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OR XLVI P1 #22: Report of Lieutenant Charles N. Silliman, 1st CT HA, commanding Battery Spofford, January 24, 1865

No. 22. Siege of Petersburg Report of Lieut. Charles N. Silliman, First CT Heavy Artillery, commanding Battery Spofford, of operations January 24.1

January 30, 1865.

LIEUTENANT: In accordance with instructions, I have the honor to make the following report as the result of the artillery practice at Battery Spofford, Va., during the engagement with the enemy’s rams on the 24th instant:

At about 7 a. m. I opened fire from one 30-pounder Parrott gun, at an elevation of 4 degrees, the distance to the first ram being about 1,700 yards. The first shot fired tumbled, and consequently fell short; the second took the groves and struck the boat near the smoke-stack, the shot having no visible effect. Of the number of shots fired, but two failed to take the grooves. I fired during the engagement sixty-two projectiles, of which six were solid shot, forty-eight percussion-shell, and eight fuse-shell; of the number fired, twenty-seven struck the rams with no visible effect, with the exception of one solid shot, which, I think, penetrated near the forward port-hole on her starboard side; several shell struck near the smoke-stack, and I think some of them perforated it. Of the six solid shot fired, five struck the rams, and all, with the one exception, either glanced off or were crushed against her sides. I think had more solid shot been at hand, the result would have been much more satisfactory.

Very respectfully,

Second Lieutenant, First Connecticut Arty., Commanding Battery Spofford.

Lieutenant THOMAS J. BEERS,
Battalion Adjutant.


  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), page 186
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