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10 Series I Volume XV- Serial 21 - Baton Rouge-Natchez

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Page 10 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

was mainly over in the course of an hour, and at the batteries not a single casualty from the enemy's shot occurred.

From the 15th to the 18th the enemy were mainly occupied in endeavoring to sink the Arkansas with their mortars, and on the morning of the 18th a daring attempt was made to cut her out from under one of our batteries. It resulted, however, in no injury to the Arkansas but in the destruction of one of their boats. This was really the termination of the attack, although the bombardment was kept up until the 27th, when both fleets disappeared.

It will thus be seen that the enemy were in front of Vicksburg sixty-seven days during which the combined efforts of two powerful fleets have been foiled, and the accompanying land force, from 4,000 to 5,000, held at bay. The number of shot and shell thrown by the fleet is unknown; it had been estimated as high as 25,000 and put as low as 20,000. The number, however, is unimportant and mentioned only to illustrate the fact that the loss to a land battery when attacked by one afloat is comparatively small.

The casualties from the enemy's firing were 7 killed and 15 wounded; in the town 2 only are reported.

The enemy fired at least ten shots to our one, and their number of killed and wounded can, from information, be safely put down at five times as great.

It is matter of surprise that not a single gun was dismounted during the whole time, and only two temporarily disabled, both being repaired in one night. The number of guns brought against us, including mortars, could not have been much less than 300; the number on our side was, as you are aware, considerably less.

After this general description given, it would be great injustice not to mention the commands and their officers that have been instrumental in so signal a success. The batteries were manned by three companies First Regiment Louisiana Artillery, two companies of the Twenty-second, two companies Twenty-third Louisiana Volunteers, Major Clinch; four companies heavy artillery from Fort Pillow, Major Hoadley; three companies Eighth Louisiana Battalion, Major Ogden. Col. A. Jackson jr., and Lieutenant-Colonel Sterling, both of the heavy artillery, were respectively in immediate command of the upper and lower batteries, and Colonel Fuller chief of heavy artillery. Lieutenant-Colonel Pinkney, Eighth Louisiana Battalion, in command of two of the lower batteries for a portion of the time, was temporarily relieved under a special organization, which reduced the battalion to a major's command. The officers commanding these companies were as follows: Captains Capers, Grayson, Butler, Tissot, Purves, Harrod, Todd, Dismukes, Parks, Norman, Postlethwaite, Durrive, Kerr, and Lieutenants Eustis, Butler, and McCrory. The names of the above-mentioned officers are given for the reason that, in connection with their lieutenants and men, they have passed through an ordeal that troops are but seldom called upon to undergo. For more than seventy-five days and nights have these batteries been continuously manned and ready for action at a moment's notice; during much of this time the roar of cannon has been unceasing, and there have been portions of it during which the noise of falling shot and the explosions of shells have been such as might make the stoutest heart quail, yet none faltered; the blazing sun, the fatiguing night-watch the storm of battle, all were alike cheerfully endured, and whenever called upon heavy and telling blows were dealt upon our foes in return. I feel a pride in having such officers and such men under


Page 10 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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