Official Records of the Rebellion

Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports

The Document


No. 12.

Report of Lieut. Henry W. Kingsbury, commanding Battery D, Fifth U. S. Artillery, of operations April 5.

CAMP NEAR YORKTOWN, April 6, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report as follows concerning the firing of Battery D, Fifth Artillery, while under my command on the 5th instant.:

About 11 a. m. the battery was placed by your direction on the right of the Rhode Island Battery, which had already engaged the enemy. The Fourth Michigan Regiment, Colonel Woodbury, acted as our support during the day. Our guns opened with percussion shell, the second shot giving the range, about 2,100 yards. We then fired fuse shell and spherical case at the camps within the enemy’s intrenchments and at large groups of men who appeared around their guns. The fire was briskly returned by five of their guns (barbette). In ten minutes their fire slackened.


Orders were received from General Porter and yourself that our fire was too rapid—to continue at intervals of ten or fifteen minutes, merely to draw the fire of the enemy. This was done for about two hours, when the firing ceased on both sides.

About 2 p. m., in obedience to your orders, I sent Lieutenant Hazlett, with his section, to report to you. The enemy at this time reopened fire. We returned it from time to time until 4 p. in., when their fire ceased anti our battery was withdrawn for the night. Once (luring the afternoon we fired briskly at a body of cavalry (from 50 to 70) which passed rapidly before their intrenchrnents.

Our ammunition, Parrott’s (the percussion shell with Schenkl plungers), was all that could be desired. Of an average of 30 rounds to a gun I remember but two that did not explode.

The effect of our shots upon men could not be seen. Upon tents, &c., it was very evident and satisfactory.

The conduct of the officers (Lieutenants Hazlett, Harrison, and Reed) and of the men was all that could be desired.

The firing of the enemy was good, but though the firing lasted several hours, neither our men nor our horses were touched; this being due in a great measure to the extreme softness of the ground, many of the shells being deeply buried before exploding.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

First Lieutenant, Fifth Artillery.

Fifth Artillery, Chief of Division Artillery.

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How to cite this article

Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports, pp.302-303

web page Rickard, J (23 January 2007),

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