|Unit History Project|
The Guns that Got There
Mud, according to Napoleon, is the fifth important element in war. Here we see the guns of Pettit's Battery, Company B, First New York Artillery, which had just conquered in a contest with mud. On the night of May 30th the swollen Chickahominy had swept away most of the recently constructed bridges. Some of the Federal Artillery had managed to get across, but the soil was so water-soaked that it was almost impossible to move the guns which were needed for the battle of the two following days. During the night of May 31st Pettit's command dragged their guns through the mud up from the river to Richardson's division on the right of the Federal line near the railroad; caisson and gun carriage had sunk to the very hubs, as their condition shows. Of all the artillery that had been ordered up these were the only guns able to answer at the dawn of June 1st.
Taken from Photographic History of the Civil War Volume I The Opening Battles, Francis Trevelyan Miller, editor-in-chief. New York: the Trow Press, 1911, page 280.
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military