necessary for Main to leave the Hartford. What are your orders?
Go to your
lower station [as soon] as possible. Will be in the same position
"Can you see that gun that is firing now?"
"Rebel guns opposite me are firing."
"Are they together?"
"No. One is 600, the next 1,000, and the next 1,100 yards from your
"On the river bank?"
"Yes, within 50 yards of it."
"How was that shell from her?"
"Don't know. I can direct one of your guns, if you are ready."
"Ready now. Firing at second gun. Watch."
"Your last gun made a good shot. Little too far to the right."
"Watch our mortar. How was that?"
"Fire little to left and 100 yards short."
"Have rebel shells done any damage to our battery on right bank of
"Send a man to find out, if not too dangerous. Watch fire of these
“How was that?”
"Did not explode; fire again."
"How far is that gun next to citadel?"
"Six hundred yards."
"Chart says 85 yards from church. Will fire at it."
"Good range. Fell 200 yards short."
"O.K. Who are the navy chaps with you?"
"See last shot?"
10 feet to the left."
"I mean the mortar shell."
"Struck in the citadel 200 yards short."
"How is this?"
"One hundred and fifty yards short."
"One Parrott on this bank is disabled."
"Hit by rebel shells."
"Yes, but how badly disabled, and hit in what point?"
"The carriage was hit underneath. No great damage· Last shot 1,000
"General Stone wants to know if any damage has been done to the rebel
fifth gun has hit the breastwork of the big rifle four times. Its fire is
splendid. Can dismount it
"You say our fifth gun?"
"Yes, from the left."
"Our sixth gun just made a glorious shot."
"Is the carriage of our Parrott too much disabled to be immediately
"Think not. Believe they are at work on it. Let the sixth gun fire 10
feet more to the left."
"How now about the fifth and sixth guns?"
"The sixth gun is the bully boy."
"Can you give it any directions to make it more bully?"
"Last shot was little to the right."
"Fearfully hot here. Several men sunstruck. Bullets whiz like fun.
Have ceased firing for awhile,
rebels are firing that rifle. No. 6 can stop them.
"Tell Charles to be more careful about his motions. Report
immediately any damage to our guns.
"Yes; they have knocked half the earthworks over before that big
"Can they now hit it with same aim?"
"Will fire at rifle now; report any shot."
must know which guns are to fire."
"Only one in this battery."
it fifth or sixth?"
"Neither; it is a navy Dahlgren which I want you to direct the fire
"Be there again to-morrow morning at 6 a.m. Cannot see. C. S."
"Are you ready?"
"No. One gun fires a shade too low."
"Report everything important in regard to batteries on right
Lieutenant SLACK, Mortar
Captain Closson to send me to-day twenty boxes of spherical case and
twenty boxes shells.
"Report shells from mortar."
"Big rifle is just disabled by our Parrott."
"How badly? Is any gun of big battery firing at it now?"
"The gun has pitched forward. No."
"We are firing at the gun in ravine behind the citadel. How was
"Can't see any gun mounted within 1,000 yards of the citadel. Should
like to direct fire of No. 9 or
"What do you propose to fire at with No. 9 or 10?"
"Two fine guns, the lowest on river bank, and now firing at our
can direct the fire of No. 9 or a 24-pounder. Will wait for your report
after each shot.
"Forty yards to the right. That shell burst little short. Range first
for the present, and withdraw your section from the bank.
"Last shot but one was 50 yards to the right; last shot was splendid,
only 3 yards to right. F.L.L.
"How was last shot from howitzer?"
"That shot touched the breastwork 8 feet to the right of the gun. F.
L. L. and little lower."
"And the last?"
"Had good range, but was 100 yards short."
"That burst short."
"Last shot was 100 yards to the right. This shot was capital; a
fraction high. Last shot was 50 yards
"It can't get any farther to the left. Where is the second rebel
"The lowest gun is 75 yards from the river; second gun is a little
farther up, and 40 yards from the
"How was that?"
"Little too high. Last shot little too high."
"Are we firing at the lower or second gun?"
"Howitzer is firing at second gun; the others fire to your right of
both S. O. E. very little."
"Howitzer's shell goes 6 feet over the gun every shot; last shot was
too high; little too high again.
"Won't, I guess."
"Was that shot any better, and that?"
"Both and forever too high."
"We will vamose now. Come again to-morrow. Sent. "Nine a.m. will
do, will it not?"
"Yes; cease signaling."
The record of
this day's work is so long and monotonous that I omit it. One day is
almost literally the counterpart of another. The firing of our heavy
batteries yesterday, under the guidance of our signals, was accurate and
(In communication with General Banks' headquarters.)
I am detaining
the General Price here to take Colonel Smith back to Vicksburg. If he
intends returning, pray
send him at once.
is writing dispatches to General Grant, which I will send in a few
moments. Colonel Smith remains here.
Commodore PALMER, Hartford:
has surrendered, and will be formally turned over to us at 7 o'clock
to-morrow morning. Please keep a bright lookout to-night.
(In communication with U. S. S. Richmond.)
Please send my
clerk immediately. Let him stop at Colonel Sayre's, and ask him how many
teams he can send me. Have him bring a horse for me.
You can let
your stores remain if they are in safety. I shall probably be down this
afternoon. Port Hudson surrenders to-day. I send your clerk over.
(In communication with General Banks' headquarters.)
We are short
of coal here, and the transports have had steam up all day. Coal is
scarce. Shall I let the fire go down?
Commodore JAMES S. PALMER,
authority to pass down by Port Hudson whenever you please. Please order
our transports to go to Point Pleasant Landing to-night. The general
requests you to keep one gunboat above to watch the place and the river
to-night, and to place one at his disposal to take dispatches to
seal Red River, thereby cutting off the supplies of both Port Hudson and
Vicksburg, the Hartford came to anchor at its mouth April 1, 1863.
attack at night with a fleet of rams and gunboats was angrily threatened
by the enemy for six weeks. With my flagman, I volunteered to ascend the
river several miles each night in a skiff, thoroughly equipped with
rockets, to announce his approach.
served upon this nocturnal picket, relieved at times by the regular
officers and men of the flagship, until the arrival of Admiral Porter's
iron-clads, after the reduction of Grand Gulf.
have the honor to add that to the performance of this and our more
legitimate signal duty Admiral Farragut awarded official mention and
approval in his communications to the Secretary of the Navy.
flagmen were Charles P. Eaton and Orville S. Sanborn. They were in eight
sharp engagements while on the Hartford. They stood at their posts at a
time when veteran sailors crouched and crawled and hid. Each of them,
during the sickness of the other, has divided the day with myself, and
stood single, unrelieved watches of twelve consecutive hours. Both were
intrusted by Commodore Palmer with important errands, and Eaton was
selected to carry the original dispatches from General Grant to General
Banks announcing the surrender of Vicksburg. They are brave, intelligent,
and trusty men.
have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant Twelfth Maine, Acting Signal
Lieut. GEORGE R. HERBERT,
Adjutant, Signal Corps, Department of the Gulf.
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