War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0221 Chapter XXXVIII. OPERATIONS IN LA., WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI.

Search Civil War Official Records

column approached my position with shouted guns, as they all instantly answered my fire by a broadside from their whole line, all of which passed over us.

The two 3-inch rifles fired eight time-fuse shell and six solid shot. The heavy firing from this fleet of vessels (many of them armed with 8, 11, and 15 inch guns) prevented the effect of the shots from the rifle section being accurately observed. Most of them, however, were hits.

The 12-pounder field gun, under Lieutenant Jones, fired six spherical case and four solid shot, making seven hits, and, by the sound, doing considerable damage to the vessels of the enemy.

The 12-pounder howitzer section, under Second Lieutenant O. Gaudet, fired eight shell, five of which took effect.

The section of 6-ponder bronze smooth-bore guns, under Lieutenant S. R. Garrett, fired fourteen solid shot, making fourteen hits.

On the morning of July 10, at 1.30 a. m., the seven guns at Battery Numbers 1 opened on the U. S. gunboat New London, bound down.

The rifle section under First Lieutenant B. F. Winchester fired ten shell and fourteen solid shot, he having run his guns out over the levee on to the batture, enabling the cannoneers to fire more rapidly and longer at the same object. Most of these shot struck this vessel, one of them cutting her steam pipe or cylinder, when a rocket was sent up from her, which proved to be a signal for assistance.

Lieutenant Jones' 12-pounder field gun fired three spherical case and two solid shot, making two hits.

The 12-pounder howitzer section under Lieutenant O Gaudet fired one shell, which took effect.

The 6-pounder section, under Lieutenant S. R. Garrett, fired two solid shot, one of which struck her.

The cavalry pickets above had neglected to notify me of her approach. The sky was so overcast with clouds it was difficult to make out floating objects. Th new moon, which had been obscured most of the night, shed a feeble light, when, about the time stated, the cannoneers who were on guard at the pieces reported this vessel almost abreast of my position. This will account for so few shots being fired by the fire smooth-bore pieces, all of which were posted above the rifle section.

The New London proved to be a bark-rigged vessel, carrying a heavy rifled gun amidships and two 20-pounder Parrott rifles, one on her bow and the other in her stern. She replied but feebly to our guns. It was subsequently ascertained that she was acting as a dispatch boat for the army, carrying important information from Vicksburg or Port Hudson to New Orleans. As soon as she was disabled, one or more boats were lowered, and she was towed or drifted into the left bank of the river, nearly 2 miles below this battery. At this time, information was received by Lieutenant-Colonel [Isham] Chisum, commanding the scouts, and my only support, several companies of B. W. Stone's Texas Cavalry, that the enemy was landing a force just above my position (which proved to be false). I was ordered to retire to the heavy timbered woods, over 4 miles in my rear, and back of the cane fields on the river, where the Cut-off or Vacherie road entered the swamp. While the teams were being fed in this road, I received orders to return to my position at Battery Numbers 1. But for this false report of the enemy being on my flank, which occasioned the loss of over fire hours of most valuable time, I am satisfied this vessel could have been destroyed and lost to the enemy.

At 9.30 a. m. the seven guns were again in position at the levee. The New London was seen tied up to the bank, at Godlberry's plantation, on