|Unit History Project|
34th Independent Battery
Hd. Qrs. 34 NY Ind. Battery
Remarks and explanation of gallantry services rendered by men of the above command
Hd. Qrs. 1st Div A.C. A.P.
(signed) O. B. Wilcox
Head Quarters 34 Indpt Battery Vet. Vols.
Asst. Adjt. Genl.
I have the honor in accordance with Special Orders – No 364 – Hd. In Army of the Potomac Dec 23rd 1864 that a statement is requested in cases when “gallantry services” have been rendered.
In making my remarks I stated the facts as they occurred in the different “fields of action.” This command was mustered into the U.S. Service as a light battery by order from War Dept. July 25/61 and consolidate with the 2nd N.Y. Artillery - Marched from Washington D.C. May 29 ‘62. First Battle Cedar Mountain Aug 7th ‘62 Rappahannock Station Sulphur Springs Waterloo Bridge Gainsville Battle Manassas Aug 29th and 30th ‘62 - Point of Rocks v South Mountain Md. Fredericksburg Va Dec 11 ‘62.
The 9th Army Corps were sent to New Port, News Va July 1863 from there to Kentucky – July 3rd 1863 Ordered to Vicksburg July 4th ‘63 taking of Vicksburg - July 17th taking of Jackson Heights – August 9th Ordered to Kentucky – Sept 1 Ordered to “Tennessee” – Oct 14th Blue Springs – Nov 13th ‘63 Second Station A desperate “Charge” was made on the “Light Batty L” 2nd NY as ? with no loss to us.
The pelnat? to Campbell Station on the morning of Nov 16th ‘63 where Lieut Tho’s Heasley with “one section” brought up the “rear” with Col. Humphries Brigade 9 Army Corps. Gen Sengs Valentine Rossbach and Sengs John G Starkins distinguished themselves most gallantly by bringing their pieces off the “field” without losing a man ordering the “cannoniers” to lie down and load and fire to repel the enemy so as to gain time to get their pieces under cover. “Yet” while lying down “loaded fired” “limbered up” and brought the pieces off in safety. At the Battle of Campbell Station they also behaved with much gallantry.
The “pelnat?” to Knoxville the same night - the siege of Knoxville – the “charge” on Fort Samilen? by Longstreet on the morning of Nov 29th ‘63 at 5 ½ A.M. (Sec Special Order of the Comug? – No 72 – Dec 1st ‘63 Knoxville “Tenn”) here Sengs Valentine Rossbach and Sengs John H. Starkins have ?lized themselves again.
The campaign in Virginia at the Wilderness – May 12th ‘64 at Spotsylvania – morning foggy – the enemy had planted “6 pieces” of Artillery on our “Left flank” and 4 in my immediate “front” – I had already sent 2 of my 6 pieces to our center so I had but 4 pieces to contend with the enemy 10 pieces which they used most effectively as soon as the “fog” cleared up on my 4 pieces and my “support” to drive us off if possible.
I ordered 2 pieces to take care of our “front” and the “Left section” to take care of the 6 pieces on “our Left.” The Lieut Com’g the “Left section” reported its condition “hopeless.” I immediately rode up to the Beverly House to ascertain the facts. I asked them one and all Boys “is that so” that you cannot hold your “position?” this will be the first time that “All Battery L” (now the 34 NY Indpt Battery) “give in” on the battle field. I cannot be so you have been on too many “hot places” and you must stand this “10 minutes” longer and the day is yours.
I have found that Sengs Rossbuch and Sturkins encouraged their “cannoniers” to their utmost “saying” “no stain shall be left on the 34th we’ll drive the “Rebs” yell from their position and after 7 minutes with a most accounted and well directed fire such as is seldom seen and the position was now the best but no time could be spared all depended on several good shots which were sent with effects from Sengs Rossbuch’s “piece” the cannoniers mostly on their knees when some 30 shots were fire and No 1 loaded him into the muzzle of the gun while lying on his back as no man could live to stand up and do his work. The enemys [sic] fire suddenly ceased and their guns hauled back under shelter. Also the “right section” silenced the enemys [sic] 4 guns at the Court House which relived our ontical? Position. I reported to Genl Wilcox my success.
At this time the “battle” raged most furiously ? our “right and center.” The Genl had already sent for my 4 pieces and to leave 1 section of Wrights 14 Mass to hold the ground in my absence. I immediately started ahead of the Battery with my “Bugler” to see what “position” I could take before the Battery could move. In looking for the Chief of Artillery I met Genl Burnside who said that Capt Roemer was able to select a position for himself. I had already made my selection position and only wanted to know if the Chief of Artillery had the same opinion.
