The following information about "The Widow Blakely" was obtained from -

  The War Of The Rebellion:
  A Compilation Of The Official Records Of The Union And Confederate Armies. 1889.

  [Series I. Vol. 24. Part II & III, Reports.] 

  No. 75.
  Report of Col. Edward Higgins, C. S. Artillery, commanding River
  ENTERPRISE, MISS., July 25, 1863.
  MAJ.: I have the honor to report the operations of the river batteries
  under my command during the recent siege of Vicksburg.
  The line of batteries extended along the river front, commencing at a
  point above Fort Hill, on the right of my line, to a redoubt which
  terminated the extreme right of the rear lines and met my left, a distance
  [Series I. Vol. 24. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 37.]
  8-inch columbiad, 1 7.44-inch Blakely gun, 1 7-inch Brooks, 1 6.4-inch
  Brooks, 3 smooth-bore 42-pounders, 2 smooth-bore 32-pounders, 8 banded
  and unbanded 32-pounder rifles, 1 18-pounder rifle, 1 20-pounder Parrott,
  1 Whitworth, 1 10-inch mortar, 1 8-inch siege howitzer, making in all 31
  pieces of heavy artillery, besides 13 pieces of light artillery, which were
  placed in position to prevent a landing of the enemy on the city front.
  These batteries were divided into three commands, as follows: The upper
  batteries, from Fort Hill to the upper bayou, were worked by the First
  Tennessee Artillery, under Col. Andrew Jackson, jr. The center batteries,
  or those immediately on the city front, were under charge of Maj. F. N.
  Ogden, Eighth Louisiana Artillery Battalion, to whose command was attached
  Capt. S.C. Bains' company, of Vaiden Light Artillery. The lower batteries
  were in charge of the First Louisiana Artillery, under Lieut. Col. D.
  Beltzhoover. A portion of the Twenty-third [Twenty-second] Louisiana
  Volunteers was joined to Lieut.-Col. Beltzhoover's command.
  On the evening of May 18, the investment commenced in rear of the city.
  At the same time five of the enemy's gunboats (four of which were
  iron-clads) came up from below, and took up a position in the river
  just out of range of our guns, while the river above and in front of
  the city was guarded by three gunboats, thus completing the investment.
  On the evening of the 19th, the enemy's sharpshooters, having obtained
  possession of our abandoned line of outer works, opened a fire upon the
  upper four-gun water battery, commanded by Maj. F. W. Hoadley, First
  Tennessee Artillery, thus rendering the battery temporarily untenable.
  Advantage was taken of the darkness of the night to construct traverses
  on the flank and in rear of the guns of this battery, and at daylight
  there was ample protection afforded to the men while at the guns. The
  enemy also commenced feeling our batteries, and opened a heavy fire from
  three of his iron-clads upon Capt. [W. C.] Capers' 10-inch columbiad,
  on the left of my line. Their fire was kept up for several hours, but
  without any serious damage.
  At daylight on the morning of the 20th, the enemy opened fire upon the
  city and batteries with seven mortars placed under the bank of the river
  on the Louisiana shore. Three iron-clads also shelled the lower batteries
  at long range.
  On the 22d, at 9 a.m., four iron-clads and one wooden gunboat engaged the
  lower batteries, and after an engagement of one hour and a half were
  repulsed. Two of the iron-clads were seriously damaged. This engagement
  was creditable To the First Louisiana Artillery, who, with ten guns,
  mostly of small caliber, contested successfully against thirty-two heavy
  guns of the enemy. Our casualties were only 2 wounded during the fight;
  one 10-inch columbiad and the 18-pounder rifled gun were temporarily
  disabled. The Blakely gun burst at the muzzle.
  On the 23d, eleven of the light pieces on the river front were ordered
  to the rear, and were there fought by detachments from my command
  during the remainder of the siege.
  From the 24th to the 26th, mortars kept up a steady fire upon the city
  and batteries. The 8-inch siege howitzer, one smooth-bore 32-pounder,
  the 20-pounder Parrott, and the Whitworth gun were removed to the
  rear with their detachments.
