War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0355 Chapter XXIII. SIEGE OF YORKTOWN, VA.,

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manned by Battery I, commanded by Captain Perkins. In addition there were in depot at Fort Grafton four 20-pounder Parrotts, four 10-pounder Whitworths, three 8-inch howitzers, and two 8-inch mortars (siege); and there have been transported to the depot and afterward given over to Colonel Warren, Fifth New York Volunteers, five 10-inch siege mortars and five 8-inch siege mortars; making a total of thirty rifled guns, three howitzers, and thirty-eight mortars, or seventy-one pieces of artillery, of which sixty-five were disembarked by the First Connecticut Artillery and the six 10-inch sea-service mortars by the Fifth New York Volunteers.

For the maneuvering and transportation of this material there has been provided one gin, complete; three mortar wagons; two large sling-carts, and three had-carts. In addition one treble, two double, and one single block were obtained from Lieutenant Baylor, Fortress Monroe. With these and with temporary derricks, constructed from such timber as could be procured, the disembarking, the loading of the mortar wagons, and the mounting of the 4 1/2-inch and 30-pounder Parrotts at Cheeseman's Landing has been performed.

The mounting of the 200-pounder and 100-pounder Parrotts and the 13-inch sea-service mortars (1861) was done with the gin. In mounting the latter the treble block broke. This and the slipping of the block of a gun-tackle while moving one of the 13-inch mortars on rollers, were the only accidents that happened during the whole of the embarking, disembarking, and mounting of this armament, although a very large amount of the duty was performed at night. The guns and mortars were hauled from the landing by the horses of the reserve artillery.

To the zeal and energy displayed by the lieutenants who have been detailed for that service, in the performance of a duty in which as light artillery officers they cannot be expected to take much interest and which was especially severe upon horses and harness, the service is much indebted.

The 100-pounder Parrotts were transported upon the large sling-carts. This was attended with some difficulty even when the roads were moderately good, and I beg to suggest that an advantage would be found in widening the tires of these sling-carts, so as to give a larger bearing surface.

The hand sling-carts were found very useful in disembarking the mortars and mortar beds. The pole of one of them broke at the junction of the braces and the pole. It has been repaired by the regimental artificers in a manner which appears to be an improvement. The front bolts for connecting the upper and lower strap and the bolt for connecting the braces cross through the pole about 2 inches apart. These are dispensed with, and the braces and straps shrunk on the pole by an iron ring.

The 200-pounder Parrotts were transported to the battery by water at night, and landed by being rolled on skidding. The 13-inch mortars and the mortar shell were run into Wormley's Creek at night in barges, taken up to the battery, and landed at a wharf constructed for that purpose at one end of the battery. This was done by raising the mortars by the gin, placing rollers under them, rolling them to a port cut in the side of the barge, raising them by successive lifts with sling-cart screw worked by dog-ropes until they hung as high as possible, and then running them nearly onto the platform, where they were again placed upon rollers, rolled into position, lifted by the gin, and the carriage placed underneath.