War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0096 KY., S. W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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of Spanish Fort by water would have been effected by the navy, but the shoal water and obstructions on Blakely Bar prevented this. Every exertion was therefore made to secure the control of Blakely River by the army and complete the isolation of the fort. For this purpose batteries for heavy guns were prepared on the east side of Bay Minette north of the bayou, and preparations made for a boat expedition to cut the treadway between Spanish Fort and Fort Tracy, the final bombardment and assault to be preceded by the destruction of the treadway to cut off the escape of the garrison. The assistance required from the navy was promptly tendered by the admiral, but the launches were at Ship Island and Pensacola, and, although sent for, could not be got up in season. Disappointed in this expectation and at the suggestion of A. J. Smith, and on account of the progress made on his right, the time for the bombardment was anticipated and ordered for 5.30 p. m. of the 8th. At this time there were in position against Spanish Fort fifty-three siege guns (including ten 20-pounder rifles and sixteen mortars) and thirty-seven field pieces. Of these, ten siege rifles and five siege howitzers on our left center enfiladed the enemy's left and center, and five siege howitzers close in on our extreme right enfiladed his center. The Bay Minette battery against Huger and Tracy consisted of two 100-pounder and four 30-pounder rifles. One of the batteries, Numbers --, against Spanish Fort was armed with navy guns and manned by officers and sailors of the squadron, volunteers for this service. The fire of these guns was opened at the appointed time and continued until dark, the troops being in the trenches and prepared to improve any advantage that might be gained. Under cover of the bombardment two companies of the Eighth Iowa, supported by the remainder of the regiment and closely followed by the other regiments of Geddes' brigade, of Carr's division, effected a lodgment on the left of the enemy's line and gained a position from which about 200 yards of his entrenchments could be enfiladed with a musketry fire. This was soon taken, and with it about 200 prisoners, and the captured guns turned upon the enemy.

Night had now fully set in, but Smith was instructed to put his whole force to the work and press it on to completion. A brigade from Veatch's division, then in reserve near Blakely, was ordered by telegraph to report to him, and Granger was advised by telegraph of Smith's progress and instructed to direct the fire and operations on his part so as not to come in conflict with the force at work within the enemy's lines. This work, led by Colonel Geddes and superintended by Generals Carr and Smith, was pushed on diligently and persistently, and soon after midnight all of the works were in our possession. The brigade from Veatch's division was not needed and was sent back by Smith. The immediate fruits of this success were the capture of these strong forts, two miles of entrenchments with all the armament, material, and supplies, 4 flags, and more than 600 prisoners. The major part of the garrison escaped by the treadway to Fort Tracy, and thence to Blakely and Mobile. In this they were materially aided by the darkness and our imperfect knowledge of the interior of their works. In these last operations the force engaged consisted of one brigade (Bertram's) and one division (Benton's) of the Thirteenth Corps, two divisions (McArthur's and Carr's) of the Sixteenth Corps, with their field batteries; the First Indiana Heavy Artillery, except one company; two companies of the Sixth Michigan Heavy Artillery, and one battery from the navy.