  Soon after daylight on the morning of the 27th, the enemy's iron-clad
  gunboat Cincinnati, mounting fourteen guns, was observed approaching
  our upper batteries, while four iron-clads approached the lower batteries.
  [Series I. Vol. 24. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 37.]
  An engagement took place, which resulted in the complete repulse of
  the enemy, and the sinking of the Cincinnati in front of our guns, after
  an action of thirty minutes.
  Great credit is due to Capts. [J. P.] Lynch and. [T. N.] Johnston, of
  the First Tennessee Heavy Artillery, for the handsome manner in which
  their guns were handled during the engagement.
  The enemy's loss was severe, many of their men being killed in the
  port-holes by our sharpshooters. As the river fell, attempts were made
  by the enemy to recover the guns of the Cincinnati by working at night,
  to prevent which fire was opened on the sunken boat every night from
  one or two of my guns during the siege.
  On the 28th, the 18-pounder rifled gun was sent to the rear lines, in
  charge of Capt. L. B. Haynes' company (E), First Regiment Louisiana
  At daylight on the 31st, a tremendous fire was opened on the city from
  the enemy's guns in the rear, which did some damage to the works of
  the upper batteries. A battery of two small Parrott guns which opened
  upon my left at the same time was silenced by Capt. Capers' 10-inch
  June 1, a large fire broke out in the city, close upon the magazine of
  the Whig Office battery, which was at one time in great danger. The
  ammunition was taken out and placed in a more secure position. All
  the men of my command that could be spared from the guns were ordered
  out immediately to assist in arresting the progress of the conflagration.
  From June 2 to 8, the enemy kept up an incessant fire from the
  mortar fiats on the city and batteries, and each day the gunboats below
  shelled the woods and lower batteries. Two of the field pieces in my
  command were turned over to Maj. Gen. M. L. Smith, to be placed in
  the rear defense.
  June 9 and 10, the fire from the mortars continued at irregular intervals.
  The enemy succeeded in placing sharpshooters in the woods on the Louisiana
  shore opposite the city, but they were driven off by a few well-directed
  shots from one of the light field pieces of Maj. IF. N.] Ogden's Command.
  On the morning of June 11, the enemy opened fire from a 10-inch gun
  placed in position at a point about a mile above the bend of the river,
  opposite the upper batteries, mortars and gunboats still keeping up a
  June 12, the 10-inch mortar was ordered to our works in the rear, and was
  placed in Maj.-Gen. Forney's line. It was manned by a detachment of
  men from Company G, First Louisiana Artillery, under Lieut. C. A. Conrad.
  June 13 to 15, a 30-pounder Parrot gun opened on the upper batteries
  from the same position as the 10-inch gun mentioned previously.
  Several of the mortars dropped down the river some 500 yards, and
  opened a heavy fire on the upper batteries. The two Parrott guns
  opened again on Capt. Capers, but were silenced after five shots.
  June 16, enemy opened fire on Capt. Lynches battery (upper batteries)
  from a new work between Edwards' negro quarters and the river, doing
  considerable damage to the parapets, traverses, &c., but not injuring
  any of our men or guns.
  June 17, 18, and 19, mortars still keeping up an irregular fire. The guns
  on the Louisiana shore fired very rapidly in the morning and evening. Our
  batteries replied slowly. The Parrott battery opened again on Capt.
  Capers, but never fired after our guns opened. Since the
  [Series I. Vol. 24. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 37.]
  surrender it has been ascertained that those two guns were totally
  disabled by Capt. Capers' fire.
  June 20, about 3 a.m., the enemy opened a heavy fire from both front
  and rear upon the city and batteries. Firing ceased at 7.30 a.m.
  June 21, mortars ceased firing. The enemy mounted a 100-pounder Parrott
  gun on the Louisiana shore, under the bank of the river, at a point about
  500 yards above the mortar-boats. It opened upon the city during the
  evening, doing a great deal of damage. Capt. [R. C.] Bond, in the lower
  batteries, opened fire with his 10-inch columbiad and 32-pounder rifled
  gun, when, after a few shots, the enemy's gun ceased firing.
