Numbers 19. Reports of Bvt. Brigadier General Henry L. Abbot, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, commanding Siege Train, of operations April 1-May 31.
RICHMOND, VA., June 3, 1865.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following personal report and report of operations for the month of April, 1865:
The following changes occurred in my command: On April 3 the Ninth Corps moved forward, leaving my command entirely under General Hartsuff for the time. On April 23 Companies A and H, Thirteenth New York Artillery, were relieved from duty with me and ordered to rejoin their regiment. Otherwise everything remained as heretofore reported.
My artillery was hotly engaged in the battles resulting in the capture of Petersburg, and in the demonstration made to prevent General Mahone from leaving the Bermuda Hundred line, firing 5,560 rounds during April 1 and 2. One hundred wagons were constantly employed in hauling ammunition. In addition to these usual duties of artillery, a detachment of 100 men and 3 officers, commanded by First Lieutenant-Rogers, all of First Connecticut Artillery, accompanied the assaulting column, entered the rebel works near Fort Mahone with the very advance, and served six pieces of captured artillery, with the greatest gallantry, for twenty-four hours, when the rebels evacuated the city. This party was armed with their muskets, and carried lanyards, friction primers, fuses, and other small articles, the want of which always delays the opening of fire with captured guns for a few invaluable moments. This clothing battle of the campaign for us was thus marked by a new and brilliant service.
Immediately after the evacuation prompt steps were taken to remove my own and the captured artillery. By the night of April 8 all guns, removed. The guns were the following: 49 of my own train in front of Petersburg, 30 belonging to the rebel land batteries there, and 22 from their Appomattoz water batteries; also 4 from their line in front of Bermuda Hundred. By the end of the month 11 more from near Bermuda Hundred front and 34 from the land batteries near Fort Harrison had also been removed, together with about 50 of my own train form this part of the line. Everything was afloat and much ordnance had been sent to Old Point and Washington. Thus the total number of guns, &c., shipped during the month was about 200 by my command alone.
I have been much interested to see the devices used in different parts of the rebel line to escape the effect of the artillery fire. Thus, near Hare's Hill, on the Petersburg front, where I had concentrated a very heavy mortar fire, their line was a mere labyrinth of trench, with bomb-proof cove in every available spot. This was often made of railroad iron, covered by about three feet or dirt, the rails being taken from the iron, covered by about three feet of dirt, the rails usual taken form the Suffolk road in the vicinity. They had also made splinter-proofs, at about fifty yards intervals, by laying the rails form the cost line tot he rear traverses, and putting dirt on top, the cover being about six feet wide at the crest line. This was evidently used by the men on duty to avoid fragments. This part of their line was not well defended by obstructions, a fault which could not be found with that in front of