others passed through the parapet, plowing up the earth and destroying much of the work.
To the peculiarly well-located faces of the fort for preventing an enfilading fire from the most favorable position which the enemy's boats could take I attribute chiefly the loss of only one of my command. Had the fort been differently constructed at this point we must certainly have met with far greater casualties. The redan connects with the cremaillere line a part of a series of works planned by Captain Gray, of the Engineer Corps, for the defense of the valley-of the Mississippi Valley-at Island Numbers 10.
Through the night of the 17th the enemy kept up the bombardment from rifled guns and mortars. Since then they have not returned to the close position occupied by them on that day, although they have kept up a continual fire with heavy shell and shot at a greater distance, fortunately doing but little damage to us.
First Lieutenant J. E. Saunders and Orderly Sergt. George J. Chapman, of my company, together with E. Jones and Samuel Jones, of the Signal Corps, were engaged with me the whole day in the defense of the redan, all of whom bore themselves with great coolness and gallantry. Signal-Corps Jones, having the staff of his signal-flag shot away thrice during the engagement, seized the flag in his hand without looking around to listen to exclamations, and continued his important message to headquarters.
First Lieutenant Thomas J. Finnie, with a detachment of 10 men from Captain Sterling's battery (Numbers 2.) and 7 men from Captain Hoaldey's battery (Numbers 3) came to my relief at 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the 17th and gallantly served a gun amid a most terrible fire of the enemy.
Colonel Steedman was with me most of the afternoon, aiding me in every possible way, bringing up re-enforcements through the water, which entirely surrounded the fort, and a detachment from the First Alabama Regiment, with Lieutenants Sanford and Owens, remained in the fort assisting me until the arrival of Lieutenant Finnie.
During the afternoon Lieutenant Tidmarsh, of the Ordnance, and Captains Harris, Wintter, and Gray also came to assist me.
Captains Gray, chief engineer, and Wintter, Lieutenant McMahon, of the Engineers, with the Sappers and Miners, and a force of hands (negroes), under Major Estis, of Haywood County, Tennessee, rendered most efficient service, repairing damages, under fire of the enemy, and putting the fort in a defensible condition.
Notwithstanding the bombardment has been continued by the enemy each day and night since the 17th instant, but very little return fire has been made by us, from the fact of the long range at which they have chosen their position. But to the officers who have relieved me from day to day I respectfully refer to for detailed reports.
To Colonel Steedman and all the above officers and men with me under fire of the enemy on the 17th instant I desire to express my deep indebtedness for their services.
To the general commanding, to General Walker, and to General Trudeau, chief of artillery, who have sustained me in the defense of the redan, I desire to return my sincere thanks.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
EDWARD W. RUCKER,
Captain of Arty., C. S. Army, Commanding Bat. Numbers 1.
Major General JOHN P. McCOWN,
11 R R-VOL VIII