War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0146 COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA. Chapter XV.

Search Civil War Official Records

miles from the landing); the indomitable perseverance and cheerful deportment of the officers and men under the frequent and discouraging incidents of breaking down, miring in the swamp, &c., are services to the cause and country which I do not feel at liberty to leave unrecorded. An idea of the immense labor expended in transporting the ordnance can be gained from the fact that 250 men could hardly move a 13-inch mortar loaded on a slight-cart.

Another circumstances deserving especial mention is that twenty-two of the thirty-six pieces comprised in the batteries were served during the action by the troops who had performed the fatiguing labors to which I have referred above. They received all their instruction in gunnery at such odd times as they could be spared from other duty during the week preceding the action. The troops who participated in all the heavy labor were the Forty-sixth New York Volunteers, Colonel Rudolph Rosa; the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, Colonel Alfred H. Terry; two companies of the New York Volunteer Engineers (Captain Graef and Lieutenant Brooks), under command of Lieutenant Colonel James F. Hall; two companies of the Third Rhode Island Artillery, Captains Mason and Rogers, and a small detachment from Company A, Corps of Engineers, under Sergt. James E. Wilson. Colonel Terry and Lieutenant-Colonel Hall entered most zealously upon the discharge of their varied duties.

A detachment from Colonel Rosa's regiment, under Captain Hinckel, have occupied since the 22nd of February an advanced and very exposed position on Lazaretto Creek, by which boat communication between Fort Pulaski and the interior was cut off. Several interesting reconnaissances of Wilmington Island were made by Captain Hinckel, on of which, commanded by Colonel rosa, developed some useful information. Lieutenant Horace Porter, of the Ordnance Department, has rendered signal, important, and indispensable services. Besides discharging most faithfully the special duties of ordnance officer, he directed in person the transportation of the heaviest ordnance, and drilled and instructed the men in their use, laboring indefatigably night and day. He was actively engaged among the batteries during the action. Lieutenant James H. Wilson, Corps of Topographical Engineers, joined my command eleven days before the action, and did good service in instructing the artillerists. He rendered efficient service with the breaching batteries on the 10th and 11th. Captain L. H. Pelouze, Fifteenth Infantry, U. S. Army, and Captain J. W. Turner, of the Commissary Department, U. S. Army, members of General Hunter's staff, volunteered for the action, and did good service in the batteries.

I am under obligations to Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, U. S. Navy, and a detachment of sailors under Lieutenant John Irwin, U. S. Navy, for skillfully serving four siege guns in Battery Sigel on the 11th.

Lieutenant P. H. O'Rorke, Corps of Engineers, and Adam Badeau, esq., volunteered, and served on my staff as aides during the 10th and 11th. Sergt. J. E. Wilson, of Company A, Corps of Engineers, Regular Army, did excellent service in mounting the heavy guns and getting them ready for action. He commanded Battery Burnside during the action. No mortar battery was served more skillfully than his.

I will close this preliminary report with some general deductions from absolute results, without going into details or reasons.

1. Mortars (even the 13-inch sea-coast) are unreliable for the reduction of works of small area, like Fort Pulaski. They cannot be fired with sufficient accuracy to crush the casemate arches. They might after a long time out any ordinary garrison.

2. Good rifled guns, properly served, can breach rapidly at 1,650 yards'