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Saturday, June 28, 2014

"Fairly Whipped Them"


 Hd. Qrs. Shoemaker's Batt'y
 Stuart Horse Artillery
Fitz. Lee's Cav. Div.
Sept. 1st, 1864
1st day of June one section of my battery left Gaines Mill & reached Bottoms Bridge & on the morning of the 2nd took position in the fortifications commanding the ford. On the morning of the 3d the enemy attacked our force at that place & opened on us with 4 pieces of artillery which we whipped from the field in about 1 hour. I had one horse shot through the knee and abandoned. The section which remained at Gaines Mill under command of Lieut. Moorman was also engaged the same day at Cold Harbor and with the assistance of a section of Capt. Johnston' s battery, drove the Yankee cannoniers from their guns & made them hide behind the hill. On the 4th Lt. Moorman joined us at Bottom Bridge where we remained in camp till the 7th when I sent one gun on picket at Long Bridge. On the 8th I started with 3 guns after the raiders under Gen. Sheridan & came up with them near Louisa C. H. On the 11th one section of my battery was engaged in the morning in shelling the woods near Louisa C. H. We then moved towards Trevillians Depot, Va. Cen. R. R. & a section of my battery with a section of Capt. Johnson's again engaged the enemy and fairly whipped them from every position they took. We were exposed during the whole time to the fire of dismounted men but fortunately I  had only 1 man wounded, A. D. Ford, in the body. On the 12th we were again engaged near the same place. One section under command of Lt. Phelps was sent to operate with the command of Gen. Butler. They were put in position under a heavy fire of artillery and dismounted men. The dismounted men charged the guns but were repulsed and many of them were left dead in front of the guns. Privates [Jno. McGath, R. A. Harnlet, H. B. Worling] were wounded but declined to leave the field not being entirely disabled. Lt. Phelps had his horse shot under him. The other gun I took command of and operated with Gen. Fitz Lee's Div. It was also engaged & with a section of Capt. Johnston' s we turned and drove the enemy' s right until dark. On 13th we followed the retreating raiders but had no other engagement with them until we arrived at the White House on the 20th, where we shelled them in their fortifications. We were exposed to the fire from their batteries & gun boats but had no casualties . At night we retired back to camp leaving Phelps Napoleon on picket. Early next morning the enemy advanced but a few shots from Phelps Nap. stopped them. We marched from White House on the evening of the 21st and arrived at Bottoms Bridge the next morning & camped. During the march an axle of one of the guns broke & was sent to Richmond for repairs . On the 23rd one of my guns was sent to a camp near Rd. to ( ? ) the horses as they were much fagged from long marching, leaving me with only 1 gun, with which I moved to Nance's Shop & engaged the enemy near Forge Bridge on the same day. On the 24th we were engaged near Nance's Shop  and routed & drove the enemy some 7 or 8 miles. No casualties. On the 26th we encamped near Chaffin's Bluff & on the 28th crossed to the south side of the James & camped that night near Pbg, on the 29th we marched to Reame's Station, Petersburg & W. R. R. & remained in that neighborhood until the 28th of July when we again crossed to the North side of the James River & remained until the 31st, and then recrossed to the South side & resumed our old camp near Reame's Station.

- William J. Black Diary, Shoemaker's Artillery Battery
VMI Archives Manuscript #015

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