War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0246 KY.,S.W.VA.,TENN., N. & C.GA.,MISS.,ALA., & W.FLA.

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No. 53. Report of Captain Thomas J. Ginn, Third Brigade Indiana Light Artillery, of operations March 27-April 9.


In the Field, Ala., April 13, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the late siege of Spanish Fort and Fort Alexis and storming of Fort Blakely, Ala.:

On the morning of March 27, 1865, while in column of march upon the main road in front of Fort Alexis, I was ordered by Brigadier-General McArthur, commanding First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, to move by the left flank on the left of the Second Brigade, First Division, in the direction of the fort. When the line had advanced to within 2,000 yards of the enemy's works I was ordered by General McArthur to take a position and open fire directly in rear of the Third Brigade, First Division, upon the forts. The firing was continued for one hour, but with what effect I could not ascertain, owing to the dense growth of timber which intervened. About 1 p.m. I was ordered by General McArthur to move one section of my battery to a position on the right of the Second Brigade, First Division. I intrusted the execution of this order to Lieutenant Richard Burns, of my command. In these two positions we kept up a desultory fire on the enemy's works until dark. During the night earth-works were constructed upon a point opposite the lower end of Fort Alexis at a distance of 1,400 yards, and early in the morning of March 28 I received orders from General McArthur to move my battery under cover of this work, which was done, and during the day we fired, at intervals, about eighty shots with good effect, often striking the enemy's works quite near the embrasures. In this manner I kept up a slow fire, at irregular intervals, from day to day, always doing good execution, until April 4, at 5 p.m., pursuant to orders from Major-General Canby, my battery, with all the others around our line, shelled the enemy vigorously for a space of two hours. From this time until April 8 we fired but little, though always with the same telling effect upon their embrasures, and rarely failed in silencing any guns which opened fire upon us directly in front. At 6 p.m. April 8 we took part in shelling the enemy's works one hour. On the morning of April 9, the forts having succumbed during the night, I was ordered by Brigadier-General McArthur to take up the line of march toward Blakely, following the Second Brigade, First Division, and at 3 p.m. went in camp about three miles southeast of the Fort Blakely, which was then invested by General Steele's army and the Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps. At 4 p.m. April 9 I was ordered by General McArthur to report with my command for temporary duty to Brigadier-General Garrard, commanding Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps. Upon arriving on the field I was unable to find Garrard, and therefore ordered my battery into position in the open field in rear of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, where, with the other batteries, I co-operated in shelling the enemy's works for about half an hour, when our infantry assaulted and carried them by storm. During the thirteen days and nights in which my command was constantly under fire I suffered no loss in men or material, and I here take great