HDQRS. LIGHT Co. C, THIRD RHODE ISLAND ARTY.,
SIR: I have the honor to report, in compliance with instructions from
headquarters District of Florida, Department of the South, the part my
command, a section of Light Company C, Third Rhode Island Artillery, took at
the battle of Olustee, February 20, 1864.
I arrived at the battle-field at 3 p.m., and was immediately ordered into
position on the left of Light Company M, First U.S. Artillery. My position was
then changed to the left, bringing my section on the extreme left. I
immediately opened on the enemy's cavalry with 3 1/2 and 4 second shells, with
an occasional round of canister at their infantry in front. The enemy were
within 50 yards of my guns and advancing and my gunners and horses falling
rapidly, when I received a suggestion from Captain Elder, Light Company B,
First U.S. Artillery, to retire. One of my pieces was sent to the rear to act
as reserve with the caissons, all the horses and gunners being disabled and
killed. During the rest of the action I received my orders from Captain Elder,
Light Company B, First U. S. Artillery. My last charge was double canister at
160 yards, and I then received orders to retreat.
My men behaved so well that it would be impossible to notice any individual
case of gallantry. My loss was 6 men wounded. 1 man killed, and 7 horses
disabled and killed, being in action nearly four hours.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Jacksonville, Fla., March 7, 1864.
HENRY H. METCALF,
First Lieutenant Co. C, Third Rhode Island Artillery.
Capt. L. L. LANGDON,
Chief of Artillery, District of Florida.
Photograph of Lt. Henry H. Metcalf
Copied from The Official Records of the War of Rebellion.
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