  June 22 to 27, firing from the guns on the Louisiana shore was kept up on
  the city and batteries with great vigor. Our guns replied slowly and with
  deliberation, but in consequence of the timber on the Louisiana shore
  affording ample means of masking batteries, it was very difficult to
  arrive at any satisfactory results.
  On the 26th, the mortars resumed their fire upon the city, and on the
  same day numbers of the enemy's sharpshooters opened upon the city
  from the brushwood on the Louisiana shore.
  June 28, firing still kept up. The 10-inch Brooks' gun in the upper
  batteries burst one of the bands and also at the breech. At 4 p.m. the
  100-pounder Parrot gun and two mortars opened upon the lower batteries.
  June 29 and 30, heavy firing all along the river front. The gunboats
  shelled the woods around Capt. Capers' battery. The mortar was brought
  from the rear, and remounted in its old position in the redoubt on the
  extreme left of my line. It was very successfully used in driving off
  sharpshooters from that point. In addition to the other guns on the
  Louisiana shore, the enemy opened two small Parrott guns close to the bank
  in front of the city. Their fire was very slow and at irregular intervals.
  July 1, the enemy opened fire on the mortar redoubt from his lines.
  Our works were somewhat damaged by it. The mortar replied, and
  almost immediately afterward the enemy's fire ceased.
  July 2 and 3, heavy firing from all points. At 4 p.m. on the 3d, I
  opened fire all along my lines, and at 5 p.m. The last gun was fired by
  the river batteries in defense of Vicksburg.
  July 4, the city capitulated.
  During this long and tedious siege, I am happy to say that the officers
  and men under my command discharged their duty faithfully and with
  alacrity. Owing to the weakness of our infantry force, they were called
  upon to perform other duties than those of fighting their guns. They
  formed a portion of the city guard, discharged the duties of firemen in
  case of fire, policed the river, &c., and the reliefs were almost nightly
  under arms as infantry in the trenches.
  I have not yet received the surgeon's report of our loss in killed and
  wounded. It will probably not amount to more than 30. Among the killed
  was Maj. F. W. Hoadley, First Tennessee Heavy Artillery, who commanded
  the upper water battery. This battery was exposed constantly to an
  unceasing fire of mortars, Parrotts, and sharpshooters. The gallant major
  was always at his post, and fell with his face to the foe, struck in the
  breast by a fragment of a shell.
  The officers who most distinguished themselves by their gallantry and
  unceasing vigilance during the siege were: Col. Jackson, First
  Tennessee Artillery, who, with his gallant regiment, bore the brunt of
  the labors and dangers of the siege, and was always ready, day or night,
  for any duty to which he might be called ] Lieut.-Col. [Robert]
  [Series I. Vol. 24. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 37.]
  Sterling, Capts. [J. P.] Lynch and Johnston, of the same regiment; Maj.
  F. N. Ogden, Eighth Louisiana Artillery Battalion, and Capts. [T. N.]
  McCrory and [P.] Grandpre, of the same battalion; Capts. W. C. Capers,
  R. C. Bond, and R. J. Bruce; Lieuts. R. Agar, E. D. Woodlief, and C. A.
  Conrad, First Louisiana Artillery.
  Capt. W. C. Capers, by his strict and indefatigable attention to his
  duties and gallant bearing, won my admiration.
  Lieut. C. A. Conrad, in command of the 10-inch mortar, behaved with
  great gallantry.
  Lieut. W. T. Mumford, adjutant of the command; Lieut. W. M.
  Bridges, inspector-general; Lieut. W. Yerger, aide-de-camp; Lieut. B.
  G. Knight, volunteer aide-de-camp, and Lieut. W. O. Flynn, engineer
  officer, discharged their duties to my satisfaction.
  It is but an act of simple justice before closing this report to make
  known the good conduct of Sergt. Thomas Lynch, of the First Louisiana
  Artillery, who was in command of the picket boats and chief of the river
  police. By his ceaseless energy and his close attention to his very
  arduous duties. He made himself almost invaluable, and I trust the
  Government will reward his faithfulness.
  Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
  Col. of Artillery, C. S. Army,
  Late in command of River Batteries, Vicksburg.
  No. 76.
  Report of Lieut. Col. D. Beltzhoover, First Louisiana Artillery.
  DEMOPOLIS, ALA., August 29, 1863.
  SIR: As near as I can ascertain, the heavy guns lost at Vicksburg
  were as follows:  
                                        LG      CF      UG        T
  10-inch columbiads.................    3       2       3        8
  9-inch navies......................    1      ..      ..        1
  8-inch columbiads..................   ..      ..       1        1
  10-inch mortars....................    1      ..      ..        1
  42-pounders........................    2      ..       1        3
  32-pounder rifles..................    1      ..       4        5
  32-pounder smooth-bores............    3       1       1        5
  Brooks'*...........................    1      ..       1        2
  Blakely's+.........................    1      ..      ..        1
  6-pounder field guns...............   ..       2      ..        2
  Aggregate..........................   13       5      11       29
  LG=Lower garrison. CF=City front. UG=Upper garrison. T=Total.
  I cannot give any idea of the ordnance stores lost, because I have none
  of the reports or returns. During the siege the commanders of garrisons
  had nothing to do with the ordnance stores further than to see that
  they were taken care of. Ammunition, &c., was sent to the batteries
  and removed from them without our knowledge. Col. [Ed.] Higgins
  and all his staff are absent, and I get no better information than that
  given above.
  Respectfully, your obedient servant,
  Lieut.-Col., First Louisiana Artillery.
  Assistant Adjutant Gen.
  HDQRS. RIVER BATTERIES, Vicksburg, Miss., February 12, 1863.
  SIR: I have the honor to inform you that, in obedience to your direction,
  I have examined the position indicated by you in rear of Col.
  Beltzhover's quarters, and find the bluff too high to work the Blakely
  gun upon to the best advantage, and that the depression requisite to
  command the landing, near the steamer Vicksburg, cannot be obtained.
  I would respectfully recommend that the gun be removed to the vicinity
  of the upper water batteries, where we are weak, and where guns of
  long range and heavy caliber can be used to great advantage, as in
  approaching the city the enemy's vessels will be exposed to the fire of
  the upper guns for a long time, and for a portion of the distance will be
  obliged to come head-on to the battery. I would also respectfully
  recommend that the upper water battery be further strengthened by
  heavy guns, which can command the doublings of the river, and that the
  light guns, such as smooth-bore 32-pounders, be removed to position
  lower down and more suitable to their range. If the enemy's iron-clads
  succeed in passing the others. If their plan of attack should be to use
  their iron-clads to silence our batteries in detail, and then get their
  transports where they want them, I think a successful resistance of the
  [Series I. Vol. 24. Part III, Correspondence, Etc. Serial No. 38.]
  plan could be made by a few more heavy guns planted at the point indicated.
  Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
  Col., Cmdg.
  Approved, and respectfully recommended.
  Author's Note:  This reference below is of another large Blakely and not "The Widow Blakely."
  [Series I. Vol. 24. Part III, Correspondence, Etc. Serial No. 38.]
  Jackson, March 14, 1863.
  Cmdg. Chattanooga:
  GEN.: Your letter of the 11th instant, from Mobile, has just one
  of which [the lower] completely enfilades it. The range, however, is
  long, 1 7/8 miles, but effective. The battery consists of one 10-inch
  columbiad, one 10-inch mortar, and a 30-pounder Parrott. The upper
  battery, range 1 3/4 miles, consists of one 10-inch columbiad and one
  Whitworth; a 7-inch Blakely also bears on mouth of canal, but at still
  longer range.
