Report of Lt. J.R. Myrick
Third U.S. Artillery,
engagement at Olustee, Florida
HILTON HEAD, S.C., February 24, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report to the general commanding that, pursuant to directions received from Capt. John Hamilton, Third U. S. Artillery, as he was about leaving the field near Olustee, on the 20th instant, wounded, I endeavored (Lieutenants Eddy and Dodge, Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, having left the field, wounded) to withdraw the four pieces of Light Company E, Third U.S. Artillery, which had been placed on the left and in advance of Captain Elder's battery of the First U.S. Artillery. I succeeded in getting two pieces with caissons to the rear (some of the horses of the remaining two
pieces were already lying dead in harness), and as soon as cut loose the limbers were brought near their pieces, but to no purpose, as from the well-directed fire of the enemy, which was concentrated upon us (the Eighth U.S. Colored , which was the only regiment near the battery, having withdrawn), horses, drivers, and cannoneers fell either dead or wounded in one pile across the trails of the pieces. I received at the same time a wound in my foot, my horse wounded five times and left upon the field.
I would here call the attention of the commanding general to the behavior of Corpl. A. Barnard, who, after gallantly fighting his piece, fell dead while endeavoring to get it away.
Finding the horses and men belonging to the two pieces either killed or wounded, I withdrew from the position myself, the whole line at the time
retiring, the Eighth U.S. Colored having previously done so, and Elder's battery, as well as Colonel Henry's regiment, in the act. I am confident that had I old men in the place of the attached Enfans Perdus (who took the opportunity to go to the rear when the first two pieces were sent off) I could have got the pieces away. I can pay no higher tribute of praise to those old soldiers of the battery than to say that they stood by me in my endeavors to save the guns until they were either killed or wounded. When I retired I found Elder's battery had occupied a new position, and the remaining section of Light Company E, Third U.S. Artillery, under Lieutenant Irwin, Third Rhode Island Volunteer Heavy Artillery, attached for duty, who was fighting it nobly, on Elder's left. I changed the position of the section to the right flank to avoid a marsh in rear of the left, and continued retiring in line with Elder's battery until nearly dark, when my wound compelled me to again turn over the section to Lieutenant Irwin and go to the rear.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. R. MYRICK,
First Lieutenant, Third Artillery.
Capt. P. R. CHADWICK,
Copied from The Official Records of the War of Rebellion.
The following mini-biography of Lieutenant (later Brigadier General) John Myrick is provided courtesy of Steven Glazer from his book, Discover Your Community's Civil War Heritage (Longstreet House, Hightstown, NJ, 2010). The entire work is available for purchase at www.njcivilwar.org.
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