passing under and throwing it up, but not rendering it useless. Our fire was show and deliberate, with no visible results more than the driving back of two of the mortar boats, which were partially exposed, around the wooded point. The fire of the enemy, although warm, well directed, and sustained, was for the most part either short or very much over.
Up to this time the only guns used were the columbiad battery, inthe main work and the 13-inch mortar, disabled on the first day. In the lower water battery one 8-inch columbiad and one 7-inch rifled gun, worked by Captain R. C. Bond's company, and four 10-inch sea-coast mortars, by Captain J. H. Lamon's company.
On the 23rd the enemy still kept up a regular fire, to which we did not reply all day.
At 3.30 o'clock on the morning of the 24th the men were ready and standing at their guns, having received information that there was as movement by the enemy. No vessels were to be seen, and the first notice of an enemy nearing us was the reply to the shots from Fort Jackson, and the gunners were ordered to fire by the flashes of the enemy's guns, which was done; but the fire was entirely too high and passed over them.
Immediately after this a vessel came in sight, and they followed each other in rapid succession, seemingly in pairs, one of the two keeping back far enough to enable her to deliver her fire from her broadsides. The fire from our guns was rapid, and from the little that could be seen and heard was accurate; but after the first discharge the smoke almost hid them from sight, and we were again compelled to judge by the flashes of their guns. As to the effect of the fire, it is impossible to state what it was, as the darkness, aided by the smoke, rendered seeing out of the question.
A three-mastered propeller ran ashore during the engagement above the upper water battery, and, remaining there several minutes, with a fire barge alongside, her rigging had caught fire, but was immediately extinguished. We were not able to open upon her, as one of the columbiads had been previously dismounted and the other could not be brought to bear; besides, their hands were full with other vessels coming up, and the 24-pounder in the salient of the upper water battery, bearing directly upon her, had been broken in two near the trunnions. The vessels passed close under our guns, taking advantage of the eddy which runs up with considerable force, and it was found impossible to get more than one or two shots at any one vessel, they passed with such rapidity.
All our guns were worked with courage, energy, and skill, excepting the upper water battery, where some confusion arose, caused by the men not being so thoroughly drilled as they should have been. Company C of the Confederate recruits, Lieutenant J. K. Dixon, was fully prepared to work the guns of this battery, and would have done so with effect, but was two days before ordered on board the floating battery Louisiana, and its place was supplied by Captain Assenheimer's company (B), Twentieth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, which had only been drilled a few times, and Captain Massicott's company (D), Chalmette Regiment, which was raw, undrilled, perfectly ignorant even of the use of the shot-guns with which it was armed, and had never been drilled as artillery.
As soon as it was seen that the guns did not open, Lieutenant A. J. Quiigley, with such men as could be gathered, was sent to attend to them, which was done, so far as they were concerned, to the satisfaction of that officer.