Friday, March 9, 2012
Fratricide: “This irrepressible battery ...”
The 4th New York Battery of Gen. Joseph (“Fighting Joe”) Hooker’s Division, III Corps, had fought well enough at the Battle of Williamsburg (May 5, 1862) under its commander, Capt. James E. Smith. Subsequently, Smith moved on, and the battery was left in the hands of 1st Lt. Joseph E. Nairn. It performed abysmally in the engagement of Malvern Cliff (June 30) on the eve of the Battle of Malvern Hill.
From the report of Capt. Stephen H. Weed, 5th U.S. Arty., commanding Battery I:
Its contribution to the fight was also reported by Capt. Thomas W. Walker, commanding the 3d U.S. Infantry, who noted the names of his men killed by the fire of the battery.