Adjutant and Inspector General Reports
Head Quarters, 1st Vermont Battery
In the Field near Baton Rouge, July 19, 1863.
I have the honor to report the loss and services of my battery at the seige of Port Hudson. I left Baton Rouge for Port Hudson, May 21st, and arrived at Plain Store in the evening, in season to open on the enemy that attacked Major Gen. Augur's division. On the 23d, I joined Gen. Sherman's 2d Division, and arrived within a mile of the enemy's works on the 24th. The 25th, (Monday night,) I was ordered by Gen. Sherman to take one section through the woods, in front of and within two-thirds of a mile of the rebel batteries, with instructions to open fire, test their artillery, and keep them awake at their guns; which I did, and the rebels opened at intervals, a well directed fire in return. At daybreak my gunners could see their object and fired with perfect accuracy, when the enemy opened two heavy batteries upon us, doing considerable damage. During the duel, I had four men wounded, two horses wounded and two carriages disabled.
We kept a steady fire on their batteries until afternoon, when I ordered up another section to reinforce, and sent the right section, Lieut. Rice, more to the right, on the Port Hudson road. During the night I kept the enemy up with a well directed fire, and by the morning Lieut. Rice moved still closer, and the whole battery opened on a forty-four pounder rifle and silenced it. Lieut. Rice's section then joined with the other sections, and I kept up a steady fire until one o'clock, when, by order of Gen. Sherman, I advanced in line with the storming party, up to within four hundreds yards of the parapet, and opened on the batteries while the infantry charged. My instructions were, if possible, to draw the enemy's fire from the infantry, and, from the whistling in the air, I partially succeeded. The infantry were repulsed and formed in rear of the battery, and all retired to the old position, the 1st Vermont Battery bringing up the rear. The losses in the Battery were two killed and four wounded. The wounded are doing well, and kindly cared for. The killed were recovered and properly buried.
The battery behaved splendidly, and have received their reward in a good reputation. During the entire seige we were continually under fire, and often in search of the enemy in our rear. Since the 27th of May the Battery has had no casualties.I remain, Sir, Most respectfully your obt. serv't, GEO. F. HEBARD, Capt. Comd'g 1st Vt. Battery, To. P. T. Washburn, Adjutant and Inspector General, Woodstock, Vermont.