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1865

[From My Dear Wife by Frank Putnam Deane II, Pioneer Press, 1964]

During the last week in December, Major Bigelow ( he had on August 1, 1864, been promoted to the rank of Brevet Major, U.S. Volunteers) had resigned his command of the battery and Lieutenant Richard S. Milton was promoted to the command, his Captain's commission being dated January 1, 1865

For the first month in the new year, the battery remained inactive at Fort Rice, but on the 5th of February it was sent on an expedition to Dabney's Mill on Hatcher's Run, where it was to view the army in action for the next two days, but not take part. On the 7th it returned to Fort Rice, remaining there until March 25th when it was ordered to join the Artillery Brigade of the Ninth Corps, commanded, by Major Charles A. Phillips, former commander of the 5th Massachusetts Battery. On the same day it was ordered up and shared in the assault against Fort Stedman, without loss.

Upon evacuation of Petersburg by the confederates, the battery on the 3rd, after turning in two of its guns, marched through the desolate city and joined in the pursuit of Lee's retreating army. On the 5th it reached Nottoway Court House where it was ordered to remain. It stayed in this vicinity until April 20th when it was ordered to City Point, arriving there April 23.

On the 3rd of May, Captain Milton headed his battery on its northward journey, passing over many of the hard-fought battlefield of the previous four years, and reaching the defenses of Washington on the 13th.

The Grand Review of the victorious army was held on May 23rd (Sherman's army was to march the next day) and the gallant little battery joined in the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. Six days after the review, the battery was ordered to turn in its guns and equipment--the end was now in sight for the battle-weary men. The men entrained for Boston on June 1st, arrived there two days later and immediately marched through the city (where little notice was given it because of its unexpected arrival) to Galloup's Island in Boston Harbour. There on June 6th it was mustered out of the service of the United States, being discharged three days later.

The battery had lost during its service two of its officers, and thirteen of its enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and four additional enlisted men had died of disease, a total of nineteen men.