30-pounders to Captain Morris, of the First Artillery, and also loaded a battery of four 10-inch siege mortars upon a bark, holding them in readiness to proceed with the division whenever it should move. When the division arrived at Slocum's Creek, as it was not sure there would be occasion to use these batteries, they were left on board the vessels at that point.
I came on with the division to Carolina City, and after the general had communicated with the commanding officer of the fort I received an order from him (General Parke) to return immediately and attend to the transportation of the batteries. Fearing we had not artillery enough I went to New Berne and loaded another battery of four 8-inch mortars upon a barge, and Lieutenant M. F. Prouty, of the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Regiment, having reported to me for artillery duty, I left him to bring this battery to Slocum's Creek. From the head of this creek to Carolina City the artillery had to be transported by land.
The quartermaster could furnish very little transportation, as nearly all that could be procured was engaged in bringing down baggage and stores for the troops.
There were no men with the batteries to unload and move them, and the labor had to be performed by negroes, whom I obtained from Captain King, the division quartermaster. The batteries were hauled to Havelock Station in quartermasters' wagons and there loaded on cars, and hauled to Carolina City with horses and mules. The large quantity of heavy shell necessary for the mortar batteries, and the lack of men, wagons, and cars to transport them, must account for the delay of these batteries in reaching Carolina City.
At the latter point only one scow could be obtained suitable for carrying purposes across Bogue Sound to the Banks, and owing to tides and the difficulties of a shallow, intricate channel not more than one trip could be made daily.
A magazine was established in a deserted building at the point of landing, and again all the materials had to be hauled a distance of 4 1/2 miles along a sandy beach.
On the 12th instant, the day after the enemy's pickets were driven into the fort, I went with Captain Williamson, Corps of Topographical Engineers, and selected positions for the batteries. The first of these, the 10-inch mortar battery, was at a distance of 1,680 yards from the fort, and behind a natural sand hill, which was sufficiently high to protect it from the direct fire of the enemy's cannon. It was near the marsh, on the left side of the island.
Captain Morris' battery of Parrott guns was placed about 200 yards in advance of this and a little to the right. The position of the sand hills was such and the strip of available land so narrow that the latter had to be put more nearly in front of the mortars than was desirable in order to distract the enemy's fire. The 8-inch mortars were placed still 200 yards farther in advance, and on the right, near the sea-shore.
The work of moving the ordnance, building the mortar batteries, constructing roads, &c., was all performed by details from the regiments of infantry of the division and from Captain Ammon's company of the Third New York Artillery. The men were often at work before they were rested from the fatigue of twenty-four hours' picket duty, the pickets themselves often volunteering to assist, and always with a cheerfulness which evinced their determination to accomplish the end we had in view. While at work the men were often annoyed by artillery firing from the fort, but no one in the batteries was even hurt, the sand hills affording good protection. On the evening of the 23rd