  I am now fortifying Grand Gulf and mounting two 8-inch naval guns,
  a banded 32-pounder rifled, and two 32s, rifled but not banded. The
  three first-named guns belong to the Navy Department, and were
  intended for boat building at Shreveport, La., as transportation by land
  to Port Hudson for these guns was impossible from the condition of the
  roads, and, as navigation by Mississippi River was uncertain and
  dangerous, I took temporary possession of them, notifying the
  Department of the fact. The Secretary of War, though blaming my
  action as unauthorized, has allowed their retention, and will endeavor
  to supply the navy with others. I think it hardly necessary to say that the
  apparent probability of success with the canal made it necessary to
  establish another battery below, and that the mouth of Big Black, from
  its relation to Vicksburg, induced the selection of Grand Gulf. Ellis'
  Cliff, 18 miles below Natchez, per se, has superior advantages for
  locating a battery, but has no connection with Vicksburg. The
  dredge-boats [two] have advanced only one-fifth the length of the canal.
  Spade works is stopped for the present. I begin to hope it may prove a failure.
  The high water has driven within the last few days a large part of the
  transport fleet, with many troops, higher up the river, but to what point
  has not yet been reported. River falling slowly. Gen. Gardner, at
  Port Hudson, estimates Banks' forces at Baton Rouge at least 30,000.
  Farragut, with Essex, Richmond, Hartford, Monongahela, Pensacola,
  and Tennessee, and a large number of mortar-boats, below. Banks made
  a forward movement with a part of his army on the 11th by three roads,
  but has not advanced since.
  I have telegraphed you to-day and yesterday as to operations on
  Tallahatchee. Some eight or nine gunboats, two of them iron-clad, and
  about seventeen or twenty transports, after cutting through nearly a mile
  of solid Tallahatchee, on the 11th with iron-clads, and were repulsed;
  one boat considerably damaged. On yesterday they renewed the attack
  with great vigor, and continued it until after sunset, from ten to sixteen
  heavy boat guns, and from a mortar and two guns on land. We lost
  several men, and a 11-inch shell passed through 16 feet earth and a bale
  of cotton, blowing up the magazine of one Whitworth gun; this the only damage.
  Gen. Loring, in command, telegraphs cartridges were being prepared
  for the gun, and notified me of arrival of ammunition for heavy guns.
  He says loss of the enemy must have been very great. Our shot struck
  constantly, scattering burning cotton. I think Col.------- can hold the
  place. It is located on a narrow neck 6 miles above Greenwood.
  A raft and steamboats sunk obstruct the river opposite the fort.
  [Series I. Vol. 24. Part III, Correspondence, Etc. Serial No. 38.]
  Yazoo City is being fortified and is strongly garrisoned. Gen. Loring
  and his troops have done most admirably.
  I am drawing corn in large quantities from Yazoo, Sunflower, and Deer
  Creek, via the river and Grenada; also supplies are being collected along
  Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and thrown into Vicksburg as rapidly as
  possible. Nothing prevents large accumulations there of corn but the
  wretched condition of the Southern Railroad, which after every rain is
  so seriously injured as to delay transportation for several days; hence I
  have found it necessary at times to require the rolling-stock of other
  roads to run their freight through to Vicksburg over the Southern road,
  not knowing that to-morrow I shall be able to put in a train. It is now,
  however, accumulating rapidly, and I have already withdrawn the
  restriction against shipments of sugar for other departments. A
  moment's reflection will, I think, show the propriety of my order at the
  time of its issue. I had very little other subsistence for the army there,
  whilst for nearly a week it was impossible to pass a car over the
  Southern Railroad, and the navigation of the Mississippi River either cut
  off or liable to be so at any hour by the passage of gunboats. At this
  time cattle could be crossed from Louisiana if they were on the shore,
  but the condition of the country from heavy rains has made it
  impracticable of late to drive them. I have agents purchasing, and
  contracts for large number of head, and I hope very shortly to receive
  some of them. Meat is, I presume, as scarce in this department as in
  others. The beef obtained in the fall and winter from Texas will not feed
  on corn, and there being little or no pasturage, the animals become thin
  and unfit for issue. There is not sufficient beef in the department to feed
  the people and army for any considerable time. I am getting bacon and
  salt pork from the interior and from Trans-Mississippi.
  Gen. Gardner telegraps me [2 p.m.] that the bombardment at Port
  Hudson has commenced; fleet not in range of his pieces; land forces
  advancing. We have every reason, I think, to hope for success.
  Very respectfully, your obedient servant,