ton were eight men, five women, and three
I shall continue to employ Robert as a pilot
on board the Planter ;for the inlr.nd waters, with
which he appears to be .very familiar.
I do not know whether, in the views of the
Government, the vessel will be considered a
prize, but if so, I respectfully submit to the De
partment the claims of this man Robert and his
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. F. Du PONT,
flAg-Offictr Commanding South-Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
COMMANDER PARROTT S REPORT.
U. S. STEAMER AUGUSTA, )
OFF CHARLESTON, May 13, 1S62. j
SIR : I have the honor to inform you that tho
rebel armed steamer Planter was brought out to
us this morning from Charleston by eight con
trabands, and delivered up to the squadron. Five
colored women and three children are also on
board. She carries one thirty-two-pounder and
one twenty-four-pounder howitzer, and has also
on board four large guns, which she was engaged
I send her to Port Royal at once, in order to
take advantage of the present good weather. I
send Charleston papers of the twelfth, and the
very intelligent contraband who was in charge
will give you the information which he has
I have the honor to request that you will send
back, as soon as convenient, the officer and
prize crew sent on board.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. G. PARROTT,
Commander and Senior Officer present.
Flag-Officer S. F. Du POST,
Commanding South-Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
THE BATTLE ON JAMES RIYER, YA.
COMMANDER RODGERS S REPORT.
UNITED STATES STEAMER GALENA, >
OFF CITY POINT, JAMES RIVER, May 16, 1SG2. j
SIR : I have the honor to report that this ves
sel, the Aroostook, the Monitor, and Port Royal,
.vith the Naugatuck, moved up the river yester
day, getting aground several times, but meeting
no artificial impediments until we arrived at
Ward s Bluff, about eight miles from Richmond,
where we encountered a heavy battery and two
separate barriers formed of spiles and steamboats
and sail vessels. The pilots both say that they
saw the Jamestown and Yorktown among the
The banks of the river we found lined with
rifle-pits, from which sharpshooters annoyed the
men at the guns. These would hinder all re
moval of obstructions unless driven away by a
The Galena ran within almost six hundred
yards of the battery, as near the spiles as it was
deemed proper to go, let go her anchor, and with
spring swung across the stream, not more than
;wice as wide as the ship is long. Then, at forty-
ive minutes past seven A.M., opened fire upon the
The wooden vessels, as directed, anchored
about thirteen hundred yards below.
The Monitor anchored near, and at nine o clock
she passed just above the Galena, but found that
_ier guns could not be elevated enough to reach
the battery. She then dropped a little below us,
and made her shots effective.
At five minutes after eleven o clock the Galena
bad expended nearly all her ammunition, and I
made signal to discontinue the action. "We had
but six Parrott charges, and not a single filled
nine-inch shell. AVe had thirteen killed and
The rifled one hundred-pound Parrott of the
Naugatuck burst, half of the part abaft the
trunnions going overboard. She is therefore dis
Lieut. Newman, the Executive Officer, was
conspicuous for his gallant and effective services.
Mr. Washburne, Acting Master, behaved admira
bly. These two are selected from among the
The Aroostook, Port Royal, and Naugatuck
took the stations previously assigned them, and
did every thing that was possible. The Monitor
could not have done better.
The barrier is such that vessels of the enemy,
if they have any, cannot possibly pass out ; ours
cannot pass in.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Commander U. S. Navy.
LIEUT. WM. N. JEFFERS S REPORT.
U. S. IRON-CLAD STEAMER MONITOR, )
JAMES RIVER, May 16, 1862. f
SIR : I submit the following report of the
movements of this vessel during the action of
Shortly after weighing anchor from our posi
tion near Kingsland Creek a sharp fire of mus
ketry was commenced from both banks on all
At half-past seven I discovered an extensive
fortification on an elevation of about two hun
dred feet, with several smaller batteries, all ap
parently mounting guns of the heaviest calibre ;
at the foot of the bluff in the river an obstruc
tion formed of sunken steamers and vessels, se
cured with chains, and the shallow water, piled
across the river.
The Galena having anchored at about one
thousand yards from the fort, and being warmly
engaged, 1 endeavored to pass ahead of her to
take off some of the fire ; but found that my
guns could not be elevated sufficiently to point
at the fort. I then took position on the line with
the Galena, and maintained a deliberate fire until
the close of the action, when, in company with
the other vessels, I dropped down to the an
chorage of the morning.
