Saturday afternoon. Before going to headquarters, the inspector, Colonel Smith
, with whom I was well acquainted, called on me, and in his peculiar way informed me of the object of his visit.
‘You and I,’ he began, ‘are in the same boat.
The general alleges that you falsely report that the five Dahlgren
gun-carriages are liable to collapse at the first or second discharge of the gun; that the plank gun foundations of the batteries are rotten and unsafe.
The general is mad at you, and he is wrathy with me for saying to him that I knew you personally, and that you were not capable of making a false report.
My reputation as well as yours is involved.
To-morrow morning at nine o'clock we will demonstrate that you know your business.’
Battery No. 1, near my quarters, was the first one tested that Sunday morning. The gun-carriage collapsed utterly at the first discharge.
‘I have seen enough,’ said the inspector; ‘if you will allow me, I will spend the rest of the morning in your quarters, while you proceed with your work of destruction.’
At 12 o'clock I reported ‘one
gun-carriage demolished at the first
carriages at the second
, and one
carriage at the third
‘You have redeemed your promise; and it is the best Sunday job I have ever seen,’ was the inspector's comment.
In recognition of my Sunday's work of destruction, General Sherman
sent to our post the Second Ohio Light Battery.
And I served as ordnance officer till the regiment was mustered out of service.
Although my second tour of duty on Ship Island
was of rather a sober character, yet we occasionally had somewhat stirring times.
Armed boat expeditions along the Mississippi
shore, and to some of the islands, served to remind us that even our
military service was needed still in this waiting-to-be-blest section.
Finally the general before Mobile
sent an order for our two 100-pounder Parrott guns.
The colonel told the officer who brought the order that the guns were about a mile from the wharf, and that, for lack of facilities, he could neither dismount them nor transport them to the wharf.
‘But we must have
The general's orders are imperative,’ insisted the officer.
The colonel sent for me to corroborate his statement.