Report of Capt. Louis J. Girard, C. S. Army, Chief of Ordnance, Third Military District

January 24, 1864.

GENERAL: Inclosed 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 circumstances.

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


 Captain, and Chief of Ordnance.

 [Major-General GARDNER.]

RICHMOND, 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 carriage.

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 entirely unserviceable.

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 respectfully submitted.

     Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


 Captain, and Chief of Ordnance, Port Hudson, La.

              Commanding, Port Hudson, La.

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