mortars on Cemetery Hill battery, which was firing on our troops in rear Fort Haskell. the other mortars were directed on the batteries near the Petersburg pike. They burst a large number of shell in the fort, wounding four men of the Fifty-first Pennsylvania; no casualties in Company A. They opened one new mortar where they were digging day before yesterday, in rear of the Crater.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. D. PATTERSON,
Lieutenant, First Connecticut Artillery, Commanding Battery.
Lieutenant W. S. MALONY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Siege Batteries.
Numbers 16. Report of Lieutenant Ebenezer P. Mason, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, commanding Battery Sawyer, of operations January 23-24.
James River, Va., January 29, 1865.
SIR: Pursuant to instructions from headquarters Siege Artillery, Line of Bermuda Hundred, dated January 28, 1865, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this battery in the engagement with the rebel rams on the 23rd and 24th instant:
About 8 p. m. the 23rd Fort Brady opened fire; the Cox Ferry batteries replied; I opened, hoping to draw the enemy's fire from Fort Brady, in order to enable Captain Pierce to serve his guns more rapidly on the rebel rams, if they were in the river. I was partially successful, drawing the fire of two 10-inch columbiads and one 8-inch rifled gun. I expended five case-shot, six percussion-shell, 100-pounder, and five 10-inch mortar shell.
At 10 p. m. Lieutenant Reed, commanding navy picket detachment, reported to me that a high-pressure side wheel steamer lay at the obstructions and was attempting to remove them, and that two rams lay in the channel about 400 yards above. The night was so dark that I was unable to discover their exact positions excepting by the explosion of the shell from Battery Parsons. I fired at the rams three 100-pounder solid shot, at intervals of about fifteen minutes, with what effect I am unable to tell, and at the steamer nine 10 inch mortar shell, nearly all of which burst well, annoying the men at work on the instructions very much. At 12.30 a. m. the rams dropped down the river to the obstruction where my 100-pounder would not bear on them. At 3 a. m. the 24th one ram dropped down the stream opposite Sleepy Hollow, about 550 yards from the battery, and remained there at anchor about forty-five minutes. While she lay there one mortar shell, fired at 60 degrees elevation, charge twelve ounces, without bursting charge, struck her on the deck without any visible effect; immediately after, however, she hove up her anchor and changed her position. Thinking it might be her intention to land a force of marines and attack the battery and destroy the signal tower, I posted the supernumerary men (about thirty), with muskets, near the wharf, to prevent any boats landing. The ram, after dropping down stream bout 100 yards, chaged her course and steamed up the river out of sight; not being able to discover her position I ceased firing daylight. While she lay opposite Sleepy Hollow I fired at her nineteen mortar shell, at 60 degrees elevation, without bursting charge; I cannot state positively that but one struck her. The firing was very accurate, all the shell striking within a radius