War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0155 Chapter XXXVIII. SIEGE OF PORT HUDSON, LA.

Search Civil War Official Records

and a small piece of metal broken off. No serious damage, however, and the gun can be worked with safety.

Yours, respectfully,

P. F. DE GOURNAY,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Left Wing, Heavy Batteries.

Lieutenant Colonel M. J. SMITH, Chief of Heavy Artillery.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, HEAVY BATTERIES,

Port Hudson, June 12, 1863.

COLONEL: The 30-pounder Parrott gun was disabled about on hour ago by a solid shot from a land battery, nearly opposite, that had just opened for the first time. The shot struck the gun near the muzzle, cutting off a piece and slitting the gun. Two other successive shots broke the axle and a wheel, making the piece a complete wreck. The piece was just being placed in position to fire, and was not yet in battery when struck. Sharpshooters now line the hill opposite, and keep up a steady fire when our men show themselves. Amid this said disaster, I have the consolation to report that none of my cannoneers were hurt.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. F. DE GOURNAY,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Left Wing, Heavy Batteries.

Lieutenant Colonel M. J. SMITH, Chief of Heavy Artillery.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, HEAVY BATTERIES,

Port Hudson, June 26, 1863.

MAJOR: The enemy opened fire from their land batteries and the fleet (including mortar-boats) at 3.45 o'clock this afternoon, to which the guns on the wing replied, and soon brought on a spirited artillery fight.

The mortar-boats ceased firing after two hours and a half, the gun-boats four hours. No damage was done to our guns and no man hurt at the batteries. The works at Battery Numbers 11 were badly torn up by the enemy's fire, which seemed to be, in great part, concentrated on that point. So terrific was the fire at that battery, that it was found impossible to man the siege 24-pounder rifled gun without an almost certainty that it would be dismounted. The guns engaged on the extreme left were the rifled 32-pounder, which fired fourteen shots; the 8-inch shell gun, which fired six shells with excellent effect on the enemy's principal works, after which it unfortunately got disabled by the accidental giving way of the elevating screw-the damage is now being repaired; the rifled 24-pounder barbettee, which fired 27 Reid shots at the mortar-boats, many shots taking effect on the boats and also on the Essex.

From the center, the 10-inch and 8-inch columbiads of this command were also engaged, first with the fleet, and subsequently, with much better effect, firing on the enemy's works. I cannot yet report the number of shots fired from these two guns.

I beg leave to make most honorable mention of Lieutenant L. A. Schirmer, of my command, for an act of heroic bravery. The flag of [W. R.] Miles' Legion was hoisted on the extreme left (Battery 11), and was shot down. Lieutenant Schirmer seized it, fixed it to a light pole, and, jumping on the parapet, planted the flag-staff amid a shower of bullets. Again and again the flag was shot down, and each time the gallant lieutenant raised it, waved it defiantly, and plated it firmly, regardless of