of Lieut. John C. Abbott, Thirteenth Connecticut Infantry,
SIR: In obedience to
Captain Roe's orders, I proceeded to the signal station on the U.S. S.
Richmond, where I have been in communication with four stations, viz:
Lieutenant Eaton's, on the Hartford; Lieutenant Russell's, on the right of
the line of our army; Lieutenant Hall's, on the left; and Lieutenant
Jencks, at Springfield Landing.
The following is a
correct transcript of messages sent and received by me from June 2, 1863,
to July 25, 1863, inclusive:
U. S. S.
HARTFORD, June 2.
Send prisoners, and tell Colonel Benedict to send
contrabands and mules.
The enemy number their water batteries 1, 2, from up
the river down. The main magazine is behind Battery No. 6, and about 700
to 500 yards back from the river.
I desire you to fire one of your rifle pieces upon the
rebel pivot gun.
One message omitted
here by mistake.
The shelling of the mortar-boats on Thursday night was
reported to have seriously inconvenienced the enemy. Beef-cattle killed,
and wounded many, and rendered a regimental camp untenable. The bulk of
the shot passed a little to the left and beyond the main magazine. The
sleep of half of the garrison was prevented.
I have him under my control. The minute he opens, I
Your note of yesterday received. The sextant has
arrived; it will be taken care of and returned safely. Much obliged with
your offer in regard to the boats in Bayou Sara. We heard of their safety
yesterday, but would like particulars. Thanks for the hand-grenades.
Hammering and building is reported at the mouth of
Thompson's Creek. Can you account for it?
We have men near by the creek, and will report to you.
All going well.
LANDING, JUNE 9.
Colonel Prince has been to-day to the mouth of
Thompson's Creek, on the east bank, and reports neither hearing nor seeing
anything of the enemy in that neighborhood. Our picket line is complete to
the captured steamboats, whence it is extended by frequent patrols beyond
the steamboats to the river, The crossing of Thompson's Creek is reported
impracticable. We burned the enemy's store-house this afternoon.
Opened fire at 11 a.m. from the heavy guns and
mortars, and fired slowly during the day, with good range and excellent
effect, driving the enemy away from the parapet. Our fire was, except in
one or two cases, unanswered. The navy guns were admirably served. Please
keep up your mortar fire during the whole of the night. We shall fire
slowly all night. We will send you a report of the operations at the mouth
of Thompson's Creek this evening. BANKS, General.
Please send to Springfield Landing 500 blank
cartridges, 50 shrapnel, 500 shell, and 50 solid shot for the 9-inch navy
guns. Please let me know when they will be there.
The ammunition you asked for will be at Springfield
Landing at 5 p.m.
Your letter is received; will send an answer about
charges desired for the navy guns.
Your request will be attended to.
Please send an order to the company of sharpshooters
from the Arizona, said to be ashore at Saint Francisville, to join their
regiment at once.
Commodore Palmer sent me word, and I sent it to you,
that the sharpshooters of the Arizona had joined their regiment some time
before the Arizona went up the river to Natchez, but will send over by the
LANDING, June 13.
Dispatches to General Grant delivered in person. Chief
engineer asks, Can you give Captain Baker four 30-pounder Parrott guns,
and what kind of carriages?
Capt. J. T. BARGER, Engineer:
The admiral has no 30-pounder Parrott guns here. It is
understood there is a large number belonging to the army at New Orleans in
Colonel ---- informs me that you told him that you had
received orders not to fire; if so, it must be a great mistake in some of
my dispatches. Please continue the fire of your mortars all night. We
shall fire all night, also.
Please send as many shrapnel as you can spare for the
9-inch navy guns. General Gardner answers that his duty requires him to
defend the place, and he declines to surrender.
Ammunition for the naval battery just received, and
will be sent this a.m. to Springfield Landing.
Getting very short of ammunition. Please send us as
much Dahlgren ammunition as you can spare, to the extent of 800 rounds,
chiefly shell and shrapnel. Can you spare any 20-pounder Parrott
LANDING, June 15.
Send me as many 5-second fuses as you can possibly
spare to Springfield Landing, care of General Arnold, chief of artillery.
Sir: From information received, I think an attack will
be soon made upon my forces by a large force of cavalry. If the enemy does
not attack me to-day, I shall move my force to the lower fleet, for the
purpose of getting a safe position and near supplies.
I can deliver in New Orleans one thousand 30-pounder
Parrott shot or shell, and six hundred 20-pounder Parrott shot or shell.
If wanted, telegraph to Commodore Morris for it to be sent in an army
LANDING, June 17.
Can you send me two surgeons, as wounded are coming in
very fast, and I am short-handed?
J. C. FISHER, Medical Director:
I have but one surgeon.
SIR: The enemy is in force near Plaquemine--cavalry,
infantry, and artillery. The force that made this morning's raid numbered
300. It seems they intended attacking this place. I at once proceeded here
as quickly as possible.
The commanding officer expects an attack. With the
assistance of a gunboat, the fort can be held, in my opinion, against any
force the rebels can bring.
The admiral has sent a pilot for one of your vessels.
Shall I send him over? We have a few letters for your fleet. All quiet
here and below.
Please open fire with your mortars only at 11 p.m.,
and cease firing at exactly 10 a.m. Throw your shell as nearly as possible
in the center of the works.
I sent the Genesee, a powerful gunboat, at daylight
this morning to Donaldson-ville, with Lieutenant Harwood on board.
The commanding general requests that you spare your
tug to take ammunition from Springfield Landing to Donaldsonville. Please
About 6,000 contrabands here. Please send a steamer
for them. Have ceased firing on account of troops being in direct line of
The Hebe will be at Essex's berth at sunset. Admiral
gone down the river. I follow at once on Saint Mary's.
Bands will play, and we shall fire a salute of one
hundred guns from right to left at noon; will be glad to have you
I have the honor to be, very
respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Thirteenth Conn. Vols., Acting Signal Officer.
Lieut. GEORGE R. HERBERT,
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