War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0356 N. AND SE. VA., N.C., W. WA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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of the Fourteenth Massachusetts Battery, and four 8-inch and three Coehorn, manned by Company K of the First Connecticut Artillery. Owing to the darkness and the extremely short distance over which the enemy had to pass after overcoming our picket-line, but one discharge from each of the rifle guns in Battery No. 10 could be fired before the enemy, forcing their way over the breast-work, surrounded and killed, captured, and drove off the cannoneers. The mortars were not fired, but fell in like manner into the hands of the enemy. Captain Twiss, commanding these mortars, immediately collected the remainder of his men, and with their muskets, fighting from bomb-proof to bomb-proof, assisted in retarding the enemy's progress. In the meantime each of the four pieces in Fort Stedman were fired, discharging the canister with which they were kept loaded at night, and it is reported were afterward fired about a dozen times. An attempts was made to wheel one of the guns around to the flank overlooking Battery No. 10, but before this could be done the enemy had entered the fort and overpowered the cannoneers at their guns. Soon after gaining possession of Fort Stedman and Battery No. 10 the enemy advanced in strong force along the inside of our works toward Battery No. 12, in which were two 8-inch and four Coehorn mortars, in charge of Company L, of the First Connecticut Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Lewis. Immediately upon the first alarm in the direction of Fort Stedman, these mortars were fired and continued firing upon the advancing enemy until the fire of the latter from the rear became so hot as to make it impossible to retain possession of the place, whereupon Lieutenant Lewis led his men to Fort Haskell, where, with their muskets, they did good service in assisting to repel assaults of the enemy upon that work.

In Fort Haskell were four light 12-pounders, under Brevet Major Woerner, of the Third New Jersey Battery, and four Coehorns, belonging to Company L, First Connecticut Artillery. The artillerymen in this fort could not distinguish the character of the advancing body, who in the darkness appeared to them as a body of our own men retiring from Fort Stedman, until they were within about 100 yards, where, taking cover behind huts and bomb-proofs, they opened a sharp fire, which was immediately replied to by all the pieces that could be brought to bear in this direction. A line of our troops, advancing at the same time, partly cut off this body of the enemy's, when a large number of them surrendered, the remainder of them escaping. Shortly afterward a line of the enemy was formed near Fort Stedman, which advanced but a short distance toward Fort Haskell, when it was broken and forced to retire. Brevet Major Woerner directing three of his guns along our breast-work, kept the enemy from again advancing in that direction, and also poured a most injurious fire into the enemy, who were in and around Fort Stedman. While these things were transpiring upon the left of Fort Stedman a large body of the enemy swept in like manner down along our works upon the right toward Battery No. 9. The artillery in this battery consisted of two light 12-pounders, belonging to Batteries C and I, Fifth U. S. Artillery, under Brevet Captain Stone, and three Coehorn mortars, served by Company K, First Connecticut Artillery. The garrisons of Battery No. 9 being aroused by the firing at Fort Stedman were at once at their posts, and when the advancing enemy were distinguishable, which was at the distance of about 500 yards, fire was opened upon them so hotly as to check and cause them to seek shelter in a depression of the ground, where they were held under fire of canister until almost 7 o'clock, when an officer,