December 28.- This morning we moved into a work which had been thrown up during the night by the Forty-second Ohio on the which we occupied the evening previous, and where we remained until 10 a. m., when we were ordered forward in front of the levee and lagoon before mentioned and where these was not sufficient room to work our pieces. Lieutenant Webster then went forward and to the right about 400 yards., sheltered by the woods, while Lieutenant Natting and Hackett and myself remained with the four pieces, intending to silence Hackett and Myself remained with the four pieces, intending to silence a battery which was playing upon us severely at that time and seemed to have the range perfectly. Here the bursting of shells, the crashing of tees, the thunder of our guns, and the showering of bullets seemed enough to drive us back, but bravely did our men stand their ground, and although many of them were knocked down, strange to say none were hurt, but several were sorely shocked for a moment. Lieutenant Nutting had a shell to burst in the ground about 2 feet under him, raising him several feel into the air and completely stunning him for several minutes without otherwise injuring him. We continued firing at the battery until we silenced, or at least it ceased firing. The remained of the battery them moved forward and formed in battery on the left of Lieutenant Webster, who command the right section. At theirs point we fired rounds, when, night coming on, the noise of the battle ceased and all was silent but an occasional musket-short.
December 29.-The cannonading was opened at 7.30 a. m. and was truly terrific to us. Shell after shell burst among us and in the air just in front, sending in our midst a hail-storm of bursting shell. At his moments it seemed as if all of their artillery fire was concentrated upon my battery, and continued until about 10 a. m., at which time, not having silenced us, they turned their guns on different parts of the field. During this part of the firing one of the enemy's caissons was blown up the rear chests of another short off, and the hind wheel of a third shot from its axle, and such a hot fire was directed upon the latter caisson that they could or did not remove it until after night of the same day. At the time charge upon the enemy we discovered that on our right there seemed to come from some canebrakes a galling fire upon our men, when I directed one piece to fire with short-time fuse upon the column of brakes, which had good effect, seeming to drive them out by the hundred. We continued firing until none came out, and ceased at the time of the repulse.
Too high praise cannot be said of the conduct of my command, of their colonels and bravery. The gunners were particular self-passed, always running in front of their guns to see the result of their shot, the smoke obscuring the enemy after each discharge.
I omitted to mention that early in the engagement of the second day the vent of one of my pieces burned and partially blew out, rendering it unsafe to use only by firing very slowly. During the three days we were engaged we used 2,380 rounds of ammunition.
The condition of my men is such that they will soon be ready to enter the field, but are at present much exhausted. This could not be other wise expected, as the guns were handled as rapidly as light artillery, whereas they are in fact siege pieces, and should have at least 175 men to maneuver them.
Trusting hereafter we may have better success, I am, most respectfully, yours,
JACOB T. FOSTER,
Captain First Wisconsin Battery.
Lieutenant E. D. SAUNDERS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.