War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0082 OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA. Chapter XIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

barbette on the army 32-pounder barbette carriages, and one spare carriage without the chassis. It had also 440 32-pounder round shot, but all the ammunition had been taken from the magazine and destroyed. The implements belonging to the guns in this fort were not much injured.

In Fort Reno were twelve guns. Of these the two upon the left flank of the battery are rifled guns like the one in Fort Foster which I have already described, and mounted upon the same carriage en barbette. All the others are smooth-bore 32-pounder navy guns of 57 and 61 cwt. The two upon the right flank are mounted en barbette and the remaining eight on the navy carriage at embrasures. In the fort rifle guns, and 42 32-pounder shells. All the ammunition had also been taken from this magazine and destroyed. I found in the water near the shore just outside this fort a 32-pounder gun, which the enemy had apparently let fall in trying to land it. I have hauled it out, and if necessary it can be mounted on a spare carriage. The remaining two guns are in Fort Ellis, opposite Nag's Head.

All of the guns excepting the three field pieces in the island battery I found had been spiked and other ineffectual attempts made to render them unserviceable. Six of them were spiked with rat-tail files; the remainder with wrought-iron spikes and nails. They were all loaded, some with several shot wedged, and others with charged shells unfused and inverted, so arranged as to explode in the guns if fired. All of these have been removed without accident, and the guns are now ready for service.

In Fort Reno and Foster considerable injury wad done to the carriages, implements, and equipments. The guns being mounted on navy carriages, the breechings and tackle-ropes were in most cases cut. With some of the carriages, however, the breechings and tackle were unnecessary, so that with some repairs, using the spare parts and implements that were found, the injuries have been so far repaired that made some 400 cartridges for the 32-pounder guns, and so distributed the ammunition found in these two forts as to render them as defensible as possible until larger supplies can be obtained.

The implements and equipments in Fort Parke sustained much less injury. These have all been repaired, but as the magazine of the fort is very damp, and you told me you intended to change the position of the battery, I have done nothing to supply the guns with ammunition.

The small-arms captured were generally of an inferior quality. Of those that have been preserved there are about 1,500. They are principally smooth-bore muskets (caliber .69) made at Harper's Ferry, in 1832, and have either flint-locks or have been altered to percussion. Some of the enemy's troops were armed with fowling-pieces, sporting rifles, and a motley collection of arms nearly useless for military purposes. These were all carried away by our soldiers and people from the transports. The iron parts found among the ruins of the camp destroyed by fire on the day of the bombardment. I am also satisfied that a quality of arms and ammunition has been buried or hidden on the island, although we have as yet been unable to find it. Several muskets have been sent as trophies to naval officers of the fleet in accordance with your orders. This must account for the large discrepancy between the number of prisoners and small-arms captured. There are also 1,600 sets of infantry equipments, many of them incomplete. Such