Capt. James Thompson

Note: This report is printed in Vol. 51, Serial 107, of the Official Records. The introduction to this supplemental volume states: This volume contains documents discovered too late to be included where they belong. They supplement a number of other volumes, and contain material from Big Bethel (June 10, 1861) through Bull Run, various operations in Virginia in 1861 and 1862 into Maryland in 1862.

Report of Captain James Thompson, Independent Battery, Light Pennsylvania Artillery.

Cedar Creek, Va. August 9, 1862.    

       Sir:–– Having arrived upon the gourd at dark and when near the wood thru’ which the road passes, I found the road blocked by troops and ordered to wheel to the right by Gen. McDowell and not having further instructions, I halted the battery until I was assigned a position on an open piece of ground between two patches of woods. Shortly afterward was ordered to another position by Major Tillson, Chief of Artillery, and when moving in the direction indicated I was fired upon by the enemy with canister, when I immediately came into action to the right and fired shell, as I could not use canister on account of the division having formed into line between the enemy and my battery; also I judged the distance (600 yards) too great. After firing a few rounds I found that as there was a rise in the ground between the enemy’s and my batteries, which prevented my Parrott guns from reaching them, I directed shell to be fired into the wood where I supposed the enemy’s support to be, and continued to reply to the enemy’s battery with my two 12-pounder Howitzers which, in a short time silenced them and caused them to leave behind one caisson, many dead horses and two dead officers.

       In consequence of the knoll between us I suffered no loss as their rifled Guns could not reach me from the same cause that prevented my Parrots from reaching them. But the Howitzer’s fire to them was close and terribly destructive.

       Casualties none.

                                                (Same place) August 12, 1862
       Advanced with General Buford’s cavalry brigade to Robinsons River and skirmished with the enemy, driving off his cavalry which had drawn up into line of battle.

       All of which is most respectfully submitted.

Captain, Commanding Independent Battery Pennsylvania Volunteers.

       General RICKETTS.
                Commanding Second division, Third Army Corps, Army of Virginia.

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