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[52]

Send over a section of your battery to a point opposite and throw a few of those percussion shells into that mill. It may weaken their power of endurance. The soldier will go along to point out the mill. Of course, if you draw the fire of those heavy batteries, you will retire and report back to camp.

And so the first section, Lieutenant Hall commanding, made a night march to a boat landing some miles below, where a steamboat was in readiness “to tote” us across. On the other side we marched up, being protected from view of enemy by a very high levee on that side of the river, to a point commanding a good view of the town opposite. Then all hands went to work with shovels, which we came provided with, cutting an embrasure and space to work a gun, thus making a good fort, as it were, in a short time. We then hauled the gun up the slope into position. The men not engaged in working the gun were lying on the grassy slope of the levee watching the effect of the shell on “the large building with a nearly flat roof.” The zouave was reclining on his side with head and shoulders exposed above the levee, as were the rest.

There had been two or three shots fired when Lieutenant Hall, looking through his field glass, remarked: “Those were good line shots, but a little too high; just put them in on the ground floor.” Suddenly a puff of smoke curled up from the water batteries, and a 6-inch solid shot plowed a furrow across the top of the levee, and to our horror and amazement instantly killed our friend the “Zou Zou.” We retired, quietly and quickly, after burying the body then and there making our way back by the same route by which we came, and took our place in line with the rest of the battery in time to march into Port Hudson, the surrender having been made that day. Negotiations to that end were going on the day before, while we were making the attack on the cornmill, though of course unknown to us.

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Port Hudson (Louisiana, United States) (1)
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Richard B. Hall (2)
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