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  • Albumen of Lieutenant Malbone F. Watson, US Army Batty I 5th Light Artillery

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    Albumen of Lieutenant Malbone F. Watson, US Army Batty I 5th Light Artillery - Wounded 7/2/1863 Gettysburg, PA -Severe wound in right leg, amputated.  Nicely framed, frame measures 16 3/8" x 13 1/4". 

    Before the Antietam Campaign:  Enrolled as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy on July 1, 1856.  After graduating from West Point on May 6, 1861, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, 1st US Cavalry 6 May, and transferred to the 5th US Artillery as First Lieutenant less than a week later. He was brevetted for bravery at Gaines Mill, VA in June 1862.

    Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861-66: in drilling Volunteers at Washington, D.C., May-July, 1861: in Recruiting and Organizing Company at Harrisburg, PA, July, 1861, to March 1862, in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign (Army of the Potomac), March - August, 1862, being engaged in the Siege of Yorktown, April 5 -May 4th, 1862, - Battle of Gaines Mill, June 27, 1862, - and Battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862; in the North Mill, June 27, 1862, - and Battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862: in the Northern Virginia Campaign, August - September, 1862, being engaged in the Battle of Manassas, August 29-30, 1862; in the Maryland Campaign (Army of the Potomac), September - November, 1862, being engaged in the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.  In the Antietam Campaign: Commanded a section of guns in Maryland.  March to Falmouth, Virginia, October - November, 1862; in the Rappahannock Campaign, commanding Battery (Army of the Potomac), December, 1862,  - and Battle of Chancellorsville, May 2-4, 1863; in command of Battery (Army of the Potomac), in the Pennsylvania Campaign, June-July, 1863, being engaged in the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, where he was severely wounded, losing his right leg.  Brevetted Major, July 2, 1863 for gallant and meritorious services at the Battle of Gettysburg.  On sick leave of absence, disabled by wound, July 3 to November 19, 1863; at the Military Academy as Assistant Professor of French, December 9 , 1863.  He remained in service through the War.

    After the War: He continued in Regular Army service, and was promoted to Captain on 9 March 1866. He retired on 18 September 1868.

    Malbone Francis Watson-

    Residence was not listed;

    Enlisted on 5/6/1861 as a 2nd Lieutenant.

    On 5/6/1861 he was commissioned into US Army 1st Cavalry

    He was discharged for promotion on 5/14/1861

    On 5/14/1861 he was commissioned into US Army Batty I 5th Light Artillery

    (Date and method of discharge not given)

     (Subsequent service in US Army until retiring 09/18/1868)

    He was listed as:

    * Wounded 7/2/1863 Gettysburg, PA (Severe wound in right leg, amputated)


    * 1st Lieut 5/14/1861

    * Capt 6/27/1862 by Brevet (Gaines' Mill, VA)

    * Major 7/2/1863 by Brevet (Gettysburg, PA)

    Other Information:

    Born in New York

    Died 12/9/1891

    (Graduate USMA 05/06/1861.  Died at age 56 years)

    United States Regular Army BATTERY "I" 5th ARTILLERY.

    Organized September, 1861. Attached to Artillery Reserve, Army Potomac, to May, 1862.

    Artillery, 2nd Division, 5th Army Corps, Army Potomac, to May, 1863. Artillery Brigade,

    5th Army Corps, to July, 1863. Camp Barry, Washington, D. C., 22nd Army Corps, to

    November, 1863. (Consolidated with Battery "C" November, 1863.) Artillery Brigade,

    2nd Army Corps, Army Potomac, to March, 1865. Artillery Reserve, Army Potomac, to

    June, 1866. Dept. of Washington.

    SERVICE.-Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D. C., till March, 1862. Ordered to the Virginia Peninsula. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. Near New Bridge June 20.

    Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Mechanicsville June 26. Gaines' Mill June 27.

    Turkey Bend June 30. Malvern Hill July 1. Movement from Harrison's Landing to Centreville August 16-28. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 28-September 2.

    Battles of Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30. Maryland Campaign September 6-22.

    Battle of Antietam September 16-17. Shepherdstown Ford September 19. Shepherdstown September 20. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6.

    Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11- July 24. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. At Camp Barry, Washington, D. C., till December, 1863. Consolidated with Battery "C" November, 1863. Rapidan Campaign

    May 4-June 12. Battles of the Wilderness May 57; Spottsylvania Court House May 8-21; Po River May 10. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 22-26. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Assaults on. Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Jerusalem Plank Road June 22, 1864. Deep Bottom July 27-29. Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. Fort Stedman March 25, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assaults on and fall of Petersburg April 2. Moved to Washington, D. C., May. Grand Review May 23. Duty at Washington, D. C.

    Antietam after battle report:

    Report of Capt. Stephen H. Weed, Battery I, Fifth U.S. Artillery, of the battle of Antietam, skirmish at Blackford's or Boteler's Ford, and action near Shepherdstown.


    SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the services of my battery since the 15th instant:

    On the evening of that date one section, under command of Lieut. Watson, was in position to dislodge the advance skirmishers of the enemy from the corn-field and wood on the height occupied by us the next morning. On the 16th the battery was planted on a prominent height near the center of our line, where it remained until the morning of the 19th. Four 20-pounder Parrott guns, commanded by Lieut. Wever, were also placed under my orders by the chief of artillery, and remained until I left. Some good practice was made by those guns. On the 16th and during the battle of the 17th the batteries under my command had several opportunities, which were improved, of opening with effect upon the artillery and infantry of the enemy at ranges varying from 1,200 to 2,500 yards. Nothing but case-shot was at any time fired from my own guns.

    On the 19th my battery was in position near the ford, and engaged and silenced at least four guns opposed to it. It is believed that one or two of these guns were abandoned by the enemy and taken by some of our people the next day. It is a matter of slight consequence perhaps, that they are claimed by others, but no battery fought them except my own.

    On the 20th my guns commanded the opposite approaches to the ford, and assisted to check the enemy in his attack upon our troops who had crossed. I had a considerable body of his infantry under my fire for several minutes at a distance of not more than 1,000 yards. The fire was effective. Since the morning of the 20th I have held the same position, but have had no occasion to fire a shot.

    On the 19th I remounted a 10-pounder Parrott gun which had been abandoned, and have since sent it to the general commanding the corps.  Since the 15th instant my battery had fired about 1,000 rounds, but it is believed it has not wasted ammunition. My officers and men have behaved as usual--well.

    I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    STEPHEN H. WEDD, Capt. Fifth U.S. Artillery, Commanding Battery I.

    Lieut. HEYWARD CUTTING, Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Sykes' Division.

    Chancellorsville, VA after battle report:

    No. 199.

    Report of Lieut. Malbone F. Watson, Battery I, Fifth U. S. Artillery.

    CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., May 7, 1863.

    SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by Battery I, Fifth Artillery, losses, &c., in the late actions with the enemy between April 27 and May 6:

    The battery left camp near Falmouth on the 27th; marched to Hartwood, and encamped for the night. Next day reached Kelly's Mills.

    Marched on the 29th to the Rapidan, at Ely's Ford; crossed on the 30th, and marched to Chancellorsville, and encamped for the night.

    Moved out on May 1, with the division, on the old Richmond pike, and took position. After firing one or two shots, I was ordered farther to the front, and was there engaged with the enemy for about an hour. In this action, 1 limber was destroyed by a shot from the enemy, 2 men slightly wounded, 1 horse killed and 4 wounded. After the action, the battery retired, with the division, and took up a position near the Chancellor house, remaining until the morning of the 2d, when it was ordered to fall back on the road to the ford, and bivouacked in a field about 1 1/2 miles in the rear.

    Sunday morning, went into position again, and was engaged in repulsing the enemy's attack on that day. Was again engaged on Monday.  Tuesday night, received orders to return to camp near Falmouth, and reached here about noon on Wednesday.

    On Sunday, the 3d, 2 men of the battery were slightly wounded. One bugler, serving as orderly to Capt. Weed, Fifth Artillery, was wounded slightly in the hand.

    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    M. F. WATSON, First Lieut. Fifth Artillery, Cmdg. Battery I.

    Capt. S. H. WEED, Cmdg. Artillery, Fifth Army Corps.

    Report of Lieut. James Gilliss, Batteries C and I, Fifth U. S. Artillery.


    SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of this battery from the commencement of this campaign to the present time: Left camp near Stevensburg May 3, and marched 5 miles, when I was ordered to halt and wait for the Second Division. At 3 a.m. May 4 again started and crossed Ely's Ford, and from there went to Chancellorsville. Took position at 4 p.m. May 4 on plank road half a mile south of Chancellor's house. Left Chancellorsville May 5, and marched with Gibbon's division to Todd's Tavern, distance 8 miles.  From there went to Wilderness battle-field, and took position at dark the same day in rear of Second Division.

    May 6.--Changed position to Brock road line of breast-works, in the angle, on the left of Gen. Barlow's division.

    May 7.--In the same position as the day before.

    May 8.--Marched with Gibbon's division; marched 10 miles on Brock road in direction of Spotsylvania Court-House.

    May 9.--Marched back 2 miles, and took position at 10 a.m.; again moved forward and took position near Po River. At 6 p.m. crossed Po River and took position on south bank, facing east.

    May 10.--Fired about 60 rounds at the enemy's line at a distance of 1,500 yards during attack of the Fifth Corps. Gibbon's division having crossed back, I was left under the command of Gen. Barlow, who ordered me at 1 p.m. to fall back across the river. Took position on north bank at 4 p.m., by order of Col. Tidball, and fired about 300 rounds at enemy's troops on the other side of the Po River. During this engagement lost 1 man and 1 horse wounded.

    May 11.--Started at 9 p.m. and marched to Spotsylvania Heights, reaching there at daylight.

    May 12.--After to Second Corps had advanced and taken the enemy's line of works, I was ordered by Col. Tidball to follow some of the Sixth Corps troops and take a position which Col. Tompkins, chief of artillery, Sixth Corps, would show me. I applied to the latter for a staff to accompany me to indicate the spot but he could only furnish an orderly. I moved forward about three-fourths of a mile and there found that the orderly knew nothing about the place he was to show me. I went in battery in a spot which partially answered to Col. Tompkins' description and fired solid shot over the woods by his order, to carry 1,000 yards. I could not see the effect of the firing, consequently objected very much to wasting ammunition. I received three messages from Col. Upton, commanding a brigade in the Sixth Corps, to advance a section some 300 yards to a position on the right of his brigade. I could not find any one to obtain authority from, and knowing that I was sent up to support the Sixth Corps, and that it was a matter which would not admit of delay, I assumed the responsibility of sending a section, and detached Lieut. Metcalf for the purpose. I submit herewith his report. Shortly afterward I received a slight but painful wound on the left leg, which compelled me to leave the field. Lieut. Beck was left in command, and he reports that he withdrew three guns of the battery about 2 p.m. on account of the ammunition being nearly expended, pointing rings being broken off, and the men completely exhausted from handling guns in the heavy mud caused by the rain which had been falling for several hours. He kept the remaining gun in position until he had expended the remainder of his ammunition and then withdrew that. During this engagement the battery had 1 man killed, 1 officer, slightly, and 15 men wounded, 9 horses killed and 6 wounded.

    May 13.--In position at Landrum's house. May 14.--Moved to right and took position half a mile to right of Landrum's house.

    May 15.--Marched at 1 a.m. and crossed Ny River to turnpike road from Fredericksburg to Spotsylvania Court-House, distance 4 miles.

    May 16.--In camp.

    May 17.--Marched 3 miles to left and at dark moved back again.

    May 18.--Took position on extreme right and in rear of Landrum's house. At 1 p.m. withdrew and camped in rear and to right of Gen.  Meade's headquarters.

    May 19.--Moved 1 mile to the left and in rear of the Sixth Corps and camped.

    May 20.--Moved at 11 p.m. with Gibbon's division to Milford Station, distance 19 miles.

    May 21.--Crossed Mattapony River at 3 p.m. and took position 2 miles from the river; distance marched, 2 1/2 miles.

    May 22.--Sent out a section, under Lieut. Beck on a reconnaissance with Col. Smyth's brigade, of Second Division. A few show were fired but no casualties.

    May 23.--Marched to North Anna River, distance 10 miles.

