Report of Lieut. John W. Dana, Twelfth Maine Infantry, Acting Signal
Officer, of operations June 29-July 3.

July 27, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 29th of June, 1863, I was ordered to open communication with the mortar battery on the left of our line at Port Hudson with Lieutenant Eaton, whose station was in a barn on the opposite side of the river, from which he could see the enemy's river [batteries], with the aim of directing fire of our guns and mortars Upon enemy's batteries.

The following is a correct transcript of messages sent and received by me while there:

JUNE 29, 1863.

Sent. "How shall the mortars fire to hit the gun on wheels behind the citadel? How many yards is it?"

Received. "Three hundred and fifty. The gun is not there."

Sent. "Where is it?"

Received. "Eight hundred [yards] on the verge of the bank."

Sent. "Is it a rifled gun, about 1.28-pounder?"

Received. "Yes."

Sent. "Eight hundred yards from here?"

Received. "Yes."

Sent. "Watch a shot fired at it from here. How was that?"

Received. "Try it again at 500 yards."

Received. "Neither shell exploded. F.L.L."

Sent. "Did they fall in the river?"

Received. "No. F.L.L."

Sent. "Watch now."

Received. "Splendid range; fire 100 yards short of last shot; that did not explode; could not see where it

Sent. "Will try it again; keep watch."

Received. "That fell 150 yards short; range good."

Sent. "Was not fired at it; watch now. Did you see that?"

Received. "No, did not; can seldom see them unless they burst."

Sent. "Will cease firing for the present. Can you see the rebs in the citadel?"

Received. "No; but scores of them on this side."

Sent. "Direct fire at them. Orders are to cease firing for the present."

Received. "Will they permit you to direct fire of one of the Parrotts?"

Sent. "They only bear on the citadel, and all firing has ceased."

During this day we were directing the fire of the mortars.

On July 1, we were again at the same station, and the following are the messages received and sent:

Sent. "Can you see the gun that is firing now?"

Received. "The rebels from opposite me are firing."

Sent. "Are they together?"

Received. "No; one is 600 yards, the next 1,000 yards, and the next 1,200 yards from your battery."

Sent. "On the river bank?"

Received. "Yes, within 50 yards of it."

Sent. "How was that shell from here?"

Received. "Don't know. Can direct fire of your guns, if you are ready."

Sent. "Ready now; firing at second gun; watch now."

Received. "Your last shot was very good; a little to the right."

Sent. "How was that?"

Received. "F. L. L. and 100 yards short."

Sent. "Have rebel shell done any damage to our battery on right bank "

Received. "Can't say."

Sent. "Send a man to find [out], if not too dangerous. Watch fire of these mortars particularly. How was

Received. "Did not explode?"

Sent. "How far to gun nearest citadel?"

Received. "Six hundred yards."

Sent. "Chart says 85 yards from here."

Received. "O. K."

Sent. "Will fire at it."

Received. "Fell 200 yards short; range good."

Received. "The fifth gun in our battery hit the lower rebel piece last shot. Tell them to F. L. L. and a hair
      lower. Just hit it again?

Sent. "See last shot?"

Received. "It was 10 feet to the left."

Sent. "I mean the mortar shot."

Received. "Struck in the citadel, 200 yards short?

Sent. "How is this one?"

Received. "One hundred and fifty yards short."

Received. "One Parrott on this bank is disabled."

Sent. "How?"

Received. "Hit by a shot."

Sent. "Yes, but how badly disabled, and hit in what part?"

Received. "The carriage was hit underneath. No great damage done. Last shot was 100 yards too short."

Sent. "General Stone wants to know if any damage has been done to rebel guns."

Received. "Our fifth gun has hit the breastwork of the big rifle four times. Its fire is splendid. Can dismount
      it soon. No other damage done."

Sent. "You say your fifth gun?"

Received. "Yes, from the left."

Sent. "Is the carriage of our Parrott gun too much disabled to be immediately repaired?"

Received. "The sixth gun has just made a glorious shot. I think not; believe they are working on it; am not
      sure. Let the sixth gun fire 16 feet more to the left."

Sent. "How now about the fifth and sixth guns?"

Received. "No. 6 gun is the bully boy."

Sent. "Can you give it any direction to make it any more bully?"

Received. "Last shot was a little to the right."

Received. "Fire sixth immediately. Rebs are fixing rifle; sixth can stop them."

Sent. "Report immediately any damage done to our guns."

Sent. "Have ceased firing until rebs open again. Did fifth and sixth have good aims?"

Received. "Yes, they have knocked half the earthworks over before the rifle."

Sent. "Can they now hit it with same aim?"

Received. "Yes."

Sent. "Will fire at rifle. Now report every shot."

Received. "S. S. E. I mean from guns just fired. I must know what guns are to fire."

Sent. "Only one in this battery. Cannot see your signals at all because of smoke and darkness. Now can

Received. "Do you know which gun is firing? Is it fifth or sixth."

Sent. "Neither; 'tis a navy Dahlgren, which I want you to direct the fire of."

Received. "O. K."


Received. "No. 1 fires a shade too low."

Sent. "Report everything important in regard to battery on right bank."

Received. "Whatever I know."

Lieutenant SLACK:

Please ask Captain Closson to send me to-day twenty boxes spherical case and twenty boxes shells.



Received. "Big rifle la just disabled by our Parrott."

Sent. "How badly; any need of big battery firing at it any more?"

Received. "The gun has pitched forward."

Sent. "We are firing at gun in ravine behind the citadel. How was that?"

Received. " I can't see any mounted within 1,000 yards of citadel. How was that?"

Received. "One thousand yards. I should like to direct the fire of guns No. 9 or 10."

Received. "The last mortar shell fell 70 yards from the disabled gun. Two fine guns lowest down on the
      river bank are firing at our Parrotts."

Sent. "You can direct the fire of No. 9; 'tis a 24-pounder siege gun. Will wait for your report after each
      shot. Did you see last shot?"

Lieutenant BRADLEY:

Cease firing for the present, and withdraw your section from thebank.



Received." Last shot was 10 yards to the right."

Sent. "How was last shot from howitzer?"

Received. "The last shot but one was 10 yards to the right. The last shot of all was splendid; only 3 feet to
      the right."

Received. "Good shot; F. L. L."

Received. "F. L. L. That shot struck the breastwork 8 feet to the right of the gun,
      F. L. L. and a little lower."

Sent. "And the last?"

Received. "Had good range, but was 100 yards short."

Received. "That burst short."

Received. "The last shot was 10 yards to the right. This shot was capital; a fraction high."

Received. "Last shot was 10 yards to right."

Sent. "Cannot get it any farther to the left. Where is the second rebel gun; can't it fire at that? How was the
      last shot?"

Received. "A little too high."

Received. "The lower gun is 45 yards from river; the second gun is a little farther up and 400 yards from
      him; last shot a little too high."

Sent. "Are we firing at lower or second gun?"

Received. "The howitzer is firing at the second gun, the other to your right of both. The howitzer's shells go
      2 feet over the gun every time."

Received. "Last shot was too high; little too high again."

Received. "Can't they or won't they depress that gun?"

Sent. "Won't, I guess; was that any better, and that?"

Received. "Both, and forever too high?

Sent. "Cease signaling."

Received. "Cease signaling."

On the 3d, I was again at the battery, but no firing was done during the day. Did not go again.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


 Second Lieutenant, and Acting Signal Officer.


Adjutant Signal Corps, Department of the Gulf.

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