War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0478 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,AND LA. Chapter XVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 5. Report of Captain James M. Robertson, Second U. S. Artillery.


November 25, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your instructions of this date I have the honor to make the following report of the service of my battery (Lincoln) during the bombardment on the 22nd and 23rd of November, 1861:

The battery consists of the fulling guns, viz: One 42-pounder gun (rifled), four 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, and two 10-inch sea-coast mortars. At the firing of the signal gun from Fort Pickens, about 9.30 o'clock a. m. on the 22nd, I opened fire with my entire battery upon the rebel steamer Time, then lying at the Warrington navy-yard, and kept it up briskly for about two hours. About 11.30 a. m., by your order, I directed the fire from my mortars upon Fort Barrancas and the howitzers on the navy-yard, and kept up a steady fire, as directed, till about an hour before sunset, when by your order I again concentrated all my fire on the steamer and continued till ordered to cease firing at dark. During the day I saw several shots strike the steamer, but owing to her hull (except a very small portion) being covered by a projecting pier, I think very little material damage was done. During the entire day the firing from my 42-pounder was very unsatisfactory. With the same charge, same elevation, and pointed with the greatest care, one shot would fall far short, and others would go wild and entirely over the make. During the day forty-five shots were fired from this gun.

On the firing of the signal gun from Fort Pickens, about 10.30 a. m. on the 23rd (the rebel steamer having been removed during the night of the 22nd), I opened fire, as directed, with the rifled guns on the one-gun sand battery on the head of the navy-yard pier, firing one shot every fifteen minutes with the howitzers and mortars on the navy-yard, firing each of the first once in forty and the latter once in thirty minutes. During this day's and night's firing my mortar shells were loaded with 1 1/2 pounds of port-fire in addition to the ordinary charge of powder. During the day I saw many shell strike and explode in the navy-yard, but no perceptible impression was made upon it. At 2.30 o'clock p. m. a fire was lighted in a wooden building in the southwest portion of the a fire was lighted in a wooden building in the southwest portion of the town of Warrington, either by a gun from the fort or Battery Cameron. I then directed my mortars on the northeast part of the town, near the navy-yard. Soon after that portion of the town was also on fire, and I again directed my mortars to the navy-yard.

At dark, firing having ceased, except from mortars, I left go to Fort Pickens. After I left, Sergeant Roder, of Company H, Second Artillery, fired two shots, when your ordered the firing to cease for the night. On my way to the fort I stopped at Battery Cameron to inspect. After being there about fifteen minutes I discovered a fire had broken out in the navy-yard, and men were distinctly seem endeavoring to put it out. I ordered Lieutenant Pennington to load and fire one of his columbiads, which he did with such good effect that the rebels instantly left, and the building was soon in a bright blaze.

At 7 o'clock p. m., by your order, I again opened with one of my mortars, dropping a shell into the navy-yard every fifteen minutes. At 8.30 p. m. a large fire was started near the north gate of the yard, which burned furiously till after midnight. At 11.30 p. m. another fire, still