Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 04.djvu/226
218 Southern Historical Society Papers.
hundred muskets. Large detachments from these commands did not rejoin them. While the transfer was being made, my force was greatly swollen, but the troops were for the most part out of posi- tion awaiting transportation. Sickness and constant heavy details diminished the number of muskets.
For the first ten days my artillery, aided by well-trained sharp- shooters, was able to cope with that of the enemy ; sometimes si- lenced his guns and often broke up his working parties in hand- some style ; but after this time it was evident, from his overwhelm- ing resources in men and guns, that it would ,be impossible with the means at my disposal to arrest his gradual advance. While he was steadily digging up . to our front and flanks, his fleet kept up a well-directed and heavy fire in our rear, and mortars dropped over the entire surface shells of the largest size ; his batteries in rear of his right flank bombarded batteries Huger and Tracy, ex- posing our communication and sweeping the woody flat upon the left flan'k, enfiladed for several hundred yards that part of the line, and took in reverse the center and right the batteries and rifle- pits. So his batteries in front of redoubt McDermott, No. 2, looked down upon our whole right, and took in reverse the left center and left.
Our works were shaped a good deal like a horse -shoe pressed open, and those batteries at the toe and heels could command every part of the line, and these batteries were of the weightiest metal. An expedition between us and Blakely, in Bay Minette, was daily growing more formidable, and it became necessary to guard our water flanks by picket-boats, and to dispose a considerable force to protect our rear ami the telegraph lines, and the headway against his fleet and barges.
Several attempts were made by concentrated bombardment from day to day to demoralize the troops, with the intention to take ad- vantage of any accident, and likewise repeated efforts to advance his lines without digging ; but in each instance he was repulsed with a loss proportioned to the vigor of the attack.
At one time he established himself very close to redoubt 2, and it became necessary, in order to hold this battery and use it effec- tively, to dislodge him. It was designed to make a general attack on his part of the line to the extreme right, and Captain Clement S. Watson, my inspector general, led the sortie in front of the