The fire of the enemy was remarkably well
directed, but vainly towards this vessel. She
was struck three times one solid eight-inch shot
square on the turret, two solid shot on the side
armor forward of the pilot - house. Neither
caused any damage beyond bending the plates.
I am happy to report no casualties.
In conclusion, permit me to say that the ac
tion was most gallantly fought against great
odds, and with the usual effect against earth
works. So long as our vessels kept up a rapid
fire they rarely fired in return, but the moment
our fire slackened they remanned their guns.
It was impossible to reduce such works, except
with the aid of a land force
REPORT OP LIEUTENANT D. C. CONSTABLE.
Commander Badgers : May 16, 1882.
SIR : I have the honor to report that in yester
day s attack upon the enemy s battery at Wood
Hill, near Richmond, Virginia, I placed the ves
sel under my command in the position assigned
me by you in the line of attack, and opened fire
upon the battery, which I continued until the
bursting of our gun.
Whilst getting into position during the bom
bardment, and while falling back with the squad
ron, this vessel was under quite a heavy fire of
musketry, which was constantly returned by us
with shell and canister from our light broadside
I have likewise to report to you that two of
my crew are wounded one by a musket-shot
through the arm and the other by a severe con
tusion. They have been sent on board the Port
Royal for surgical treatment.
My officers and crew behaved to my entire
I would respectfully request that you appoint
a board of officers to examine into and report
upon the cause of the bursting of the Parrott
SURGEON VAN GIBSON S REPORT.
The following is the report of Assistant Sur
geon Van Gieson, of the Galena, giving an ac
count of the killed and wounded in the action :
United States Steamer Galena. Killed:
Thomas Ready, Captain foretop ; James H. We
ber, third-class boy ; Michael Many, landsman ;
Martin Milbery, do. ; John Smith, ordinary sea
man ; Robert Boyd, do.; Richard A. Adams, sea
man ; John Quig, ordinary seaman ; John Rus
sell, landsman ; Joseph Johnson, private marine;
Jared D. Boorem, gunner; David Patterson,
landsman. Wounded: John O Connor, third-
class boy, burned and wound of ankle-joint;
William Stevens, seaman, not seriously ; George
McDonnel, slightly ; Thomas Finnigan, arm seri
ously injured; Ilenry A\ 7 "alson, ordinary seaman,
slightly ; AVilliam Harrison, landsman, slightly ;
Thomas Clark, do. ; Diedrick Vissers, seaman,
do. ; Andrew McCleary, Acting Master s mate,
not seriously ; Owen Doherty, coal-heaver, mor
tally ; Frederick W. Johnson, first-class boy, not
Port Royal. Wounded : George Morris, Com
mander, flesh wound of right leg.
Nauyatuclc. James Wilson, musket-shot, not
serious ; Peter Dixon, not seriously.
LIEUTENANT CONSTABLE S LETTERS.
LETTER TO HIS MOTHER.
UNITED STATES GUNBOAT E. A. STEVENS, }
HAMPTON ROADS, May 18. )
MY DEAR MOTHER: I have to thank God for a
life preserved under circumstances where it even
now seems impossible that I could have escaped.
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
On the fifteenth instant the squadron to which
my vessel is attached, had a four hours fight
with a strong rebel battery on James River,
eight miles below Richmond. During the fight
our one hundred-pounder Parrott rifle-gun burst,
one third of it being: thrown overboard ; one
third falling over on the starboard side of the
deck, while the remaining third retained nearly
its proper position. The heavy iron gun-carriage
was almost entirely destroyed, our pilot-house
shattered, and the captain of the gun blown some
fifteen feet, but fortunately not killed. I was
within two feet of the gun when it burst, having
just trained it upon the enemy s battery.
The speaking-trumpet in my hand was crushed ;
a fragment of the gun, weighing nearly a ton, fell
within an inch or two of me, actually tearing my
coat as it fell, and one of the large squares of
rubber attached to the gun struck me upon the
head, stunning me for a moment, but still I was
able to remain on deck and superintend the fight
ing of our broadside guns, which were engaged
throwing shell and canister into the rebel rifle-
pits, which lined the shore under cover of the
woods. After the fight was over, and the squad
ron commenced falling back for want of ammuni
tion, I fainted away and was taken below, where,
after being cupped behind the ears, I was again
enabled to take charge of the vessel.
