"We were decidedly of the opinion that Lee had at last found himself an antagonist whom he would have some difficulty in coping."
Thomas M. Aldrich
Battery A, 1st RILA
On February 6, 1864, the battery marched with General Hancock’s 2nd Corps to Morton's Ford, Va., where it took position, and engaged the enemy during a brief day long engagement. The next day, on the morning of the 7th the Battery again skirmished with the enemy, and at 6 o'clock p.m., marched back to camp near Stevensburg, VA., where it remained until Spring. On the 3rd of May, 1864, the Battery became part of the grand march of the entire Army of the Potomac, under Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant South through Central Virginia towards Richmond. Battery A was hotly engaged in the Battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Spottsylvania Court House and the North Anna River, North of Richmond. This was the first phase of Grant’s 1864 Campaign against Lee and during this time Battery A lost a several more of its seasoned veterans in wounded as well as many more horses that had to be replaced due to wounds and fatigue. At the Battle of Cold Harbor (Northeast of Richmond) on May 30, 1864, as Grant tried a major frontal assault against Lee’s heavily fortified lines protecting Richmond, Battery A fought in close contact with the enemy. During the engagement Battery A Section Commander Lt. Peter Hunt was mortally wounded and Captain Arnold received a mini ball through his hat, but Arnold escaped the terrible contest unharmed. At Cold Harbor, the Union lost about 10,000 men in the first 15 minutes of Grant’s assault. Lieutenant Peter Hunt was actually wounded in the foot, and was later taken to a hospital in Washington, where the limb ended up being amputated. Sinking under the effects of the wound, he died on June 14th. His remains were brought to Providence, and on the 20th, after an impressive service in the Central Congregational Church, were escorted to their last resting place by thirty men of the Battery. In Battery A, as Section Chief, Lieutenant Hunt had gained the character of a fearless and extremely reliable officer, who was not affraid to take risks. After Cold Harbor, on June 4th and 5th, the Battery occupied another exposed position at Gaines' Farm, and joined in the general bombardment of the Rebel defenses of Richmond.
THE BATTERY A CARD de VISIT
Some of the most notable men
who were promoted to become
Officers & NCOs of Battery A
1st Row Left to Right: Gamaliel Lyman Dwight; Benjamin H. Child (Medal of Honor Recipient); Charles H. Clark; and William A. Arnold.
2nd Row Left to Right: Elmer L. Corthell; Harry C. Cushing; James P. Rhodes; and Thomas F. Vaughn.
3rd Row Left to Right: Peter Hunt (Killed at Cold Harbor); T. Frederick Brown; Henry W. Newton; and Jeffery Hazard.
4th Row Left to Right: George E. Randolph; 1st Sgt. William D. Child; Sgt. Steven M. Greene; and Sgt. James B. Buffum.
5th Row Left to Right: William S. Perrin; A. M. C. Olney; G. W. Field; and E. Shaw.
BATTERY A—TO—BATTERY B
By mid 1864, in the Army of the Potomac, Battery A had served under Generals McDowell, Pope, McLellan, Burnside, Hooker, M