War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0998 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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two forts, but in case of attack especially on Fort Rice. Fort Sedgwick, Seventeenth Maine Volunteers, First Maine Heavy Artillery, One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, in all 819 officers and men under command of Lieutenant Colonel C. B. Merrill, Seventeenth Maine Volunteers, the ranking officer. I beg, respectfully, to remark that those 819 officers and men cannot be placed in the fort for the reason there for them. The work on the left of the plank road having no artillery can contain at the most 300 men. Fort Sedgwick proper (Fort Hell) is filled up by the artillerymen, magazines, caissons, save on the left, but this part of the work will be in no way too much for the six pieces of artillery (four 4 1/2-inch Rodmans, and two siege howitzers) to be located there to complete its armament. For these reasons the garrison has so many outside along the breast-works which inclose the batteries in the rear, and I respectfully submit that in order to facilitate the defense and make it more effective the Battery 21, included in the works with which it connects directly between a double line of breast-works, affording a very good place d'armes to be easily defended and large enough to contain a small regiment, the Battery 21 being inclosed and supporting well Fort Sedgwick on the right. I have also to report that the signal nailed this morning are not properly fixed and ought to be changed to prevent confusion. The work on the left of the plank road wears the sign of Fort Sedgwick, of which it is but an annex. Fort Sedgwick as Battery 21. Battery 21 wears the number 20 and Battery 20, where the Fourth Maine Battery is located (four guns), is ignored altogether. In the circular this battery is mentioned by mistake as unoccupied or without guns. In Fort Rice temporary embrasures made with gabions and sand-bags, for the protection of the men manning two field pieces, have been taken off the parapet, as I understand, by order of General Hunt, chief of artillery. I respectfully submit that it makes the use of these two pieces extremely perilous. Being now on high platforms in barbette, the men are fully exposed to the firing of the enemy's sharpshooters at a place where no one can show his head with impunity for five minutes. It is probable that this condition of things was not reported to General Hunt, and respectfully submit that his attention be called to this matter, as the two pieces alluded to are the only ones bearing n front against the enemy's works, and it is important that they should be kept as available as possible.

Respectfully submitted.


Brigadier submitted.




September 24, 1864-9 a.m.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

I have the honor to report that all was quiet in my front yesterday and during the night, nothing unusual transpiring. A deserter came in this morning. He belongs to Seventh North Carolina; has been in service two years; was in Reams' Station fight; says no infantry are on plank road; Anderson's brigade was, but has been withdrawn.


Major-General, Commanding.