War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0320 W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,LA.,TEX.,N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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No. 2. Report of Brigadier General Richard Arnold, U. S. Army, Chief of Artillery. Nineteenth Army Corps, of engagement of Fort Island.


Opelousas, La., April 23, 1863.

COLONEL: In compliance with Special Orders, No. 100, from Headquarters of the Department, of the 21st instant, I have the honor to present the following report of the operations of the artillery of this command, which came directly under my observation, from the time of its departure from Brashear City up to its arrival at this place, but more especially the part it performed in the engagement of the 12th and 13th instant at Fort Island and the enemy's entrenchments:

The main column, consisting of General Emory's division, to which Captain Duryea's battery, Company F, First U. S. Artillery, and Bradbury's First Maine, under command of Lieutenant Haley, were attached, and General Weitzel's brigade, with Captain Bainbridge's company (A), First U. S. Artillery, Carruth's Sixth Massachusetts Battery, and a reserve of heavy artillery, of four 30-pounder and four 20-pounder Parrotts and two 12 pounder rifled guns, manned by the Twenty-first Indiana Artillery, under Col. J. W. McMillan, and the Eighteenth New York Battery, of four 20-pounder Parrotts, under Captain Mack, crossed Berwick Bay on the 10th instant.

General Grover's division, to which Captain Closson's company (L), First U. S. Artillery, Nims' Second Massachusetts Battery, and Lieutenant Rodgers' company (C), Second U. S. Artillery, were attached, formed an independent command, and moved by water from Brashear City to Grand Lake and disembarked at Indian Bend.

The inclosed report of each commander will show the part performed by each battery of this command until their arrival at New Iberia, as also the report of the division commander.

The main column moved rom Berwick City on the 11th instant, and, with the exception of skirmishing with the enemy, nothing of importance occurred until 4 p. m. on the 12th instant, when Captain Bainbridge's battery, in advance, became seriously engaged near the enemy's line of entrenchments, and, although exposed to a severe fire from their batteries, nobly maintained his position until near dark, but not without considerable loss.

On the following morning, the 13th instant, the heavy artillery were disposed for the attack as follows: Two 30-pounder Parrotts were posted on our extreme left, having a direct fire on the general line of entrenchments, an oblique fire on what appeared to me to be key of their position, and a bearing on the gunboat Diana, just visible in position along the bank of the river, with he guns trained to command the right flank of our approach. The third and fourth shots from this battery, at a distance of over 2,000 yards, completely disabled the Diana and forced her to retire up the river out of range, and she was not engaged again during the day.

Two 12-pounder rifled guns, under command of Captain Cox, Twenty-first Indiana Artillery, were placed in the left center until late in the afternoon, when they were advanced to the front and attached to General Weitzel's brigade and performed most excellent service.

The Eighteenth New York Battery, under Captain Mack, was first posited in the right center, but subsequently moved to the front and attached to Paine's brigade at the request of General Emory. In this