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Battles > Battle of Gettysburg Information > 12th Corp Artillery Brigade (US) - Report
Gettysburg: 12th Corp Artillery Brigade (US) - Report
Near Kelly's Ford, Va.,

August -, 1863.

     GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following movements and operations of the artillery arm of the Twelfth Corps, from the date of its departure from camp at Aquia to its arrival in its present position: The brigade - F, Fourth U. S. Artillery; K, Fifth U. S. Artillery; Knap's Independent Pennsylvania, and M, First New York - broke camp on June 13. Marched, via Stafford Court-House, Dumfries and Occoquan City, to Fairfax Court-House, Va. Left the latter place, and occupied Leesburg on the 17th, the batteries, to be prepared for any emergency, taking positions near the fortifications situated on the west, northeast, and southeast approaches to said place. On the 26th, the corps was again in motion. Two batteries (F, Fourth U. S. Artillery, and M, First New York), with First Division, and two (K, Fifth U. S. Artillery and Knap's Independent Pennsylvania), with Second Division, crossed the Potomac at Edwards Ferry; marched, via Rockville, Jefferson, Frederick, and Brentsville Md., to Littlestown, Pa., entering the latter place on the 30th. On July 1, the brigade, moving along the Baltimore pike to a point 5 miles southeast of Gettysburg, called Two Taverns, took position there to counterattack any movement of the enemy from the Hanover side. About noon of the same day, the two batteries attached to it moved with the First Division away from the pike in a northeasterly direction toward the Hanover road, and, approaching Gettysburg from the east, took position on tolerably favorable ground about 1 1/2 miles from it; the two batteries moving with the Second Division along the Baltimore pike encamped about the same distance from the town. On the morning of the 2d, the batteries operating with First Division moved with it over to the baltimore pike. The infantry, going into the heavy woods on the northeast side of same and forming junction with the Second Division, completed the right wing of the army. The density of the growth of timber, the irregularity and extremely broken character of the ground, studded with immense boulders, prevented the artillery from taking position in the line proper of the corps. It was, therefore, held in reserve and readiness to answer all calls which might be made upon it by the future movements of the opposing forces. The enemy seriously annoying the left of the line of the Twelfth, a vacant space eligible for a battery was found a bout 200 yards on the right of the First Corps. At 3. 30 p. m. one gun (10-pounder Parrott), and at 5 p. m. two more of the same caliber, Knap's Independent Pennsylvania, the three under charge of Lieutenant Gearyl, were placed in position, and were joined by one section of 12-pounder Napoleons (K, Fifth U. S. Artillery), under charge of Second Lieutenant William E. Van Reed. The moment their presence was observed, the enemy opened with eight guns; continued an incessant fire for some thirty minutes; then, having a caisson exploded, ceased. The conduct of both the officers above mentioned, as well as of their commands, is creditable in the highest degree. The remarkable coolness exhibited under a very galling fire, and the bravery displayed in sustaining all the parts assigned to them, deserve notice. In this engagement, or artillery duel, Lieutenant Geary had 1 killed and 2 wounded; Lieutenant Van Reed, 2 mortally and 3 severely wounded. The rebel artillery having ceased firing, no infantry making its appearance, and the corps having been ordered to the left of the army, to support it, if necessary, these guns were withdrawn from the above position, and Knap's Independent Pennsylvania Battery, Lieutenant Charles A. Atwell commanding, was placed on a knob situated south west of the pike 100 yards from it, and known on that day as Slocum's Hill; Battery M, First New York Artillery, Lieutenant Winegar commanding, on a second elevation, a quarter of a mile distant, and nearly due east from the first mentioned, both overlooking and commanding the ground just vacated by the corps. These two batteries retained these positions during the whole engagement and did excellent service. Battery F, Fourth U. S. Artillery, and Battery K, Fifth U. S. Artillery, remained in park at base of the Slocum's Hill, ready for a move to the left, if called upon. After the return of the corps from the left, it found the greater portion of its intrenchments already in possession of the enemy, supposed to be a portion of its intrenchments already in possession of the enemy, supposed to be a portion of General Ewell's corps, variously estimated from 5, 000 to 8, 000 strong. On the morning of the 3d, at 1 a. m., Batteries F, Fourth U. S. Artillery, and K, Fifth U. S. Artillery, were placed in position parallel to and on the southwest side of the Baltimore pike, almost directly opposite the center of the line formed by the Twelfth, and controlling the approach of the enemy along the ravine formed by the stream known as Rock Creek. At 4. 30 a. m. the two rifle batteries (ten guns) and the two light 12-pounder batteries (ten guns) opened, and fired for fifteen minutes without intermission at a range of from 600 to 800 yards; ceased firing, and allowed infantry to take part. Commenced at 5. 30 a. m., and continued firing at intervals until 10 a. m., at which hour the enemy had retreated and the infantry of the corps had regained their works. The artillery was of essential service, and did excellent execution at this part of the field, and no doubt contributed greatly in preventing the enemy from establishing himself in so desirable a position, whence he could either have held the pike or have moved his force along the southeast slope and occupied a sufficiency of Cemetery Hill to annoy, if not to entirely control, the position held by the army. The marks on the trees and immense boulders contiguous to the line of intrenchments prove conclusively that the practice of the artillery was excellent and splendidly accurate. Batteries F, Fourth U. S. Artillery, and K, Fifth U. S. Artillery, remaining in the position just mentioned, were exposed to a most terrific fire during the afternoon of the 3d, the enemy opening with all his artillery upon the left and center of the army. The direction of their lines of fire was such that almost every projectile passing over Cemetery Hill found its bed within the battery line of these two batteries. The commands stood nobly under this unexpected and incessant hail, and displayed by their actions the attributes of true soldiers. I take the greatest pleasure in presenting to your favorable notice Lieutenant D. H. Kinzie, commanding Battery K, Fifth U. S. Artillery, and his second lieutenant, William Egan, as well as Lieutenant S. T. Rugg, of my own command, Battery F, Fourth U. S. Artillery. The batteries, observing the same order of march as before, moved with the corps on the 5th, via Littlestown, Pa., Frederick, Burkittsville (one section in position at Crampton's Gap on the 8th, under Second Lieutenant S. T. Rugg), Rohrersville, Bakersville, and Fair Play, Md., and took position on the 12th on the left of the new line of battle, 1 mile from Jones' Cross-Roads, on the west side of the Hagerstown and Sharpsburg pike. Remained here until the 14th. Made a reconnaissance with the First Division batteries toward Falling Waters, and found the enemy had recrossed the Potomac Broke camp on the 15th. Recrossed the Potomac at Harper's Ferry on the 19th. Marched, via Snickersville, Paris, Manassas Gap, Rectortown, White Plains, Thoroughfare Gap, Hay Market, Catlett's Station, and Warrenton Junction, to our present position, on the south side of the Rappahannock River, which we reached on the 30th ultimo. A list of casualties is herewith annexed.

I have the honor to remain, Your most obedient servant,


First Lieutenant 4th U. S. Arty., Comdg. Arty, Brig., 12th Corps.

Brigadier General HENRY J. HUNT,

Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac.

Taken from:
U.S. War Dept. The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.
     (Washington: Govt. Print. Office, 1880 - 1901)

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