Official Records of the Rebellion

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

The Document


No. 15.

Report of Capt. William B. Weeden, Battery C, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, of operations April 5.


April 5, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report:

On the reconnaissance this morning by your order I moved to the front, and went into battery in an open field to the right of the road. Commenced firing at about 10.30 a. m., throwing the first shots fired on the defenses of Yorktown. Our first fire was directed at bodies of men drawn up before intrenchments, and about 1,500 or 1,600 yards distant. The infantry scattered at once. After firing several rounds moved forward 150 yards and fired on the intrenchments, distant 1,800 to 1,900 yards. Also fired at enemy’s camps, and several times during the day at bodies of cavalry. Captain Griffin’s battery took position on our right, and the batteries were supported by Fourth Michigan Volunteers.

The enemy opened fire from his intrenchments, while I was coming into battery, with 32-pounder shells and 12-pounder shrapnel and solid shot. His fire was at first well directed and heavy, but slackened when at your command we fired slowly. In the afternoon few shots were exchanged.

Private John E. Reynolds, serving at his piece as No. 1, was struck by a fragment of shell in the thigh. The limb was amputated, and he died shortly after.

At 5.30 p. m. I was relieved by Allen’s battery and moved to rear.

The battery, consisting of six pieces, 3-inch rifled guns, expended 216 rounds of ammunition—Hotchkiss case-shot and ordnance percussion shell and case-shot.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Captain, Commanding.


Chief of Artillery, Porter’ s Division.

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How to cite this article

Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports, pp.305

web page Rickard, J (23 January 2007),

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