War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0323 Chapter XXVI. CORREPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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charge of the fatigue parties as before. The work is done in the following manner, viz:

The pieces mounted on their carriages and limbered up are moved forward on runways of planks (about 15 fleet long, 1 foot wide, and 2 1/2 inches thick), laid end to end. Lieutenant Wilson, with a party of 35 men, took charge of the two pieces in advance (an 8-inch siege howitzer and a 30-pounder Parrott), and Major Beard and Lieutenant Porter, with a somewhat larger force, of the four pieces in rear (two 20 and two 30 pounder Parrotts). Each party has one pair of planks in excess of the number required for the guns and limbers to rest upon when close together. This extra pair of planks is placed in front in prolongation of those already under the carriages, and the pieces are then drawn forward with drag-ropes, one after the other, the length of a plank, thus freeing the pair of planks in rear, which in their turn are carriage to the front. This labor is of the most fatiguing kind. In most places the men sink nearly to their knees in mud, in some much deeper. This mud being of the most slippery kind, singularly insoluble in water and free of grit or sand, the planks become immediately smeared over with it. Many delays and much exhausting labor were occasioned by the carriages slipping off. When this occurred the wheels would suddenly sink in to the hubs, and powerful levers had to be devised to raise them up again. "I authorized the men to encase their feet in sand bags to keep the mud out of their shoes. Many dais so, tying the string just below the knee."

At 1 o'clock (morning of the 12th) I pulled back to the schooner Keating, in New River, and brought a scow filled with ammunition into Mud River. It was carried across to Venus Point. The magazine and platforms were ready for service by daybreak. Lieutenant Wilson got his two pieces into position at 2.30 a. m., and Major Beard and Lieutenant Porter their four pieces at 8.30 a. m. On the 12th Lieutenant Wilson went back to General Viele on Daufuskie to report the success.

February 12.- After giving directions for the fresh relief to be put to work in throwing up a dike around the battery to keep out the spring tides, which were beginning to flow, I returned to Daufuskie. The high tide t-day came to within 8 inches of the surface.

Sent the following dispatch to General Sherman:

"DAUFUSKIE ISLAND, GA., February 12, 1862.

"GENERAL: Venus Point and the Savannah passage is held by a six-gun battery erected by us last night. If everything goes on well Long Island will be similarly occupied by us last night. If everything goes on well Long Island will be similarly occupied to morrow night. I will write to-morrow more in detail.

"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


"Brigadier-General Volunteers and Chief Engineer, Engineer Corps.


"Commanding Expeditionary Corps, Hilton Head, S. C."

February 13-15.- Various causes, particularly that weather, delayed the Long Island battery. On the morning of 13th rebel steamer Ida passed down by Venus Point under full steam. Nine shots fired at her, striking astern all but one. Elevation good, but not enough allowance made for speed of vessel. I was not in the battery at the time. All the pieces except one 30-pounder recoiled off the platforms. These were at once enlarged to 18 feet by 17 1/2 feet. On afternoon of the 14th three rebel about 30 shots. One of the vessels struck and all withdrew.

February 16.- The Ida left Fort Pulaski and returned to Savannah via Lazaretto Creek, Turner's Creek, and Saint Augustine Creek.

February 17.- Returned to Hilton Head, as per General Sherman's order, leaving Lieutenant O'Rorke with General Viele, with written instructions concerning the engineering operations to be carried on.

The foregoing extracts from my journal are all that bear directly upon the operations on the Savannah above Fort Pulaski. I did not return there on duty. I have received official information, however, that a second battery, consisting of one 8-inch siege howitzer, one 30-pounder Parrott, one 20-pounder Parrott, and three 12-pounder James, has been established on Bird Island, just above Long Island. This was done on the night of February 20, the flats, with the guns, ammunition, &c., in them being towed up Mud River and across the Savannah by row-boats. Lieutenant' Rorke, of the Engineers, was present as the engineer officer. I have received no report from him.

On the 19th of February I was ordered here to place Tybee Island in