Official Records of the Rebellion

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

The Document

The Plan - 17 to 23 April - 24 to 26 April - 27 to 30 April - 1 to 3 May - 4 May - A note on landmines

[p.338] No. 22.

Reports of Brig. Gen. William F. Barry, U. S. Army, Chief of Artillery Army of the Potomac, of the siege.


May 5, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following general report of the operations of the artillery at the siege at Yorktown:

The army having arrived in front of the enemy’s works April 5 went [339] into camp, and preparations were at once commenced for the siege. From this date until April 10 active reconnaissances of the enemy’s line and works were pushed by the commanding general. By his orders I examined the various inlets and creeks for the purpose of selecting a suitable place for landing the siege train. Cheeseman’s Creek, an affluent of the Poquosin River, about 2 ½ miles from the proposed location of our works, was selected as possessing the greatest advantages of deep water, a good landing, and facility of approach. The siege train depot was established in a large open field about one and a half miles from the landing and at the junction of the roads forming the approaches to the various batteries. The siege train consisted of 101 pieces, as follows, viz: Two 200-pounder Parrott rifled guns, eleven 100-pounder Parrott rifled guns, thirteen 30-pounder Parrott rifled guns, twenty-two 20-pounder Parrott rifled guns, ten 4 1/2-inch rifled siege guns, ten 13-inch sea-coast mortars, ten 10-inch sea-coast mortars, fifteen 10-inch siege mortars, five 8-inch siege mortars, and three 8-inch siege howitzers. Three field batteries of 12-pounders were likewise made use of as guns of position.

To serve this siege train the First Connecticut Artillery, Col. R. O. Tyler (1,400 men), and the Fifth New York Volunteers, Colonel Warren (800 men), were placed under my orders. Upon consultation with the commanding general and the chief engineer (General Barnard) the following location of batteries and distribution of guns was decided upon:


In front of Farinholt’s house, on the right bank of Wormley’s Creek, and at its junction with York River, to command the water front of Yorktown and Gloucester and the extreme left of the enemy’s land-side works.

Distance.—Five thousand yards to work on Gloucester Point; 4,800 yards to Yorktown wharf; 4,000 yards to center of Yorktown; 3,800 yards to enemy’s long-range rifled guns on the high bastion.

Armament.—Two 200-pounder Parrott rifled guns; five 100-pounder Parrott rifled guns.

Garrison .One battery, First Connecticut Artillery (Captain Burke), Major Kellogg commanding.


In front of the enemy’s line bearing on Yorktown and Hampton stage road in first parallel.

Distance.—One thousand eight hundred yards to Red Redoubt (left); 1,900 yards to enemy’s long-range rifled guns on high bastion (right).

Armament.—Three 4 ½ inch rifled siege guns; six 30-pounder Parrotts; six 20-pounder Parrotts.

Garrison.—Two batteries First Connecticut Artillery; one battery First Battalion New York Artillery; Major Hemingway, First Connecticut Artillery, commanding.


In first parallel 200 yards to the left of Battery No. 2.

Distance.—One thousand nine hundred yards to Red Redoubt; 2,300 yards to enemy’s long-range rifled guns in high bastion.


Armament.—Seven 20-pounder Parrott guns.

Garrison.—Two batteries First Battalion New York Artillery, Captain Voegelee.


In ravine under plateau of Moore’s house.

Distance and compass-bearings.—To Gloucester Point, N. 28° W., 4,100 yards; to Yorktown wharf, N. 43° W., 3,500 yards; to Yorktown, N. 49° W., 2,400 yards.

Armament.—Ten 13-inch sea-coast mortars.

Garrison.—Two batteries First Connecticut Artillery (Captains Dow and Harmon), Major Alex. Doull, Second New York Artillery, commanding.


Beyond Warwick Court-House stage road, in front of the Red Redoubt.

Distance.—To Yorktown, 2,800 yards ; to high bastion, 2,000 yards to Red Redoubt, 1,600 yards.

Armament.—Eight 20- pounder Parrotts.

Garrison.—Battery E, Second U. S. Artillery, Captain Carlisle, and one-half Battery C, First Battalion New York Artillery.


Junction of Warwick and Hampton Roads.

Distance and compass-bearings.—To Gloucester Point, N. 3° E., 5,100 yards; to Yorktown wharf, N. 5° W., 3,900 yards ; to Yorktown, N., 2,775 yards; to Wynn’s Mill, S. 45° W., 2,500 yards; to Red Redoubt, N. 32° W., 2,000 yards.

Armament.—Sixteen 10-inch sea-coast mortars.

Garrison.—One company (Captain Burbank’s) First Connecticut Artillery.


In front of Wynn’s Mill.

Distance.—To Wynn’s Mill works, 1,100 yards.

Armament.—Six field 12-pounders.


In front of works south of Wynn’s Mill.

Distance.—1,125 yards.

Armament.—Two batteries (twelve guns) of field 12-pounders.


To left of old mill-dam.

Distance and compass bearings.—To fort, N. 20° W., 1,900 yards; to exterior works, N. 70° W., 2,000 yards.

Armament.—Ten 10-inch siege mortars.

Garrison .—Two batteries (Captains Cook and Rockwood) First Connecticut Artillery, Major Trumbull commanding.



In the middle of first parallel, between right branch and York River.

Distance.—To fort, 2,550 yards; to right redoubt, 2,150 yards; to high redoubt, 1,500 yards.

Armament.—Three100-pounder Parrotts; one 30-pounder Parrott; seven 4 1/2-inch rifled siege guns.

Garrison.—Two companies Fifth New York Volunteers, Captain Winslow.


At the head of ravine E.

Distance and compass-bearings.—ToGloucester Point, N. 90 W., 4,700 yards; to Yorktown wharf, N. 7° W., 3,650yards; to fort, N. 18° W., 2,600 yards; to exterior works, N. 32° W., 2,400 yards; to Wynn’s Mill, S. 52° W., 3,300 yards.

Armament.—Four10-inch sea-coast mortars.

Garrison .—One company Fifth New York Volunteers.


On Peninsula plateau, behind secession huts.

Distance and compass bearings.—To exterior works, N. 78° W., 2,000 yards; to fort, N. 20° W., 1,600 yards; to burnt house, N. 9° E., 925 yards.

Armament.—Five 10-inch siege mortars.

Garrison.—Onecompany Fifth New York Volunteers.


To the right of -, in front of Moore’s house.

Distance.—ToGloucester Point, 3,000 yards; to exterior works, 2,400 yards; to fort, 1,300 yards.

Armament.—Six 30-pounder Parrotts.

Garrison.—Two companies Fifth New York Volunteers, Captain Cambreleng commanding.


Extremity (right) of first parallel.

Distance.—To Gloucester Point, 3,100 yards; to exterior works, 2,500 yards; to fort, 1,400 yards.

Armament - Three 100-pounder Parrotts.

Garrison.—Onebattery (Captain Perkins) First Connecticut Artillery.

The Plan - 17 to 23 April - 24 to 26 April - 27 to 30 April - 1 to 3 May - 4 May - A note on landmines

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How to cite this article

Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports, pp.338-341

web page Rickard, J (4 February 2007),

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