War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 1024 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C.

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the enemy's fleet. The position of these vive guns completely commanded Fort Gatlin in the rear as well as the coast and the fort. I then sent for Captain Southerland to bring up the section of his guns that he had near Ramseur. I immediately opened upon the enemy's fleet with the long-range guns, but had to fire very slowly, as it was almost impossible to make the cannoneers do their duty. The 32-pounder at Fort Gatlin never fired a shot, neither am I aware of the 6-pounder Whitworth having been used. The same shell that wounded me also wounded the lieutenant commanding the Whitworth gun. I gave orders to the officers as soon as the enemy attempted to land to open upon them as rapidly as possible. As I was going off the field Captain Southerland rode up. I told him his men were behaving very badly and ordered him to take command of them and repel the landing, if made, at all hazards. He went forward at once, and this was the last I saw of him. Experience on former occasions convinces me beyond a doubt that the enemy could have been repulsed with great slaughter, the range being not over 700 or 800 yards and the natural protections almost perfect.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. W. READ,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Light Artillery.


No. 30. Report of Captain Thomas J. Southerland, Tenth North Carolina Regiment (First North Carolina Artillery).

CAMP NEAR SUGAR LOAF, December 29, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor of making the following report of the movements of my battery on the 25th instant:

On Saturday evening, the 24th instant, by order of Lieutenant-Colonel Read, chief of artillery, I moved with one section of my battery to Battery Anderson to prevent the enemy from landing, one section of the battery, under command of Lieutenant Moore, being in position near Mr. Burris' house. Early on the morning of the 25th the enemy commenced shelling the woods severely near Battery Anderson. They getting my range and I could do them on injury, I moved the section out of their range. Colonel Read, with one section, under command of Lieutenant Ivey, moved on the left of the line, and placed it in position to prevent the enemy from landing. At this point Colonel Read was wounded, and, by direction of General Kirkland, I took command of the artillery. It then being reported that the enemy were moving up a road near our left, I withdrew the section from the position that it occupied and placed it on a line with the brigade covering the road that the enemy were expected to approach. I left one piece on the military road to cover the retreat of our advance skirmishers in case they had to fall back. By order of General Kirkland I placed one section inside the works around Sugar Loaf Hill and the others on a line with the brigade in the new works, and remained in this position until ordered to put my battery in park. The section under command of Lieutenant Moore at Burris' house damaged one vessels so much that she had to withdraw from the engagement. I had 1 man slightly