of Capt. Louis J. Girard, C. S. Army, Chief of Ordnance, Third Military
please find report of Ordnance Department that I have not been able to
give you at New Orleans, nor to send you from New York, as requested, but
hope that it may reach you at once on your arrival, as I leave it at War
Department, thinking that the best disposition to make of it under the
I have the honor to be, very
respectfully, your obedient servant,
and Chief of Ordnance.
VA., January 24, 1864.
SIR: In accordance with
your order, dated May 20, 1863, I manufactured a siege carriage for the
12-pounder rifled cannon which we had from gunboat on Amite River, and
placed it on the breastworks.
On the 21st, we removed
two 24-pounder smooth-bores from the river defenses to the breastworks.
On the 22d, we removed
two 24-pounder rifled pieces, taking them from barbette carriage on siege
On the 26th, three of
these guns were dismounted by the fire of the enemy. On the same night the
damage done to the carriages was repaired and the guns remounted.
On the 27th, one
24-pounder smooth-bore was entirely disabled and two others dismounted.
The damage done was repaired during the night and the guns remounted
during the next day. I then commenced to manufacture a siege carriage for
a 32-pounder navy gun, which carriage was completed in two days and the
gun in position. On the same day I removed one more 24-pounder from the
river to the rear. These guns during the siege were dismounted and
remounted twenty-one times. Having made so much alteration in our river
defenses, 1 removed the 30 pounder Parrott from Battery 2 to Battery 11;
the 32-pounder rifle from Battery 3 to Battery 11; one 42-pounder from
Battery 3 to Battery 1, and took the 8-inch howitzer from the low battery
on the bluff, placing it on a pivot carriage, so as to be enabled to
operate with it on land as well as on river defenses. At the same time the
10-inch columbiad was dismounted, with carriage chassis, truck-wheel, and
axle-tree broken. Remained a week to repair it.
On June 14, three of
our guns were dismounted. At the request of Col. B. [W.] Johnson,
Fifteenth Arkansas, I fixed some 13 inch mortar shell outside the
fortification, to be burst at the approach of the enemy. A few days after,
we placed some fourteen others outside our fortifications at different
places, arming the men with hand-grenades.
On June 20, I found the
ammunition would be short, having shot away most all of our shells for
heavy artillery. Some men were detailed to pass through the different
encampments picking up bullets, cannon shell of all sizes, and mortar
shell for 8 and 10 inch. The bullets were melted and remolded, and from
4,000 to 5,000 Enfield cartridges were daily manufactured, which kept the
men supplied with ammunition. The artillery ammunition was refixed and
used by our artillery, the smaller size shell being fixed for
hand-grenades, and the shell of large caliber, which we could not use with
our ordnance, were fixed to roll down upon the enemy's works.
On July 1, as the enemy
was mining our works, I was requested by the chief engineer to direct the
counter-mine. I fixed and placed my mining battery, and the counter-mine
was successfully blown up on the morning of July 4. The ammunition for
artillery was of inferior manufacture, many of the 8 and 10 inch shell
being cast so that the hollow was too small to contain the bursting
charge. The fuses were fixed so that the most of the 10-second and
14-second burst at the muzzle of the gun, the friction-primers being
At the surrender,
besides the arms used by the men, there were 600 flint-lock muskets,
unserviceable without repairs; 30,000 Enfield cartridges manufactured
during the siege; 30 pieces light artillery, with 2,500 rounds, mostly
solid shot; 10,000 pounds of powder, including the lot directed to
Lieutenant-General [E. K.] Smith, of the Trans-Mississippi Department; 12
heavy ordnance, with 100 solid shot to the gun.
All of which is most
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
and Chief of Ordnance, Port Hudson, La.
Maj. Gen. FRANK. GARDNER,
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