HDQRS. ARTILLERY BRIGADE, FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
August 14, 1863.
Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps, at the battle of Gettysburg, Pa.:
The artillery entered the field between 4 and 5 p.m. on the 2d instant, three batteries in rear of the First Division, viz: Battery D, Fifth U.S. Artillery. First Lieut. Charles E. Hazlett commanding; Battery C, Massachusetts Artillery, First Lieut. Aaron F. Walcott commanding, and Battery I, Fifth U.S. Artillery, First Lieut. M. F. Watson commanding. Two batteries in rear of the Second Division, viz: Battery L, First Ohio Artillery, Capt. Frank C. Gibbs commanding, and Battery C, First New York Artillery, Capt. Almont Barnes commanding. On the 2d instant, about 4.30 p.m., Battery D, Fifth U.S. Artillery, was moved to the left of the First Division about three-quarters of a mile, and posted on an eminence known as Rock Hill [Round Top], forming a line nearly perpendicular to that of the First Division. Immediately upon taking up the position, the battery opened upon the enemy, who was engaging the First Division, completely enfilading the enemy's lines with marked effect. The battery kept up a continuous fire until dark.
On the 3d instant the battery opened upon the enemy at intervals during the day, whenever he made his appearance in force. The battery remained in position until the 5th instant, when it was withdrawn, and took up the line of march with the corps. First Lieut. B. F. Rittenhouse says:
The battery had been engaged only about an hour, when First Lieut. Charles E. Hazlett (who commanded the battery) was shot in the head. He was carried to the rear, and died at 8 p.m. In his death the Government has lost one of its bravest and most able officers.
Second Lieuts. Charles H. Carroll and Samuel Peeples, Fifth U. S. Artillery, serving with Battery D, the latter having reported to this battery on the 3d instant, after the battery with which he was serving (Battery I, Fifth U.S. Artillery) was disabled, deserve especial mention for their services during the engagement; also First Lieut. B. F. Rittenhouse, upon whom the command of the battery devolved after the death of the lamented Hazlett, deserves credit for the manner in which the battery was served. The battery lost in killed, 1 officer and 6 men; in wounded, 6 men.
Battery C, Massachusetts Artillery, and I, Fifth U.S. Artillery, were left in rear of the line of battle of the First Division, with instructions to await orders. When positions had been selected and orders sent for the batteries to move to the front, they were not to be found. Subsequently Battery C, Massachusetts Artillery, was found in rear of the Third Corps. The officer commanding reported that he had been ordered there by an officer of General Sickles' staff, who had orders to take any batteries he could find, no matter where they belonged. Battery I, Fifth U.S. Artillery, was taken in the same way, thus depriving the Fifth Corps of its proper amount of artillery.
Battery C, Massachusetts Artillery, not having been relieved until about dark, was not put in position with the Fifth Corps. The battery lost 6 men slightly wounded, a list of which is inclosed; also 2 horses killed and 4 wounded.
Battery I, Fifth U.S. Artillery, was placed in position by some unknown officer of the Third Corps. Second Lieutenant MacConnell, upon whom the command of the battery devolved when Lieutenant Watson was wounded, says:
The battery was without support of any kind. The enemy appeared shortly--say twenty minutes--after taking position, nearly in front, at a distance of about 350 yards, and the battery immediately opened on them with shell. As they approached nearer, the battery poured in canister, some twenty rounds, until men and horses were shot down or disabled to such an extent that the battery was abandoned.
It was, however, soon recaptured by the bravery and determination of Second Lieut. Samuel Peeples, Fifth U.S. Artillery, who, having procured the services of the Garibaldi Guards, took a musket and led the charge himself, driving the enemy from the guns, and retaking everything that was lost, and conveyed it safely to the rear. Second Lieutenant MacConnell says:
First Lieut. M. F. Watson, commanding the battery, was wounded in the opening of the engagement, while in the faithful discharge of his duties. The conduct of officers and men throughout was unexceptionable.
He also says:
I would particularly notice the gallantry of Second Lieutenant Peoples and First Sergt. Lemuel Smith. The former I would most respectfully recommend for a brevet first lieutenancy, and the latter, in my opinion, is most deserving of promotion.
On the 3d instant, the battery was reported unserviceable, and General Sykes, commanding corps, directed Lieutenant MacConnell, with the approval of Brigadier-General Hunt, chief of artillery, Army of the Potomac, to go to Westminster, Md. It subsequently moved to Frederick City, Md., where Lieutenant MacConnell received orders from headquarters Army of the Potomac to report with the battery to Washington for re-equipment. The battery lost in killed, wounded, and missing, 1 officer and 21 men, a list of which is herewith inclosed; also 41 horses. The report of ammunition expended is not included in the report of the battery commandant.
Battery L, First Ohio Artillery, Capt. F. C. Gibbs, moved up to the field in rear of the Second Division. One section, commanded by First Lieutenant Guthrie, was posted on the slope of the hill known as Rock Hill [Round Top], to the right of Battery D, Fifth U.S. Artillery. Another section, under command of First Lieutenant Walworth, was posted at the base of the hill, commanding the ravine in front of Rock Hill [Round Top]. The remaining section was held in reserve. The two sections posted in front opened upon the enemy, when he advanced upon our lines, with spherical case and canister, doing good service in checking the advance of the enemy.
First Lieut. H. F. Guthrie and his section deserve special mention for the splendid manner in which the section was served.
On the 3d instant, the section in reserve was posted on the slope of the hill between Battery D, Fifth U.S. Artillery, and First Lieutenant Guthrie's section. This battery did not open upon the enemy on the 3d instant, they being out of range of light 12-pounder guns. The battery lost 2 men severely wounded; also 1 horse killed and 4 wounded.
Battery C, First New York Artillery, Capt. Almont Barnes, took up position on the right of Battery L, First Ohio Artillery, with instructions not to fire until orders reached him to do so, the First and Second Divisions being in line covering his front. The battery remained in position under fire until the fighting ceased, without firing a shot or losing anything in men, horses, or materiel.
At 3 a.m. on the 3d instant, in compliance with orders, Captain Barnes reported with Battery C, Massachusetts Artillery, and Battery C, First New York Artillery, to Brigadier-General Howe, commanding division in the Sixth Corps, and moved to the extreme left of the line, and there remained in position without being engaged until the close of the engagement.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. P. MARTIN,
Captain, Commanding Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps.
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)