War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0357 Chapter XXIII. SIEGE OF YORKTOWN, VA.

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firing at such long ranges (3,800 to 4,700 yards) renders it extremely questionable whether any useful result follows a large expenditure of ammunition at distance over 2,500 yards.

The following points of importance appear to have been established by this practice:

1. That the wrought-iron carriages are too rigid to resist long-continued firing at high angles, the rivets cutting off completely. It is very much to be regretted that a few rounds were not fired from the 13-inch mortars, to test their carriages, as it appears probable that they would fail more completely in this respect.

2. That the mode of supporting the pintle and traverse circle used in this battery is not sufficiently strong. The object of the platform is to so connect these two parts that no relative motion can take place. The intermediate pieces should therefore act more directly than in these platforms. The pintle-plates should have a larger bearing surface upon the pintle, and should be strengthened by ribs.. Probably the best plan of all would be to adopt a low carriage, similar to that sent by Captain Parrott for the last 200-pounder, with four trucks, the rise of the platform being given by the position of the trucks. To dispense with the pintle altogether, using rails and hollow trucks (report of Major Mordecai on recent English constructions), the wooden platform would then consist of two traverse circles, with wooden braces and iron tie-bolts.

For the service of these guns it was necessary to convey 17,047 projectiles and of the powder and small stores into depot at Fort Grafton, commenced on the 12th of April and continued until the evacuation of Yorktown on the morning of the 4th of May [sic]. During that time 726 wagon loads were conveyed from Cheeseman's Landing to the depot, of which 527 loads were projectiles, 70 powder, 88 platforms, and 41 small stores. This does not include the projectiles for the 13-inch mortar, which were conveyed to the battery by water.

The weather during the siege was very varied, and the roads, consequently, sometimes in such good order that the wagons made two and even three trips a day; sometimes so bad that they were a day and a half on the road. On Wednesday, the 16th, 62 wagons brought up 1,882 10-inch mortar shell, 40 wagons carrying 30, and 22 carrying 31 shell, weighing 2,700 pounds. This is the maximum. On the 27th of April 17 wagons brought only 125 barrels of powder, being only 700 and 600 pounds a wagon. This was the minimum. The average, taken from the projectiles, was 1,456 pounds a wagon. This estimate of transportation is exclusive of that between the depot and the batteries, for which purpose 25 wagons were kept constantly employed from the 21st of April. In all, 613 wagon loads were conveyed.

In the three weeks during which these siege operations have been conducted your regiment has worked, with very little relief, night and day. As soon as any battery has been completed the companies to whom it has been assigned have moved into camp near it, constructing such shelter from the enemy's fire as they could, and remaining with their guns; differing in this respect from all other troops employed in the trenches, who returned to camp out of fire as soon as their duties were finished.

When it is considered that the first siege train placed in battery by the English before Sebastopol consisted of seventy-two pieces; that they marched into Balaklava on the 25th of September, and opened fire upon the 17th of October, twenty-three days afterwards, and that they employed to accomplish this end all the resources of a powerful