and commenced to lay platforms.

A vessel has arrived at Cheeseman’s Landing with 13-inch mortars. Number not known. Arrangements are made to receive these mortars when hoisted out of the vessel, and when the present heavy weather abates to tow them around to the immediate vicinity of the battery in which they are to be placed. It will be necessary to ask the assistance of the Navy to hoist them out of the transport. I would respectfully ask that such assistance be requested.

Tuesday, April 22—a. m.—Batteries 1, 2, 3, and 6 are now ready for service and are fully supplied with implements and ammunition to the full capacity of’ the magazines.

The vessel with five 30-pounder guns has arrived and a detachment is now discharging her. They will be disembarked by 3 or 4 o’clock, and if the road is repaired by that time they will be at once hauled to Battery No. 2.

Another detachment is at work on the 13-inch mortars. Blocks and tackle for hauling them have arrived.

Tuesday, April 22—p. m.—The usual daily detail of the cannoneers of two field batteries for the manufacture of gabions, fascines, &c. Harnessed horses furnished for transportation of siege guns. Ninety barrels of powder transported from landing to depot.

Battery No. Two hundred and fifty cartridges supplied for 100- pounder gun. Magazine arranged and drains constructed.

Battery No. 2. Five platforms for siege guns laid; 50 rounds of canister and 500 cartridges supplied; also implements and equipments complete for five 4 ½ -inch guns. This battery is now ready for service.

Battery No. Platforms for five 4 1/2-inch guns laid and the guns put in position. The following ammunition was placed in the magazine of this battery: 600 cartridges, 300 shot, 300 shell, 100 case-shot, and 50 canister. Implements and equipments also supplied. Battery now ready for service.


I would respectfully recommend that strong infantry supports be now placed in position in the immediate vicinity of Batteries 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. Batteries 3 and 6, being particularly exposed to sorties of the enemy, should be more than usually well supported, and I would therefore recommend for each of them a section of light artillery in connection with the infantry supports.

Wednesday, April 23.—Battery No. No change except oiling guns and carriages and finishing drains in and about the battery.

Battery No. Five platforms laid and the battery supplied with the following ammunition: Two hundred and fifty 4 1/2-inch solid shot, two hundred and fifty 4 1/2-inch shell, one hundred case-shot.

Battery No. Same as in battery No. 1.

The following material was landed from transports and hauled to depot: Forty-two 10-inch carcasses, sixteen hand-barrows, three platforms. One 13-inch mortar was transferred from transport to canalboat, which is to transport it up Wormley’s Creek. A detachment is ordered to work all night to complete the transfer of the remaining four mortars. The whole number will be ready to be towed into position to-morrow night. Another detachment is ordered to work all night disembarking five 30-pounders.

Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports, pp.341-343

web page Rickard, J (4 February 2007)