This morning I arrived at Norfolk with the
killed and wounded of the squadron, and reached
here at one o clock this afternoon.
I find that I cannot be made ready for another
heavy gun without a thorough overhauling and
great waste of precious time, consequently I have
tendered my vessel to the Flag-Officer to again
go up James River in her present condition, rely
ing upon my broadside rifle-guns for fighting, and
the ability of my vessel to remove obstructions,
The Commodore, before I left him up James
River, told me that even in my present state I
could be of great service to him. I shall know
probably by to-morrow whether I am to return
to the scene of our late fight, or to be sent to
some place for repairs.
During the fight of the fifteenth instant a rifle-
ball passed through my clothing and lodged in a
hammock near me, and I now keep it as a me
mento of the fight. The ball was decidedly from
an English Enfield rifle, but the rebel who fired
it is no longer living. At least three well-direct
ed shots had been fired at me from one spot be
fore I discovered where they came from ; I then
saw that they had been fired from a thick green
bush about eighty yards from me. Once I even
caught sight of the muzzle of the rifle as it was
protruded through the bush to aim at me, and
twice I raised a rifle to my shoulder to aim at
him, but he dropped out of sight in a twinkling.
Finding that I must either shoot him or get
shot myself, I tried another plan. I aimed one
of our twelve-pounders, loaded with canister, to
the bush, and directed the captain of the gun at
lire at the moment I raised my signal. I then
took my former position and watched the bush
closely. Sure enough, when the fellow saw me
standing without a rifle in my hand, he again
thrust the muzzle of his gun through the bush,
but before he could pull the trigger I raised my
hand "bang" went the twelve -pounder, %nd
when the smoke cleared away rebel, gun, hus
band and all had been destroyed together.
The evening before the fight I learned that the
Galena had on board several sheets of boiler-
iron not in use. Twenty-five of these I procured
and fastened up outside of our cabin and pilot
house, and it was most fortunate that I did so.
Had it not been for the protection these afforded,
I would have probably lost nearly all my men by
the fire of the rebel sharp-shooters, whereas, by
keeping my men under shelter as much as possi
ble, and only exposing them for a moment while
loading our gtins, I succeeded in driving the ene
my out of their rifle-pits, with the loss of only
two of my men severely wounded.
For an hour and a half after the bursting of our
one hundred-pounder we kept up the fight with
our broadside guns, and only fell back when the
Galena and Monitor set us example, the other
two vessels of the squadron having drawn out of
range of the battery at least half an hour before
we moved. The iron-clad Galena was hit forty-
six times twenty-eight shot and shell having
completely penetrated her armor, killing fourteen
and wounding about twenty of her crew. The
other vessels were but slightly injured.
Strange to say, four out of five of the COmmand-
iS Of 1
It is now three o clock in the morning, and I
have not yet retired, which is rather late for a
person who has not had his clothes off for the last
eighteen days and nights
Yours, affectionately, DAVIS.
LETTER TO CAPTAIN FAUNCE.
U. S. GUNBOAT STEVENS, HAMPTON ROADS, May 19.
MY DEAR CAPTAIN : We arrived here yester
day from Norfolk, having brought down the
killed and part of the wounded in our last action
and left them at the hospital there. The squad
ron to which we were attached, consisting, be
sides the Stevens, of the Galena, Monitor, Aroos-
took, and Port Royal, worked our way up James
River, and at a battery at a place called Hard-
ing s Bluff, (about five miles above Day s Point,)
we saw the rebel steamers Yorktown and James
town, but they ran from us, ascending the river.
When we arrived at City Point we found the
storehouses there, containing tobacco, etc., in
flames, and nearly consumed.