    May 24.--Reported to Gen. Birney and was sent by him across the  North Anna River, and went in position in a rebel work on worth side of bridge.

    May 25.--In same position as on the day before.

    May 26.--Recrossed the river at 8 p.m. and took position on opposite bank to cover the recrossing of the infantry.

    May 27.--Started at daylight with Birney's division and marched in direction of Pamunkey River 18 miles.

    May 28.--After marching all night reached Pamunkey River at 11 a.m., crossed, and took position with Birney's division at 6 p.m.

    May 29.--Moved at 4 p.m. 5 miles to Shelton' house and took position in rear of it.

    May 30.--In same position.

    May 31.--At 1 a.m. changed position to bank of Totopotomoy Creek with Gen. Mott's brigade. Enemy's works about 300 yards in front; fired about 400 rounds and had 1 man wounded. At 6 p.m. changed position to Shelton's house.

    June 1.--Changed position to extreme right of Birney's division. At 7 p.m. relieved, and at 10 p.m. marched to the left.

    June 2.--Arrived at Cold Harbor at 10 a.m. Remained in reserve with Birney's division.

    June 3.--Marched with Birney's division to the right, and at 6 p.m. was ordered to come back to the headquarters corps and report to chief of artillery.

    June 4,5, and 6.--In camp.

    June 7.--Ordered to report to Maj.-Gen. Birney. Moved 2 miles to Barker's Mill and took position.

    June 8.--Same position. Engaged a rifled battery of the enemy with solid shot at 1,900 yards. It ceased firing after I had fired about 50 rounds.  One man badly disabled by a premature explosion; no other damage done.

    June 9, 10, and 11.--In same position.*

    I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    JAMES GILLISS, First Lieut., Fifth U. S. Arty., Cmdg. Batteries C and I.

    Lieut. U. D. EDDY,  Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

    Report of Lieut. James Gilliss, Batteries C and I,  Fifth U. S. Artillery, of operations June 12-30.


    July 1, 1864.


    June 12, changed position a short distance to right and fired eight rounds. Started at 11 p. m. toward James River.

    June 13, arrived at James River with Gen. Birney's [division] at 5 p.m.

    June 14, commenced to cross James River at 4 p. m.

    June 15, finished crossing at daylight; marched toward Petersburg.

    June 16, went into position in rebel work on road from Prince George Court-House to Petersburg; fired about 100 rounds.

    June 17, same position.

    June 18, advanced at daylight 500 yards and relieved Sleeper's (Tenth Massachusetts) battery; fired at intervals during the day.

    June 19, in same position; fired at daylight just before our lines advanced.

    June 20, in same position.

    June 21, moved at 8 a. m. across Norfolk railroad and camped at dark near Jones' house; distance, four miles.

    June 22, about 2 p. m. was ordered by Gen. Mott, commanding Third Division, to take position on his line, just after Barlow's division had been surprised. Had an engagement with a rebel battery at 300 yards' distance, but drove it away after firing about fifty rounds. During a part of the time the enemy fired canister, but did me no damage except to disable a wheel.

    June 23 to 27, in same position.

    June 28, relieved by Clark's (New Jersey) battery at daylight, and camped in neighborhood of Jones' house.

    June 29 and 30, in camp.

    The number of rounds of ammunition fired is not known exactly, as I have not yet received invoices of it from the ordnance officer. 

    Below is a list of casualties: Killed, 1 enlisted man; wounded, 1 commissioned officer and 17 enlisted men; aggregate, 19.

    The officers and men of my command have acquitted themselves during this tedious campaign in a manner highly satisfactory to me, and I take great pleasure in mentioning it. I cannot omit to notice the gallantry shown by Lieut. Metcalf on the 12th of May in his endeavors to withdraw his guns from under the heavy fire of the enemy. Twice he tried with horses, but failing each time he managed to draw them by hand out of the range of the musketry. He deserves special mention.

    I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    JAMES GILLISS, First Lieut., Fifth U. S. Artillery, Cmdg. Batteries C and I.

    Lieut. U. D. EDDY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

    Report of Lieut. W. Butler Beck, Fifth U. S. Artillery, commanding Batteries C and I, of operations August 12-27 and October 25-27.

    Inventory Number: CDV 281