Official Records of the Rebellion

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

The Document

Upon the arrival, during the flank movement of this army to its present base, of the advance of the Fourth Army Corps, General E. D. Keyes commanding, upon the banks of the James River, communication was at once established and afterward maintained between our army and the naval forces operating upon the river.

During the battle of Malvern Hill, on the afternoon and night of June 30, communication [was had] between the forces on the field of battle and the general commanding the army on board the United States steamship Galena, while he remained on board that ship, and between the different gunboats taking part in the action, both prior to taking up their positions for action and after they had taken those positions. Communication was also had between the fleet and our forces at other points on the banks of the James River. The firing of the gunboats on this day was in great part directed by signals from the field of battle, and the shells were thus thrown with precision and effect. The officers upon the field were exposed to a serious fire.

For their services on this occasion are mentioned: First Lieut. G. H. McNary, Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves; First Lieut. F. Birney, Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Second Lieut. J. F. Robbins, Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, stationed near General Porter’s headquarters. First Lieut. Charles Herzog, Forty-first New York Volunteers, on the left and near the advance. Second Lieut. W. G. McCreary, One hundred and second Pennsylvania Volunteers, at Haxall’s house. First Lieut. C. S. Kendall, First Massachusetts Volunteers, near the river bank. First Lieut. H. R. Clum, Fifth Wisconsin Volunteers, on board United States steamship G-alena. Second Lieut. A. B. Jerome, First New Jersey Volunteers, on board United States steamship Aroostook; and First Lieut. L. B. Norton, Tenth Pennsylvania Volunteers.

During the battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, and the operations of that day and the ensuing night, constant communication was kept up between our forces on land and on the fleet, co-operating at various points on the James River. There was communication also between different portions of our army on land and also between different vessels of the fleet. This communication was maintained by officers on the field, some of them exposed to a heavy fire. The positions occupied by officers, wherever stationed, on that day and night were those requiring arduous labor and involving serious responsibility. On this day, as on the preceding, the fire of the Navy was directed and regulated almost entirely by the signal officer from the battle-field and from ship to ship.

For their services during this battle are mentioned: First Lieut. F.

Birney, Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, and First Lieut. F. E.

Yates, Fourth Excelsior Regiment, stationed near General F. J. Porter

on the battle-field and communicating with the gunboats. First Lieut.

F. Ellis, Forty-second New York Volunteers; First Lieut. Charles Herzog, Forty-first New York Volunteers; Second Lieut. J. Gloskosky,

Twenty-ninth New York Volunteers, and Second Lieut. F. W. Marston,

Fortieth Pennsylvania Volunteers, stationed near the left advance.

First Lieut G. H. McNary, Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves, and Second

Lieut. N. H. Camp, Fourth New Jersey Volunteers, near General

Heintzelman, on the right. Second Lieut. J. C. Wiggins, Third New [224] Jersey Volunteers, and Second Lieut. G. H. McNary, Tenth Pennsylvania Reserves, and Second Lieut. W. G. McCreary, One hundred and second Pennsylvania Volunteers, near General Porter. First Lieut. H. R. Clum, Fifth Wisconsin Volunteers, on board United States steamship Galena. Second Lieut. Isaac Beckett, Fifty-sixth New York Volunteers, on board United States steamship Mahaska. Second Lieut. E. A. Denicke, Cameron Rifles, New York Volunteers, and Second Lieut. A. B. Jerome, First New Jersey Volunteers, on board the United States steamship Aroostook. First Lieut. C. S. Kendall, First Massachusetts Volunteers, on Haxall’s house; and First Lieut. B. F. Fisher, Third Pennsylvania Reserves.

In the movements of the night of July 1 and on July 2 from Malvern Hill to the position now occupied by this army; in obtaining and conveying throughout the night of July 1 information to the general commanding the army, then on board the United States steamship Galena, as to those movements of the forces he had remained to superintend; in directing by his order on July 2 the position of the gunboat covering the rear of the wagon train, and which repelled the attack of the enemy on that train; in establishing communication between general headquarters on its arrival at this place and the fleet; in the observation and the announcement of the approach of the enemy to shell this camp on July 3; in designating to the gunboats where they could have the opportunity to be of service to the army on that day, and in reconnoitering and reporting upon the retreat of the enemy, valuable services were rendered.

For these services are mentioned: First Lieut. H. R. Clum, Fifth

Wisconsin Volunteers, on board United States steamship Galena; First

Lieut. C. S. Kendall, First Massachusetts Volunteers; Second Lieut. J.

Gloskosky, Twenty-ninth New York Volunteers; Second Lieut. J. C.

Wiggins, Third New Jersey Volunteers, and Second Lieut. F. W. Marston, Fortieth Pennsylvania Volunteers.

On June 3, just after the battle of Fair Oaks, while this army lay north of the Chickahominy, the pickets of the left wing, which was then south of the Chickahominy, and the position of which was not before known to be at any point visible from the right wing, were discovered at a distance of 3 miles across the swamp by the signal officer on duty at Hogan’s house. Communication was had over the swamp and the fact established that part of our left wing was visible. The swamp was then impassable between the points, and the enemy held the ground between them. This communication was kept up for many days by officers exposed to and often under the artillery fire of the enemy. The records will show the importance of the messages transmitted and the bearing they had upon the movements of this army. The communication was between the general commanding the army, Generals W. B. Franklin, F. J. Porter, and W. F. Smith.

The officers most exposed on these stations have been once mentioned. Others who served faithfully will be mentioned hereafter.

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How to cite this article

Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports, pp.223-224

web page Rickard, J (19 November 2006), http://www.historyofwar.org/source/acw/officialrecords/vol011chap023part1/00012_02.html


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