13th Independent Battery - NY Light Artillery

Report of Capt. Henry Bundy, Thirteenth New York Battery to Maj. J. A. Reynolds, Comdg. Artillery Brigade, Twentieth Army Corps.

Atlanta, Ga., September 7, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the battery now under my command in the campaign just closed:

The battery was present at every engagement in which the corps has taken part during the campaign, though not on all occasions actually engaged. At the engagement before Rocky Face Ridge the battery was placed in position but did not open fire, as it was found that only long-range guns could there be made effective. At Resaca, on the third day of the engagement, the battery accompanied the corps in a movement against the enemy's right and took position on a hill, covering our infantry in a charge upon the enemy's works. After the charge and capture of two lines of the enemy's works, the battery was advanced to a new position somewhat farther to the right and within short range of the enemy's last line of works and there intrenched. During the night, the enemy having made a slight demonstration in our front, a few case-shot were used, and early on the following morning the enemy was found to have evacuated their works in our front. After the Second Division of the corps had crossed Pumpkin Vine Creek, moving to the westward of Allatoona and toward Dallas, having come upon the enemy in force, the battery was ordered back, under my command, over the creek, and with directions to take a position to cover the bridge over which the Second Division had passed. After having taken a favorable position for this object and intrenched, one section, under command of Lieutenant Freeman, was ordered forward to the position on the road held by the infantry of the division, and just preceding the advance of our infantry rapidly shelled the enemy's position in the woods in front. After the advance of the infantry this section followed up in rear of the second line; the remainder of the battery having been in the mean time ordered up, joined it during the progress of the engagement, but no other position having been found for the use of artillery the battery was not further engaged on that day. On the morning of 27th [May], at daybreak, the battery was moved forward and placed in position in some works previously constructed within about 120 yards of the enemy's line, and in line with the Second Division. At 7 o'clock on the morning of that day we opened fire on the enemy in conjunction with the other batteries along our line, continuing it at regular intervals until about 11 a.m. In this position we remained six days, until relieved by other troops, firing occasionally each day as the enemy made attempts to strengthen their works or press our skirmish line. On the night of the 28th the enemy advanced from his works in line of battle, driving in our skirmishers and pressing toward our works, when the battery opened upon them a rapid fire of canister for a few moments and they fell back behind their works. The enemy used but little artillery against us in this position, and the few attempts made by them were always promptly replied to and their guns quickly silenced. The battery lost in this position 3 men wounded and 2 horses disabled. In the lines in front of the enemy's position at Golgotha, or Lost Mountain, two sections of the battery under my command were placed in position in the line of the Third Brigade on the afternoon of June 16, and shelled the enemy's works. In the evening of that day the enemy opened a battery upon our lines from a point some short distance to the left of the immediate front of my position, and having a position which enabled me in some degree to enfilade their battery I opened fire upon them, and after a few rounds they ceased firing, our practice having been remarkably accurate, as was seen by an inspection of the enemy's works the following morning, they having evacuated them during the night. In this position we lost 1 man, Peter Duffy, killed instantly by the enemy's sharpshooters whilst cutting an embrasure for one of my guns. He was a brave and efficient soldier.

On the 17th of June, the enemy being found again in position on the south side of Mud Creek, the battery was advanced to a position on the right of our corps in front of and within point-blank range of one of the enemy's batteries in a thickly wooded bluff, and after having constructed some slight cover for the guns by sinking them in the crest of the hill the battery opened fire on the enemy's position, which was continued rapidly for about half an hour, and although the enemy's battery had been previously very annoying to our infantry lines and also to another battery holding a position in our rear, they replied to our fire but very feebly for a few moments and soon were altogether silenced, and up to the morning of the 19th, when they evacuated their position, they fired less than a half dozen rounds. In this position the battery lost 4 men wounded. On the morning of the 19th the battery moved with the Second Division from our position at Mud Creek, and after having advanced about two miles and again finding the enemy in position, one gun, under my command, was ordered by General Geary to the right of the road, in an open field, and shelled the enemy's position. On the same evening we were moved and placed in position in our works on the left of the road, but did not use our guns; and on the evening following, being relieved from this position by the Fourth Corps, we moved with the division toward the right of our line, where we were placed in position and intrenched. On the 22d one section of the battery, under command of Lieutenant Muller, was ordered forward to a position on Kolb's farm, on the left of the First Division. From this position this section opened a rapid and effective fire upon the enemy's columns as they advanced to retake a position just occupied by the First Division. Here, while directing the fire of this section, Capt. William Wheeler, then commander of the battery and chief of artillery of the Second Division, was instantly killed by one of the enemy's sharpshooters. The remainder of the battery joined this section while the enemy was being repulsed, and aided in throwing a few shells into their retreating and disordered columns. Works were thrown up here and we occupied them until the morning of the 27th. On the 27th the battery was ordered at daybreak to a position on a hill toward the left of our division line, where a large portion of the batteries of the corps were massed. At about 9 a.m., as our infantry lines were about to advance in a general attack, one section, under command of Lieutenant Carlisle, was advanced to a corn-field in front of our lines, and opened fire with canister and bags of musket-balls on a position held by the enemy's skirmishers in and around a house in front of our lines, and from which our infantry skirmishers had failed to dislodge them. After one or two rounds the enemy broke and scattered to the rear, and I directed a few shells to be thrown into the woods on the left of the house, where some of the enemy's skirmishers were supposed still to remain. Our infantry skirmishers then advanced, and I was at the same moment directed by General Geary to advance my whole battery to the position at the house from which the enemy's skirmishers had been dislodged. We had just gained this position, and found ourselves subjected to a cross-fire of artillery on both flanks and an infantry fire from the direction of our front, and which made it necessary to provide some cover for our guns before opening fire. While engaged in sinking our guns in the ridge we were ordered to retire and take position again in the corn-field from which we first opened fire. In this position we remained until dark, when we were ordered back to our former position in the works, from which we had advanced in the morning. In this engagement the battery had 2 men wounded. On the afternoon of the 30th the battery moved toward the right of our line with the Second Division, which relieved a division of the Twenty-third Corps. On the same evening I placed three pieces in position, under the charge of Lieutenants Freeman and Muller, the other three guns being in reserve.

