Number 6. Report of Colonel A. Jackson, Jr., C. S. Army. HEADQUARTERS RIVER BATTERIES, Vicksburg, April 23, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the passage of the enemy's gunboats and the firing of the batteries under my command last night:
The alarm was given at 11. 30 p. m., and, soon after, a boat appeared rounding the point above, and was followed by five others at short intervals. The first two cone side-wheel, the others stern-wheel transports, all small, light-draught boats, well protected at the sides by barges loaded with coal, bales of hay, or cotton. Their boilers and machinery were also protected by cotton-bales. Fire was opened upon each in succession as she came in view, and continued with spirit and accuracy until they were out of range. All the transports were riddled, and the escape of any seemed miraculous, considering the number of large projectiles sent crushing through them. One of them ran into the Louisiana shore opposite Wyaman's hill battery, and was abandoned by her men, and floated down the river apparently in a disabled condition; another was also badly damaged, and floated down with the current. The atmosphere was hazy and close, and the smoke settled down over the river, often completely concealing and obscuring the boats, and rendering it almost impossible to fire with accuracy. This was, however, in a measure obviated while houses across the river were burning. The 10-inch columbiad, commanded by Captain [J. P.] Lynch, jumped the pintle at the twelfth discharge, but was remounted in a short time, and is now ready for action. One man was killed and 2 others were badly wounded by a premature discharge of Major [F. N.] Ogden's 10-inch columbiad. This accident, it is thought, was occasioned by the inferior cartridge-bags furnished. The friction-tubes were, as usual, a great source of annoyance, and caused much delay in firing almost every shell, frequently five, six, and eight failing in succession.
There were three hundred and ninety-one shots fired in all.
A. JACKSON, Jr.,
Captain J. G. DEVEREUX,
All the boats were struck, and repeatedly, and more or less damaged. One boat is visible this morning, sunk, her smoke-stacks and the upper part of her wheel-houses being visible. Another boat is believed to have been sunk, as two of them were disabled, their machinery having failed before passing the city. The river was well lighted up by the burning houses opposite the city, in De Soto. The firing was generally good, though much interfered with by the smoke of the guns settling in front of the batteries.
STEPHEN D. LEE,