HDQRS. 1ST MIL. DIST., DEPT. OF S. C., GA., AND FLA.,
Charleston, July 20, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded, with the remark that Captain Mitchel has been ordered not to provoke fire of the enemy unnecessarily, to push forward the magazines, and to alter the chassis with the aid of McCall or Collum, one of whom Colonel Rhett has been directed to send him. Meantime the brigadier-general commanding desires to call attention to the imperfect work turned out at the arsenal.
In the absence and by command of Brigadier-General Ripley:
WM. F. NANCE,
Extracts from journal* of Captain John C. Mitchell, First South Carolina Artillery, of operations at Shell Point Battery (Battery Simkins), July 19-September 7.
July 19.-Captain John C. Mitchel assumed command, and Captain J. B. Humbert reported for duty with his company (I, Second South Carolina Artillery).
July 20.-Captain G. W. Stallings reported for duty with his company (G, Second South Carolina Artillery).
July 20, 21.-Occupied in mounting guns and arranging battery for action.
July 22.-No record.
July 23.-By order of Brigadier-General Ripley, opened the battery, consisting of two 10-inch columbiads and two mortars, on the enemy's land battery at left of house known as Graham's headquarters, to which the enemy replied very slowly from their batteries on right of Graham's headquarters. The fire was continued until a late hour in the evening, say 7 o'clock. The batteries not being completed, I ordered the fire to cease, in order that the engineers and pelted, I ordered the fire to cease, in order that the engineers and workmen might proceed with their work.
July 24.-The double-banded Brooke rifle put in position.
July 25.-Opened fire on the enemy's batteries, my battery consisting of two 10-inch columbiads, one Brooke rifle (6.40 caliber), and three mortars. Fired at intervals of fifteen minutes, to which enemy replied slowly. Toward evening the fire slackened, and about 7 o'clock it ceased. At 11 and 2 o'clock, same night, I fired salvos from all my guns and mortars, by special order, about 3 rounds from each piece.
July 26.-Reopened fire at daylight, firing at fifteen-minute intervals for each gun. At the second discharge of the Brooke gun, then under special charge of Lieutenant C. C. Rush, it burst, killing 1 and wounding 3 cannoneers. It was loaded with 12 pounds of power and a solid shot. The fire was continued with the other pieces.
July 27, 28.- Firing continued. The fuses burned badly, many never igniting, and those that did burning very irregularly.
July 29.-Firing continued. No regularity in the fuses. Would effect as much by throwing solid shot. An 8-inch columbiad mounted in place of the Brooke gun. Captain Stallings' company relieved by
*As forwarded from day to day to department headquarters. The battery was officially designated as above August 21, 1863.