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[298] dawned, and were replied to in front and on the flanks by the whole of the enemy's heavy artillery on land and water. As our supply of ammunition for heavy artillery was very limited, I directed Capt. Mower to fire only occasionally at the enemy's land-batteries, and to concentrate all his fire upon the gunboats. Our guns were served by Capt. Mower with vigor and skill, and in a few hours disabled several of the gunboats, and dismounted three of the heavy guns in the enemy's main work. Shortly after our batteries opened one of the twenty-four pound guns was struck in the muzzle by a round-shot from the enemy's batteries and disabled.

The cannonading was continued furiously all day by the gunboats and land — batteries of the enemy, but without producing any impression upon us. Meantime, during the whole day, our trenches were being extended and advanced, as it was my purpose to push forward our heavy batteries in the course of the night to the bank of the river. Whilst the cannonading was thus going on on our right, I instructed Gen. Paine to make demonstrations against intrenchments on our left, and supported his movements by Palmer's division. The enemy's pickets and grand guards were driven into his intrenchments, and the skirmishers forced their way close to the main ditch.

A furious thunder-storm began to rage about eleven o'clock that night, and continued almost without interruption until morning. Just before daylight, Gen. Stanley was relieved in his trenches, with his division, by Gen. Hamilton. A few minutes after daylight, a flag of truce approached our batteries, with information that the enemy had evacuated his works. Small parties were at once advanced by Gen. Hamilton to ascertain whether such was the fact, and Capt. Mower, First United States infantry, with companies A and H of that regiment, was sent forward to plant the United States flag over the abandoned works.

A brief examination of them showed how hasty and precipitate had been the flight of the enemy. Their dead were found unburied, their suppers untouched, standing on the tables, candles burning in the tents, and every other evidence of a disgraceful panic. Private baggage of officers and knapsacks of men were left behind. Neither provisions nor ammunition were carried off. Some attempt was made to carry ammunition, as boxes without number were found on the bank of the river where the steamers had been landed.

It is almost impossible to give any exact account of the immense quantities of property and supplies left in our hands. All their artillery, field-batteries and siege-guns, amounting to thirty-three pieces, magazines full of fixed ammunition of the best character, several thousand stand of inferior small-arms, with hundreds of boxes of musket-cartridges, tents for an army of ten thousand men, horses, mules, wagons, intrenching tools, etc., are among the spoils. Nothing except the men escaped, and they with only what they wore. They landed on the opposite side of the river, and are scattered in the wide bottoms. I immediately advanced Hamilton's division into the place, and had the guns of the enemy turned upon the river which they completely command.

The flight of the enemy was so hasty that they abandoned their pickets, and gave no intimation to the forces at Island No.10. The consequence is, that one gunboat and ten large steamers which were there, are cut off from below, and must either be destroyed or fall into our hands. Island No.10 must necessarily be evacuated, as it can neither be reenforced nor supplied from below.

During the operations here the whole of the forces were at different times brought under the fire of the enemy, and behaved themselves with great gallantry and coolness. It seems proper, however, that I should make special mention of those more directly concerned in the final operations against the place.

The Tenth and Sixteenth Illinois, commanded respectively by Cols. Morgan and J. R. Smith, were detailed as guards to the proposed trenches and to aid in constructing them. They marched from camp at sunset on the twelfth, and drove in the pickets and grand guards of the enemy, as they were ordered, at shouldered arms and without returning a shot; covered the front of the intrenching parties, and occupied the trenches and rifle-pits during the whole day and night of the thirteenth, under furious and incessant cannonading from sixty pieces of heavy artillery. At the earnest request of their colonels, their regimental flags were kept flying over our trenches, though they offered a conspicuous mark to the enemy. The coolness, courage and cheerfulness of these troops, exposed for two nights and a day to the furious fire of the enemy at short range, and to the severe storm which raged during the whole night of the thirteenth, are beyond all praise, and delighted and astonished every officer who witnessed it. The division of Gen. Stanley, consisting of the Twenty-seventh, Thirty-ninth, Forty-third and Sixty-third Ohio regiments, supported the battery from two o'clock A. M., on the thirteenth, to daylight on the fourteenth, exposed to the full fury of the cannonade, without being able to return a shot, and the severe storm of that night, and displayed coolness, courage and fortitude worthy of all praise. In fact, the conduct of all the troops of this command so far exceeded my expectations, that I was astonished and delighted, and feel very safe in predicting for them a brilliant career in arms.

To General Stanley, who commanded in the trenches on the thirteenth, and to Gen. Hamilton, who relieved him on the morning of the fourteenth, I am specially indebted, not only for their efficient aid on the last days of the operations here, but for their uniform zeal and cooperation during the whole of the operations near this place.

Brig.-General Plummer, commanding at Point Pleasant, is entitled to special commendation for the bold and skilful manner in which he effected a lodgment at that place, under fire of the enemy's gunboats, and for the determined persistence


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