On the morning of the 1st of July the three guns in position, simultaneously with the other batteries along our line, opened fire on the enemy's position, which was continued rapidly for about fifteen minutes, the enemy not replying. The enemy having evacuated their works on the night of the 2d, we advanced with the division on the morning of the 3d, and toward night were placed in position on a hill south of Noonday Creek, in which position we remained without firing until the morning of the 5th, when, the enemy having been discovered to have evacuated his works, the battery again advanced with the division, and toward evening was sent forward to an advanced position within range of a stockade forming a part of the enemy's line of works, but was subsequently withdrawn on the same evening without opening fire. On the following day we moved with the division still farther toward the left of our line, and on the day succeeding that were ordered into camp, where we remained until the evening of the 17th, when our corps crossed the Chattahoochee River. On the 19th, when the Second Division was brought into position on a ridge of hills overlooking Peach Tree Creek, the battery was placed in position, each section at different points most favorable for the purpose of shelling a wooded ridge on the opposite side of the creek held by the enemy, and late in the afternoon we opened a concentrated fire on this ridge, lasting about five minutes, under cover of which the infantry advanced and took it. On the morning of the 20th the battery advanced with the division across the creek, and about 2 o'clock on the afternoon of that day was placed in position with the division on a ridge about half a mile in advance of the creek. We had been but a very short time in position when the enemy was observed advancing upon the Third Division of the corps, which was posted on the left of the Second, and having an enfilading fire upon the enemy's columns as they advanced against the Third Division, I directed the battery to open upon them. Our fire against the enemy at this point was becoming very destructive, when suddenly another portion of their line appeared advancing against our immediate front and on the right flank of the battery. The fire of the battery was immediately directed against them, but the infantry supporting us gave way, and our right being quite exposed, and subject to a most destructive enfilading fire from the enemy's infantry, one section of the battery, under Lieutenant Muller, on the extreme right, had its gunners disabled in a few minutes, and was necessarily temporarily abandoned. I then directed the other two sections of the battery to change front to the right in order to prevent the enemy from removing the section which had been abandoned and to cover the now exposed flank of the division. The fire of our guns in this direction was effective and altogether successful; the enemy were repulsed, and in a few minutes more I was enabled, through the exertions of Major Reynolds, who rallied the infantry to my support and with his own hands uncoiled the prolonges of the guns, to have the other section withdrawn inside our lines. We continued to sweep the dense woods in our front with canister and case-shot until satisfied that the enemy had withdrawn, and subsequently continued to enfilade the enemy's lines as they fell back from the front of the First Division. In this engagement the battery lost 3 men killed on the field, and 8 wounded, 6 of whom belonged to the section of the battery which had been temporarily abandoned. Of these 11, 5 were non-commissioned officers, 2 of whom were killed, 1 receiving nine bullets and the other seven, and 3 wounded, all of them brave, reliable, and experienced artillerists. In this position we remained until the morning of the 22d without again using our guns. On the morning of the 22d, the enemy having evacuated their works in our front, the battery again advanced with the division, and in the afternoon of that day was placed in position in line with the Second Division behind works thrown up in front of the enemy's interior line north of the city of Atlanta. On the 26th, our line being somewhat advanced, the battery was distributed at angles of the advanced work and in front of two forts occupied by the enemy and covering the Peach Tree road and a part of our line northeast of it. We occupied this position for about one month, almost daily using our guns against the enemy's works, when we fell back on the evening of the 25th with the division to a position covering the bridge at Pace's Ferry, on the Chattahoochee River. Here the battery was placed in position and remained until the evening of the 2d of September, firing only three rounds-that on the occasion of some of the enemy's cavalry making a demonstration on our front. On the evening of the 2d, the enemy having evacuated this city, the battery advanced, under orders, with the division, and was assigned to its present position in the defenses of the city. The entire loss of the battery throughout the campaign was 1 commissioned, 3 non-commissioned officers, and 1 private killed in action, and 17 non-commissioned officers and privates wounded. Of these latter I have had official notice that 2 have since died. The entire number of horses disabled was 20.

I cannot, in concluding this report, omit to award the just tribute of praise which belongs to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates under my command for their conduct throughout this long and arduous campaign. I could not particularize any without being unjust to all the rest, for as a body, officers and men alike, they have ever evinced under the fatigue of the march and the dangers of the field, that unvarying fortitude, willing obedience, coolness, and heroism which becomes the true soldier.

Capt., Comdg. 13th New York Independent Batty. Vet. Vols.



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13th Independent Battery - NY Light Artillery
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