Numbers 4. Report of Lieutenant Richard H. Jackson, First U. S. Artillery.
FORT PICKENS, FLA., November 25, 1861.
SIR: In accordance with your instructions I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the battery under my command during the bombardment of the 22nd and 23rd November, 1861:
The battery consisted of one 10-inch columbiad and four 32-pounders en barbette in the flag-staff bastion (A), one 8-inch encumbered columbiad and two 42-pounders in casemate, curtain B C, and one 42-pounder rifled bun in casemate in bastion C. The guns were served by Company L, First Artillery.
At 10 o'clock a. m. on the 22nd I was directed by the colonel commanding to open the bombardment, and in obedience thereto I pointed and fired the 10-inch columbiad at the rebel steamer Time, then lying at the navy-yard wharf. The shell exploded directly over the steamer. All of the guns from the fort and batteries immediately opened on the enemy's position, and the steamer and navy-yard were quickly abandoned by the rebels. The fire from the 10-inch columbiad and 32-pounders, was, during the bombardment, principally directed at the navy-yard and the wharf and church batteries. It was very effective. Two of the shells from the columbiad exploded in the wharf battery, the remainder in the building in the navy-yard. The fire from the casemate guns in curtain B and C was directed against Fort McRee and the sand battery westward of it. The shells from the 8-inch columbiad were seen to explode over Fort McRee, and when directed at the sand battery were very accurate, one of them exploding within the embrasure. The firing from the 42-pounders was effective. The rifled gun in bastion C was in position against the light-house battery. The James projectile was used. The firing from this gun was very inaccurate, particularly when shells were used, nearly all of them either falling short of or passing over the enemy's battery. The lateral deviation was considerable. On the second day solid shot were projected from this gun, a few of which struck the battery and light-house. The range was about 2,855 yards. I attribute the inaccuracy of fire with this projectile to the stripping of the lead and canvas packing or wrappers on the cylindrical portion of it during its flight.
I respectfully ask to call particular attention to Sergeant Convoy for his coolness and zeal in the discharge of his duty; Sergeant Newton, who distinguished himself as an efficient practical artillerist; Corporal Beeler, for his coolness (he was wounded while serving his gun and has since had his arm amputated); First Sergt. Lewis Keller, Sergeant Becker, Corporals Wicks and Spangler, and Privates Jackel and Hanney. To mention other names would be invidious, for all the enlisted men behaved well.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. JACKSON,
First Lieutenant, Commanding Co. L, First Artillery.
Major LEWIS G. ARNOLD,
First Artillery, U. S. Army, Commanding Batteries.