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5th Battery Maine Light Artillery - Gettysburg Report

Report of Lieutenant Edward N. Whittier, Fifth Maine Battery.

July 16, 1863.

ADJUTANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the battery in the battle at Gettysburg, Pa., on the 1st, 2d, and 3rd of the present month: At a few minutes past 2, July 1, the battery in position on the left of the seminary, orders were received by Captain Stevens to relieve Stewart's battery and we took position on his left, one piece thrown forward to the front of the building, and opened with spherical case and shell on the enemy, rapidly advancing on our direct front. After they were repulsed, when within range of our canister, the guns were turned to the right on the columns advancing across the turnpike, marching to our left, using solid shot and canister. When the enemy had driven our infantry from the woods protecting our left flank, m by order of General Wadsworth, commanding First Division, the battery was limbered up and passed through the town, m and was placed in position on the knoll to the right and rear of Cemetery Hill, and opened on bodies of infantry crossing the fields to our right. During the night, temporary earthworks were thrown up covering the pieces. On the morning of the 2nd instant, on advice received from General Ames, the battery opened at 1, 500 yards on columns of the enemy's line advancing from the edge of the town, and, by changing front and firing to the left, enfiladed their lines, at a distance of 800 yards, with spherical case and shell, and later with solid shot and canister, expending the entire contents of the limber chests, which contained upward of 46 rounds of canister repacked from caissons. The enemy having been driven back and the ammunition exhausted, the battery was withdrawn the caissons and limbers refilled, and the same position reoccupied at 10. 30 p. m. Early on the morning of the 3rd instant, engaged the enemy's battery, and after firing for an hour, ceased firing by order of the colonel commanding, no damage being inflicted by us other than with solid shot at 1, 800 yards. I have the honor to acknowledge the timely services of the officers and men of the Twenty-fourth Michigan, my cannoneers becoming temporarily exhausted by the difficult service of the pieces, and the heart and gallant co-operation of Colonel Underwood Thirty-third Massachusetts Regiment, eleventh Corps, in sending men to assist in serving ammunition and in the reconstruction of the works which protected us. It is with much pain that I have to announce the temporary loss to the battery of Captain Stevens and Lieutenant Hunt, both wounded in the active discharge of their duties; Lieutenant Hunt at the seminary during the enemy's charge on our position, and among the killed, Sullivan Luce, acting corporal, who had on several occasions won the commendation of his commanding officer for soldierly and gallant qualities. List of killed, wounded, and prisoners:* Six enlisted men missing; since reported as prisoners, paroled, and sent to West Chester, Pa.

Expenditure of ammunition:

Solid shot 384
Spherical case 380
Shell 112
Canister 103
Total 979
Horses killed 7
Horses wounded 10
Total 17

I am, with due respect, our most obedient servant,


First Lieutenant, Comdg. Fifth Battery Maine Vols.

Lieutenant A. MATTHEWSON,

A. A. A., Artillery Brig., First Army Corps.

  ©2005 Richard McCoy. View Copyright Info or learn more About the Author.