War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0046 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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broken or put in retreat by our infantry. I suppose they will not differ greatly from most of the new cavalry regiments.

The artillery consists of McMullin's battery at Fayette Court-House, Simmonds' battery at Gauley Bridge, a howitzer battery at Tompkins' farm, and some scattered pieces.

McMullin's battery consists of two bronze 6-pounder smooth guns, two 10-pounder Parrott guns, and four mountain howitzers, 12-pounders. This battery has very little ammunition on hand; needs 14 horses, with harness, for the smooth guns, caissons, and forge. When fully equipped it will be efficient.

Simmonds' battery consists of three 10-pounder Parrotts, two bronze rifled James guns, 10-pounders, one iron smooth 6 pounder (captured from Wise), and has, besides, under its care two 20-pounder Parrotts and one smooth bronze 6-pounder. Captain Simmonds has not men enough to man more than six pieces. His company was an infantry company in the First Kentucky Regiment, and was transferred to the artillery by consent of the Secretary of War. They did good service through all of the last campaign, and are thoroughly reliable.

At Tompkins' farm, Gauley Mountain, there is a mountain howitzer battery (six 12-pounders) formerly belonging to Captain Mack's company, of the Regular Army, but which is now manned by a detachment of the Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteers at that post. I cannot speak of its efficiency.

At Camp Piatt (10 miles above here) the Forty-fourth Ohio has one 10-pounder Parrott, manned by a detachment of the regiment. They serve it pretty well, but have no horses.

At Guyandotte the Ninth Virginia Volunteers have two bronze smooth 6-pounders, with full equipments, recently sent them from Washington. They are ordered to man the guns with a detachment from the line.

The ordnance sergeant of this district has made a requisition for the ammunition necessary to fill up the caissons of these batteries, but no provision is made for a supply on which to draw as needed. This should (for operations on this line) be placed at Gauley Bridge, where it could be safely stored. The James shot and shell do not perform satisfactorily-not half the percussion shell explode, and the flying off of the leaden packing of both shell and shot not only is dangerous to troops of our own, if fired over their heads, but from the uneven and uncertain manner in which this packing leaves the projectile in its flight no accuracy of practice seems attainable. I am told that a new projectile is being introduced (Schenkl) which Captain Simmonds is desirous of using, it being of the same caliber as the James shot and shell, and as he thinks has been proved to be free from the objections to the latter. I know nothing of it myself, but am dissatisfied with the James projectiles, having seen shell with exactly same range and careful pointing of the piece vary 30 or 40 yards from the proper line of fight, firing at a target only 1,000 or 1,200 yards distant.

You will find on file in the office of the ordnance officer at Wheeling a statement I forwarded some time since showing the kind and caliber of small-arms in the hands of our infantry. From it you will see that in several of the regiments there are two sorts of weapons. I have desired to have this changed, so that no regiment may have more than one sort of weapon or be obliged to carry more than one caliber of ammunition in its stores. Uncertainty of supplies and mistakes in issuing are almost inseparably consequent on the present arrangement. There should be also at Gauley Bridge a depot of small-arm ammunition.