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Adjutant and Inspector General Reports

1863 Report
Appendix B

Port Hudson, La., July 17, 1863.

Peter t. Washburn, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIr:-- I have the honor to report the part the 2d Vermont Battery has taken it the recent active movements of the army in this Department.

We left Baton Rouge on the 18th of May last. The following day went out with Dudley's Brigade on the Bayou Sara road to the plains, six miles from this place. Met a small cavalry force of the enemy, which disappeared after we had fired a few rounds. On the 21st of May, Chapin's Brigade joined us, the whole belonging to Major Gen. Augur's command. Met the enemy at the Plain Store, where they had a battery posted, supported by 300 infantry and 200 cavalry.

One section of the 18th New York Battery was ordered up, and after firing four rounds, retired, and four pieces of Co. G, 5th artillery, U. S. A., were then ordered up, and after firing some time, exhausting their ammunition, also retired, when the 2d Vermont Battery was ordered up, and after fifteen minute's sharp firing the enemy was completely routed.

Having succeeded in this, we advanced to the Plain Store, and found the enemy posted about one thousand yards distant, on Bayou Sara road. We again opened fire upon them, and while engaging a battery in our front were also exposed to a flank fire from a battery on our left. After firing about one hour, we succeed in dismounting one of their pieces, crippling one, and killing one Lieutenant, sixteen men and several horses, and silencing their fire. After this, the cavalry formed within about three hundred yards of us, when a few rounds of canister immediately dispersed them.

This done, we then bivouacked for the night on the field of battle. On the morning of the 24th of May we took up our march for this place, and took our position about three-fourths of a mile from the enemy's works, where we remained until the morning of the 27th. On the morning of the 27th one section was ordered forward to within about eight hundred yards of the enemy's fortifications, to shell their pickets and skirmishers out of the woods. At two o'clock P. M. the entire battery was ordered up to within seven hundred yards of the enemy's batteries, and ordered to fire one hour, when the infantry assaulted their works and were repulsed with heavy loss, upon which our battery resumed its former position, where we remained until the morning of the 13th of June, when we took a position within three hundred yards of the enemy's works, in the centre of our line, on Clinton road, protected by earth-works. On the morning of the 14th, at a quarter before three o'clock, we were ordered to open fire, and continued firing rapidly until six o'clock, and at intervals until noon, when our attacking party was again repulsed with great loss.

From this time to the time of surrender, we fired more or less daily, keeping the enemy from strengthening their fortifications, and damaging them much. The men exhibited the utmost coolness and the traits of the true soldier throughout. We lost none killed. Appended is a list of our wounded.

	Very respectfully,
		Your Obedient Servant,
			P. E. Holcomb,
		Capt. 2d Vermont Battery, Light Artillery