Arrival of Federal Batteries from the Reserve Artillery to Support the Third Corps

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
A total of 28 additional Federal cannon from the artillery reserve were dispatched to the Third Corps. The 9th Massachusetts and 15th New York batteries halted for a few minutes southeast of the Trostle house before deploying. The 5th Massachusetts battery followed them, as did Pennsylvania Battery C-F (consolidated). Battery F-K (consolidated), 3rd U.S. Artillery was also sent forward to augment Humphreys’ line. The map marks positions as of 4:40 p.m. on July 2.

Major [Freeman] McGilvery came up from the Artillery Reserve with three batteries [5th and 9th Massachusetts and 15th New York] … which I ordered into position” – Brigadier General Henry J. Hunt.

Turned to the left through a gateway. Before the left [last] piece was through, the order rang out: ‘Forward into line, left oblique. Trot!’ ” – Member of the 9th Massachusetts Battery.

Captain [Patrick] Hart was ordered to take his battery to the front” – Lieutenant Edward M. Knox, 15th New York Battery.

The major [on Brigadier General Robert O. Tyler’s staff] pointed out the position I was to occupy. According to Major McGilvery’s orders, I formed my battery into line, and was proceeding to take position when I met General [Henry J.] Hunt, chief of artillery, who ordered me to take position on the left of the peach orchard” – Captain Patrick Hart, 15th New York Battery.

Firing slowly for want of ammunition. This gave them [the artillerymen] an opportunity to note carefully the effects of each shot upon the batteries in front” – Captain Nelson Ames, Battery G, 1st New York.

Capt. [George V.] Moody reported that he was short of force to handle his 24 pr. Howitzers on the rocky ground, and asked permission to try and borrow some volunteers from [Brigadier General William] Barksdale’s Miss. Brigade lying close in our rear. I went to Gen. Barksdale and we soon got eight fine fellows. Five of the eight that night were dead or severely wounded” – Colonel E. Porter Alexander.

We were supporting Moody’s battery and it lost so many men that volunteers were called for [by Sergeant Major Charles C. Cummings of the 17th Mississippi] to help them man their guns. … Lundy Gunn, a brawny sergeant of Company A [responded]. Well before Cummings ceased speaking a dozen were running to the guns” – Private William M. Abernathy, Company B, 17th Mississippi.

Several of the men [were] demoralized by the shot and shell passing through the trees” – Captain William W. Parker, Richmond Battery.

Between four and five o’clock p.m. I was informed by the company commanders that our ammunition was about spent … This report I sent by an orderly to General D. B. Birney” – Major John A. Danks, 63rd Pennsylvania.

The Third Maine being midway between batteries of the two armies suffered somewhat from exploding shells. Several times during the afternoon the enemy’s skirmishers also advanced on the position of the Third” – Member of the 3rd Maine.

The regiment [12th New Hampshire] remained in the orchard for an hour or more, when it moved obliquely to the right a few rods and took position on the road just to the right of … [the Klingle] house” – Member of the 12th New Hampshire.

Sources:
-Official Reports of Brig. Gen. Henry J. Hunt, Capt. Patrick Hart.
-History of the Ninth Massachusetts Battery, by Levi W. Baker, Framingham, MA: Lakeview Press, J. C. Clark Printing Co., 1888, p. 57.
-Address by Lt. Edward M. Knox, Dedication of Monument to the 15th New York Battery, New York at Gettysburg, III:1328.
-History of Battery G, First Regiment New York Light Artillery, by Capt. Nelson Ames, Marshalltown, IA: Marshall Printing Company, 1900, p. 72.
-Fighting for the Confederacy, The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander, ed. by Gary W. Gallagher, Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989, p. 240; Official Report of Col. E. P. Alexander.
-An Interview with W. M. Abernathy, The Democrat, October 5, 1899, McKinney Texas, cited in, Lone Star Valor: Texans of the Blue and Gray at Gettysburg, by Joe Owen, GettysburgPublishing.com, 2019.
-Report of Captain William Watts Parker, Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, ed. by Janet B. Hewett, Noah Andre Trudeau and Bryce A. Suderow, Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Company, 1995, vol. 27, serial nos. 43-44, p. 367.
-Address of Col. John A. Danks, September 11, 1889, Dedication of Monument to the 63rd Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, I:387.
-Third Maine Regiment, Maine at Gettysburg, p. 130.
-History of the Twelfth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, by Capt. A. W. Bartlett, Concord, NH: Ira C. Evans, Printer, 1897, p. 121.
 

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neyankee61

Private
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
"About 4PM the regiment (5th NJ) was ordered to relieve another regiment (63rd PA) in support of Battery K (Capt Seeley) Fourth US Artillery which was in position near the Emmitsburg road, just south of the apple orchard." Capt Henry H Woolsey 5th NJ report
 
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Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
"About 4PM the regiment (5th NJ) was ordered to relieve another regiment (63rd PA) in support of Battery K (Capt Seeley) Fourth US Artillery which was in position near the Emmitsburg road, just south of the apple orchard." Capt Henry H Woolsey 5th NJ report
I will show this event as occurring at 5 p.m. Three sources from 63rd Pennsylvania have them being relieved at 5 p.m., about 5 p.m., or at 5:30 p.m. Plus New Jersey at Gettysburg states that 5th New Jersey became actively engaged about 5 p.m. So I went with the general consensus of 5 p.m.
 

neyankee61

Private
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Col Sewell of the 5th wrote an addition to Woolsey's report and explained it a little better. I quoted Woolsey because he located Seeley's battery in his report.
 

RobertP

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Location
Dallas
We were supporting Moody’s battery and it lost so many men that volunteers were called for [by Sergeant Major Charles C. Cummings of the 17th Mississippi] to help them man their guns. … Lundy Gunn, a brawny sergeant of Company A [responded]. Well before Cummings ceased speaking a dozen were running to the guns” – Private William M. Abernathy, Company B, 17th Mississippi.
Very interesting! My g-g grandfather was in the same company as Wm. Abernathy and was also present at Gettysburg. I found this about Pvt. Abernathy:

8BEC8F5D-0650-4B9A-85F0-5E7BCE57BD9C.jpeg

After the war he moved to McKinney,TX, not far from me and established a law firm which is still active and one of the largest in the county.
 
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