Battle of Pea
Report of Capt. Mortimer M. Hayden, Third Independent Battery Iowa Light Artillery.
HEADQUARTERS HAYDEN'S BATTERY,
COLONEL: Herewith please find statement of the part taken by this command in the action of the 7th and 8th instant:
Pursuant to your order I sent forward one section of the battery, in charge of Lieut. M. C. Wright, who took position in the road directly in front of and under a heavy fire from the enemy's battery. Lieuts. W. H. McClure and J. Bradley, with their respective sections, were ordered forward to engage the enemy on the right and left of the first section. Supported by the Ninth Iowa Infantry, we held this position until the rebel guns had disabled ten pieces and killed and wounded many of both men and horses. The engagement now became general along the whole line with both artillery and infantry. The enemy's fire becoming too severe, we withdrew, leaving behind our disabled limber and several killed and wounded horses. We then took position about 300 yards in rear of the point where our fire was first opened, remaining there until near evening (having held the enemy in check during the entire day), at which time the whole division fell back to a large open field, where it halted during the night. Here the enemy pursued, but being vigorously engaged by our artillery and infantry, were driven back with severe loss. During the engagement we attempted to plant the pieces of the battery upon a commanding eminence, but failed in the endeavor, an immense force of the enemy's infantry charging upon us, carrying away one of my guns, and killing and wounding 2 of my own and several of the battery horses.
On the morning of the 8th we took position on the enemy's left, unsupported by either infantry or cavalry, opening fire on the slope where our guns were captured the day previous. Shortly afterwards the enemy opened upon us from a battery in our front, to which we then turned our fire, silencing his guns and driving him from the field. Our loss is 2 men killed and 17 wounded. We lost 23 horses killed and 3 disabled. Three of our guns and one limber were captured by the enemy.
I desire to make mention of the coolness and bravery of the whole command during the entire engagement, especially of Lieutenants Wright and Bradley, who, fearless of all personal danger, met the enemy with a spirit worthy the highest commendation, and cannot overlook the efficient services rendered by Sergeants House, Harkins, and Weaver, alike of Corporals Martin, Guilford, Goldthorp, and Rowles. The latter, while spiking the last gun left upon the field, was severely wounded in both legs.
I am, colonel, respectfully,
M. M. HAYDEN,
Col. WILLIAM VANDEVER,
Commanding Second Brigade, Fourth Division.
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