James F. Hall; two companies of the Third Rhode Island artillery, (Capts. Mason and Rodgers,) and a small detachment from company A, corps of engineers, under Sergeant James E. Wilson. Col. Terry and Lieut.-Col. Hall entered most zealously upon the discharge of their varied duties. A detachment from Col. Rosa's regiment, under Capt. Hinkle, have occupied, since the twenty-second of February, an advanced and very exposed position on Lazaretto Creek, by which boat communication between Fort Pulaski and the interior was cut off. Several interesting reconnoissances of Wilmington Island were made by Capt. Hinkle, one of which, commanded by Col. Rosa, developed some useful information. Lieut. Horace Porter, of the Ordnance Department, has rendered signal, important and indispensable services. Besides discharging most faithfully the special duties of ordnance officer, he directed, in person, the transportation of the heaviest ordnance, and drilled and instructed the men in its use, laboring indefatigably day and night. He was actively engaged among the batteries during the action. Lieut. James H. Wilson, Corps of Topographical Engineers, joined my command eleven days before the action, and did good service in instructing the artillerists. He rendered efficient service with the breaching batteries on the tenth and eleventh. Capt. S. H. Pelouze, Fifteenth infantry, U. S.A., and Capt. J. W. Turner, of the Commissary Department, U. S.A., member of Gen. Hunter's staff, volunteered for the action, and did good service in the batteries. I am under obligations to Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, U. S.N., for skilfully serving four siegeguns in battery Sigel on the eleventh. Lieut. P. H. O'Rourke, Corps of Engineers, and Adam Badeau, Esq., volunteered, and served on my staff as aids during the tenth and eleventh. Sergeant J. E. Wilson, of Co. A, Corps of Engineers, (regular army,) did excellent service in mounting the heavy guns and getting them ready for action. He commanded battery Burnside during the action. No mortar-battery was served more skilfully than his. I will close this preliminary report by some general deductions from absolute results, without going into details or reasons. 1. Mortars (even thirteen-inch sea-coast) are unavailable for the reduction of works of small area like Fort Pulaski. They cannot be fired with sufficient accuracy to crush the casemate arches. They might, after a long time, tire out any ordinary garrison. 2. Good rifled guns, properly served, can breach rapidly at one thousand six hundred and fifty yards distance. A few heavy round shot, to bring down the masses loosened by the rifled projectiles, are of good service. I would not hesitate to attempt a practicable breach in a brick scarf at two thousand yards distance, with guns of my own selection. 3. No better piece for breaching can be desired than the forty-two pounder James. The grooves, however, must be kept clean. Parrott guns, throwing as much metal as the James, would be equally good, supposing them to fire as accurately as the Parrott thirty-pounder. I append to this report a map, giving the position of our several batteries, and the orders issued, assigning the detachments to the batteries, and regulating the direction and rapidity of the firing. Very respectfully, your obedient servant
Report of Brigadier-General Viele.
headquarters United States forces, Savannah River, April 11, 1862.sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the troops under my command, in connection with the investment and reduction of Fort Pulaski. The plan of operations assigned to me comprised the erection of batteries on the Savannah River, to cut off communication between the Fort and the city of Savannah, from which supplies, ammunition and men were drawn; and to establish batteries on the islands adjacent to the Fort, against the gorge and left flank, with which, in conjunction with the batteries on Tybee Island, the Fort could be reduced. The expedition for these purposes was fitted out at Port Royal, and consisted of a detachment of the Third Rhode Island artillery, a detachment of volunteer engineers, a battalion of the Eighth Maine regiment, the Sixth regiment Connecticut Volunteers, the Forty-eighth New-York Volunteers and a full supply of heavy ordnance and intrenching tools. A full reconnaissance and report had previously been made by Lieut. J. H. Wilson, Topographical Engineers, of the water communications with the Savannah River, by which it was developed that the rebels had sunk the hulk of a brig, securely fixed in its position by means of heavy piles, in what is known as “Wall's cut,” an artificial channel connecting Wright River, one of the outlets of the Savannah, with Bull River, which last, by its connection, forms a direct communication with the harbor of Port Royal, thus serving as a thoroughfare between that harbor and Savannah. The removal of this hulk was the first thing to be accomplished, and was intrusted to Major 0. S. Beard, Forty-eighth New-York Volunteers, who, with the aid of a company of the Volunteer Engineers, and by means of mechanical appliances suggested by his own ingenuity, succeeded after three weeks of unremitting night labor, and in close proximity to the rebel forces, in removing the piles and hulk from the channel, so as to admit of the passage of gunboats and light-draught steamers.