and I contented myself with firing one shot every fifteen minutes, nearly every one of which took effect either on the buildings or steamers. At about 12 o'clock m. the enemy opened fire from the 10-inch columbiad stationed in battery on the large stone wharf of he navy-yard, and succeeded in firing two shots. I immediately fired three percussion shells in quick succession. Each one exploded inside of the battery and effectually silenced it for the remainder of that day. I continued firing until sunset, having fired during the day sixty-two shells into the steamers, the buildings, and the battery.
My men deserve great credit for their coolness and coolness and soldierly bearing during the whole day, especially Sergt. John J. Driscoll, of Company A, First Artillery, who about 2 p. m. was injured by a fall from his horse when riding through the shower of shot and shell then falling about the or, where I had sent him with a message to the colonel commanding; also Private George W. Doyle, of Company H, Second Artillery, who was gunner of my piece, and by his skill as an artillerist and his coolness greatly contributed to render our fire effective.
It may not be amiss here to state that from my experience with the Parrott rifled gun I consider it to be the most perfect rifled cannon that we have in our service, i. e., when the percussion shell (Reed's) is used, which explodes on striking the object fired at. Shells fired from this gun with time fuses seldom explode. The reason of this is, as near as I can ascertain, that when fired, from the sudden expansion of the rim attached to the ball, there is not sufficient windage left to permit the flame to communicate with and ignite the fuse. Under these circumstances, therefore, the shells are no better than solid shot.
On the 23rd November I was assigned to the command of the 10-inch columbiad in bastion C, with a detachment, consisting of a sergeant, corporal, and 14 privates, from Company K, Second Artillery. At 11 o'clock, on the signal being made to open fire from our batteries, I directed my piece on Fort Barrancas, and fired, as directed, one shot every fifteen minutes, exploding a great number of shells immediately in and about the work. About 12 m. the flag on Fort Barrancas was shot away, whether by one of my own shots or not I cannot say, as several guns besides mine were also firing on the fort at the time. About 1 o'clock p. m., Fort Barrancas having ceased to reply, only at long intervals, to the fire of our guns, I directed my fire on the battery stationed on the rising ground to the right of Fort Barrancas, and which had by the accuracy of its fire annoyed us considerably. After the first fire I succeeded in getting the range of that battery completely, and during the remainder of the day exploded nearly every shell that I fired inside of the work, and before I ceased firing at night had nearly succeeded in silencing its fire, as it only replied at long intervals and without much accuracy. There were one or two guns from the fort besides my own firing on this battery during the afternoon. I ceased firing by your order about 6 o'clock p. m.
My men all behaved well, especially Sergeant Jones of Company K, Second Artillery, who, notwithstanding that the shot and shells from the enemy's guns were flying in every direction, many of them exploding immediately in our bastion, maintained his position on the parapet during the whole time that he was on duty, watching the effect of our shot on the enemy's batteries. I have no casualties to report.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. W. SEELEY,
First Lieutenant, Fourth Artillery.
Major LEWIS G. ARNOLD,
First Artillery, U. S. Army, Commanding Batteries.