HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,
February 21, 1865. (Received 10 a. m.)
Bvt. Major General A. S. WEBB,
Chief of Staff:
The cannonading of yesterday was commenced by our people firing upon a working party of the enemy. Sharpshooting on a part of our line, and about the same amount of picket-firing at night. Some deserters came in during the night, the number not yet reported.
JNO. G. PARKE,
HDQRS. ARTILLERY BRIGADE, NINTH ARMY CORPS,
February 21, 1865.
Bvt. Major General H. J. HUNT,
Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that at about 1 p. m. yesterday Captain Cooper, commanding Coehorn mortars in Battery 15, opened upon the enemy's working party, who were erecting a new abatis in front of the fort to the left of the Baxter road. The enemy replied from his 8-inch and Coehorn mortar batteries on Cemetery Hill and rifled guns and 12-pounder to the front of Forts Morton and Haskell. To this fire Forts Mortar and Haskell and Batteries 15 and 14 replied, and continued firing the enemy ceased. There men of Third New Jersey Battery, in Fort Haskell, were slightly wounded, and Captain Cooper's camp, in Battery 15, was partly destroyed. A few mortar shells were exchanged by Battery 5 and the rebel mortar battery without material damage, with the exception of one infantryman slightly wounded.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. C. TIDBALL,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES,
February 21, 1865. (Received 7.30 p. m.)
Your dispatch in received. The department of the Fifteenth New york Engineers now with this army are the only experienced pontoniers in it. The First Ne York Engineers are very much depleted and somewhat disorganized, and could neither furnish officers nor men for pontoon trains. It would seriously cripple and greatly delay the organization of the trains ordered by General Barnard by taking these men away now, and, in my opinion, great risk would be incurred in not having these trains ready in the event of this army moving soon. For the number of trains ordered this detachment furnished scarcely a sufficiency.
JNO. W. TURNER,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.