I ordered the 4 pieces to a hill nearly on the “right flank” of the 9th A. C. and for my Bugler to conduct them to the place. Here I had to pass a “ravine” when the enemy could “enfilade” them. In the meantime as the Battery passed through the “ravine” I could have a chance to look after my “1st Section” of which I had no information since morning. I found that “all right” and doing well. I galloped back to my 4 pieces. I met them as they were passing the “defile?” and my brave Bugler Casper Steinberg at their head and amid the shot and shell he encouraged and facilitated the crossing of a small “brook” (to gain the selected position I had pointed out to him for the 4 pieces to occupy) with the greatest coolness of mind. He is a brave boy. I have given him a good ? this summer as I generally selected him night or day to go with me selecting positions to and I have seldom found Casper Steinberg equal in courage. He has been of good service to me during this campaign. His never flinching offen [sic] convinced me when I asked “him of a night” if he accompany me on a very dangerous expedition. (the laying out of the first woods before Petersburg) on the night of June 16th ‘64 and on many other occasions after that night of a similar nature.
I also cannot pass over the great services of Corporal James O. Cornell in the art of “gunnery” as gunner on the first piece. He rendered great services through the Wilderness Spotsylvania North Anna Cold Harbor and the 17th of June before Petersburg Va. At about 6 P.M. the enemys [sic] fire pressing on my command I discovered they had some caissons near the edge of the woods I directed this Experienced and Expert “gunner” to send a fire “percussion shell into them.” With the third shell he succeeded with his keen and seldom failing eyes to explode one of the caissons which brought forth a “huzza” from our entire line for the 34th NY. Fifteen minutes afterwards and the caisson “went up” from the same place from his gun. The enemy immediately slackened their fire and withdrew. Corpl. James O. Cornell has rendered valuable service since and is now a Sengt.
Corpl Carl Sudurg? Decatur Fuller + Patrick Kiernan have shown themselves worthy of the Genl notice on the 18th of June while the “charge” was made after 1 P.M. On that day I had 10 pieces in position in the woods and “masked” as soon as 1 P.M. The first gun was the signal from the Genl ? 3rd Div 9th A. C. to attack the ? ? ? unmasked and the Genl seemed to be pleased with the manner and asked me if it were possible to shove a piece of artillery out on a certain eminence in front of us. I stepped to ? it. Knowing that no horse could live under such a fire I therefore ordered Cpt Allen and 12 men of the 24th NY Calvary (who been detailed with 30 men to assist in maneuvering any part of my Command) by him the piece was run out. But by the time I had the piece “unlimbered” I found it impossible for the men to work the piece in its position several men fell as once. The horses were immediately unhitched and went to the rear. Seeing that my new position was very pleasant I ordered them to seek shelter about 300 yards “ahead” and to the “right” behind a barn – which was effected under such circumstances as are seldom known. “Sponge buckets” “grease buckets and other articles were used by the brave boys to shield their heads in one hand while with the other they favored the piece. Cpt Allen showed good courage in using his men in bringing this piece under shelter. I saw as once by bringing this piece so far forward that I would be enabled to “enfilade” the enemys [sic] line on the Norfolk R. R. just to our right which they had taken possession of as a shelter in their haste. Coprl Carl Sudwig “gunner” of this piece Patrick Kiernan No. 1 Decatur Fuller No 2 are now commanded to the Genl Con’y of the Army of the Potomac for gallantry services performed on this occasion Cpt Allen lost 6 men killed and wounded I lost 2 slightly wounded but a much greater loss was inflicted upon the enemy from this single piece of Artillery. – Sengs Valentine Rossbuch Sengs John H Sturkins Albert Townsend Patrick Kiernan done nobly on the 30th Sept when this command had been sent into the engagement near the Pegnum House Va It was only by our bravery and soldierly conduct of Liuet Thomas Beasley (who Commanded the Battery on that day) and his brave officers and men that that the Battery was saved as all the “supports” had all given away and Alberton? send acting No 1 with sponge in hand tried to “save” all he could of the support to stand by the Battery. And great praise is due to Lieut Tho’ Beasley Lieut Alonzo Gametson 1st Sengs John J Johnston Sengs Rossbuch Sengs Sturkins Albert Townsend Patrick Kiernan and the “Guidon” “Carrier” Richard Beddows who had by shell bursting near his horse he lost all power over the furious animal lost his “Guidon” in the struggle with the horse but when he found that it was impossible for him to regain his “Guidon” on his horse he sprang off his horse and ran back and brought his “Guidon” off in safety under a heavy fire of musketry which his horse so stubbornly refused to face.
With the above remarks Genl I have the honor to transmit the names of some of my bravest Veteran Volunteer Soldiers as the Genl Comd’g can desire to have under his Command.
Asst. Adjt. Genl
I am very respectfully
Jacob Raemen Brv Major
Head Quarters 34 NY Indpt V. V. Batty
I have the honor to state thus the forgoing “remarks” embrace the names (as they appear below) and worthy of the Genl Com’g the Army of the Potomac. I therefore recommend this for his consideration.
Signed, Jacob Raemen Brvt Major
Asst. Adjt Genl.
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military