Numbers 5. Report of Captain Joseph A. Mower, First United States Infantry, commanding siege train.
CAMP BEFORE NEW MADRID,
March 15, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with orders from General Pope, I took command of the siege train on the evening of the 12th instant, and proceeded with it to the position that had been assigned. I had under my command Companies A and H, First United States Infantry. I placed Company H in the battery on the left (Battery Numbers 1), in which were one 8-inch howitzer and one 24-pounder, and Company A in the battery on the right (Battery Numbers 2). This battery had two 24-pounders. I put this battery under the immediate command of Lieutenant Fletcher, commanding Company A. Lieutenant Reeder was also with this company. I was directed by General Stanley to open fire on the enemy at daylight on the 13th, which I did from both batteries. Our fire was briskly replied to by the fort, which was in front, and the gunboats, which took position both in front and towards our left flank. They threw rifled shot, shell, and round shot. At about 10 o'clock a. m. and round shot struck one of the guns in Battery Numbers 1, breaking a piece out of it, and killing 1 man and wounding 6. In the afternoon the gunboats withdrew from our front, and taking position beyond the reach of our guns, kept up a steady fire, with occasional intermissions, until sundown.
On the morning of the 14th I was preparing to open fire again, when I received an order from General Hamilton not to fire, as a flag of truce was approaching. Shortly after General Hamilton arrived at the batteries, and desired me to take 20 men of my company and ascertain whether or not the fort had been abandoned. Having no colors belonging to the First Infantry, I was furnished with the regimental colors of a regiment of volunteers to raise upon the fort. I proceeded to the fort and found that the enemy had deserted it. I raised the flag upon the ramparts and took possession of the works. I found that two of the enemy's guns had been dismounted and another struck and badly injured by our fire. I am unable to say what damage was done to the gunboats. Lieutenants Fletcher and Reeder displayed great zeal and activity during the whole engagement, although they, as well as the whole command, were nearly exhausted by fatigue and exposure. I regret to have to state that Lieutenant Reeder, after having exhibited so much zeal in the performance of his duty,w as unfortunately wounded by the accidental discharge of his revolver, and was consequently deprived of the opportunity of entering the enemy's works with his company. Sergeants Connelly and Downey, of Company A, Corporal Youngman and Privates Morgan and Burke, of Company H, performed their duty at the guns with great coolness and skill; First Sergeant Libby, of Company H, was very attentive to his duties, and deserves much credit, as do all of men of the two companies.
I inclose herewith a list of the killed, wounded, and missing.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. A. MOWER,
Captain, First Infantry, Commanding Siege Train.
Major SPEED BUTLER,
*Nominal list omitted shows 1 killed, 6 wounded, and 1 missing.