sharp-shooters was constructed to-night in the open field, within plain sight of all parts of the enemy's line, and within good musket-range of it. December 14.--Heavy and persistent artillery firing kept up all day from the enemy's batteries. The majority of their guns were thirty-two pounders. One was a sixty-four-pounder, and there were a few light field-pieces. Received to-day the official orders announcing the capture of Fort McAllister, and our communication with the fleet. A small wagon-train from my command was sent for supplies. At ten A. M., one of the enemy's gunboats came up on the high-tide in Back River, the other side of Hutchinson's Island, fired several shots into Jones's camp, and withdrew. The practice was good, causing three or four casualties. December 15.--The usual artillery firing from the enemy. They expended an immense amount of ammunition in my front, averaging over three hundred shots per day. No reply was made, except by my sharp-shooters, who were very active and accurate in their fire, causing much greater losses to the enemy than were produced among my troops by their artillery fire. My troops were kept well concealed, and it was impossible for the enemy to make any correct estimate of my force. Received to-day New-York papers of the tenth, being our first Northern news since leaving Atlanta. December 16.--No change in position to-day. The usual sharp-shooting from our side and artillery firing from the enemy was kept up. It having been decided to place some heavy guns in position on my line, a working party of one hundred men from my Second brigade was employed throughout the night constructing a strong lunette near the left of Barnum's line. The work was under the superintendence of Captain Schilling, Topographical Engineer on my staff. I had now two regiments of Jones's brigade, the Seventy-third Pennsylvania and One Hundred and Thirty-fourth New-York volunteers, both under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson, encamped on Hutchinson's Island, and so intrenched as to hold the upper part of it against any force the enemy might bring. At high-tide, daily, the enemy's gunboats moved up in Back River, and shelled these regiments. The enemy's land batteries also turned their fire in that direction frequently. Very few casualties occurred. December 17.--The work on Fort No. 1 (that in the left of Barnum's line) progressed so far last I night that my details were working inside of it to-day, being protected by the heavy parapet. This work was but two hundred and fifty yards distant from the advanced fort on the enemy's right, and could be plainly seen by them. They expended both artillery and musketry fire on it all day, but without effect. At eleven A. M., a large mail arrived for us, and caused universal rejoicing, being our first during nearly six weeks. To-night, working details from my First brigade commenced constructing Fort No. 2, to be a large lunette for heavy guns, in the open field, in front of Pardee's left. This position being exposed to fire from all the batteries in my front, the work upon it had to be done quietly and at night. December 18.--The working detail on Fort No. 2 continued until nine A. M., at which time the heavy fog lifted. That on Fort No. 1 worked all day inside the parapets. All the roads within my lines and to the rear were corduroyed to-day. The usual artillery firing continued by the enemy during the day, and also throughout the night; their principal aim being to prevent our men from working on the forts, in which they did not succeed. To-night, a working detail from my First brigade began the construction of Fort No. 3, in the open field, to the right and in advance of No. 2. Details from the Third brigade continued working on the latter, while Fort No. 1 was being finished by details from the Second brigade. December 19.--A conference of the division and brigade commanders with the General commanding the corps was held at ten A. M. to-day, with view to the adoption of a plan for storming the enemy's works, as soon as the heavy guns should be in readiness to open fire. Fort No. 1 was finished this evening. The details from First and Third brigades continued work on the other forts during the night, under a heavy artillery fire from the enemy. Several casualties occurred, among them Major Wright, a most valuable officer, commanding the Twenty-ninth Ohio volunteers, who was severely wounded by a shell. Sloan's battery of three-inch rifled guns had already taken position in a work thrown up to the right of Fort No. 3, and in the open field. December 20.--The usual artillery firing and sharp-shooting to-day. By this evening we had constructed, and in readiness for use in the contemplated assault, two hundred large straw fascines, to fill up ditches in front of the enemy's works; also a large number of fascines made of bamboo-cane. The latter were to be used for bridging the canal by laying them across baulks, which were furnished from the pontoon-train for that purpose. The work on Forts 2 and 3 was well advanced to-day, and would probably be completed to-night. Three siege-guns (thirty-pounder Parrotts) were brought down this evening, and mounted in Fort No. 1. I ascertained this morning that the enemy had completed a pontoon-bridge from Savannah across to the South-Carolina shore, and notified the General commanding corps of the discovery. This bridge was about two and a half miles from my left. The usual artillery firing was kept up by the enemy during the day and night. During the night I heard the movement of troops and wagons across the pontoon-bridge before mentioned, and sent a report of the fact to the General commanding corps. Leaving one of my staff to watch the sounds in that direction, I notified my officer of the day and brigade commanders to keep a vigilant watch upon the enemy, as they were probably evacuating. The details on Forts
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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