On the evening of the fourteenth inst., we ar
rived about ten miles below Richmond. The
Stevens had led the squadron, keeping about
two hundred yards ahead of the Galena, sound
ing out the channel, and looking out for obstruc
tions and torpedoes. We were (on account of
our light draught of water and the readiness with
which the vessel worked) of great service to the
squadron. From information which we had
gained, we learned that the enemy had, about
two miles above us, heavy obstructions across
the river, consisting of spiles and sunken vessels,
defended by a very strong battery on a high
bluff, called Ward s Hill
This Ward s Hill was but eight miles below
Richmond, and at a council of war held on board
the flag-ship, (the Galena,) consisting of the com
manders of the five vessels, it was arranged that
the squadron should the next .morning attack
the battery in the order arranged. If successful
in shelling them out, the Stevens was to haul
out the spiles, while men from the squadron
spiked the guns. I was provided with a chain
for the purpose, and intended pumping out aft
and submerging forward until making fast, and
heaving taut then pump out forward, and sub
merge aft to loosen the spile in its hold, and then
haul upon it until drawn, etc., etc.
We likewise learned that the enemy had rifle-
pits well manned ; and even while at anchor on
the afternoon of the fourteenth we were fired at
several times from musketry in the bushes along
the shore. At the request of the Commodore, I
threw a shell from our Parrott gun at quite a
large force of the enemy on a hill about two
miles distant, which started them off at " double-
quick," and then threw two or three rounds of
canister fyom our light guns into the bushes
where the rifle-shots had come from, and during
the night we heard nothing further from them.
I fortunately learned that evening that the
Galena had several large sheets of boiler-iron not
in use (six feet by three feet.) Twenty-five of
these I procured, and fastened them on the out
side of the pilot-house and cabin, and to their
protection we were all indebted for our lives in
the action of the fifteenth.
The next morning, on the first of the ebb, the
vessels moved up to their positions of attack, un
der a very annoying fire of rifles from the woods,
(the river being less than two hundred yards
We opened fire upon the battery with our
heavy gun, and threw shell and canister from
our broadside ones into the woods. Our station
was abreast of their rifle-pits, and was only about
forty feet from the shore, so that their sharp
shooters had a fair chance at us. During the
fight, and while our heavy gun was performing
splendidly, it burst; but fortunately disabled
but one man. It burst from the vent to the
trunnions in two halves, throwing one half over
board on the port side, while the other half was
landed on deck on the starboard side. The muz
zle forward of the trunnions remained entire, and
was thrown forward about two feet. The gun-
carriage was destroyed, the pilot-house shattered,
part of the upper deck crushed in, and some of
Lie main-deck beams started.
How I escaped God only knows. I was within
two feet of the gun when it burst, having just
sighted and trained it upon the battery. My
speaking-trumpet was completely crushed, and a
fragment of the gun, weighing about one thou
sand five hundred weight, fell so closely to me
The other vessels received but slight
that it tore my coat. I was hit on the head by
some part of the gun or carriage, (I think it was
one of the large rubbers,) which stunned me for
a moment, although I was able to keep the deck
and superintend the fighting of our broadside
guns, (which were well handled under charge of
Wilson,) until the squadron fell back for want of
ammunition, about an hour and a half after our
gun burst. After heaving up our anchor I faint
ed away ; but after being cupped behind the
ears by the surgeon of the Aroostook, who came
on board to look out for our wounded, I was able
to resume the charge of the deck.
Our little broadside guns did splendid execu
tion, driving the enemy out of their rifle-pits and
clearing the shore of every enemy within canister
range. By keeping the crew under the protection
of our "iron-clad" cabin, and only exposing them
for a moment while loading, our loss by their fire
was only two wounded.
The Galena was hit forty-six times ; twenty-
eight shot entered her armor and completely
penetrated it ; five passed through her smoke-
struck, and three passed through her deck-plat
ing. One or two shots passed entirely through
her. She lost seventeen killed and about twenty
injury the Monitor none at all.
The vessels had to fight at anchor on account
of the narrowness of the river.
The Stevens did not haul off until the Galena
and Monitor set her the example. The Aroos-
took and Port Royal dropped down half an hour
before we hove up. The Aroostook hove up, but
the Port Royal slipped her moorings. Since I
have .been in command of the Stevens, I have
always observed the precaution of having a man
on deck to "feel home" the shot or shell after
the muzzle of the gun is elevated, for fear that
the shot or shell might start while the muzzle is
depressed in the berth-deck. At the time the
gun burst, this precaution was attended to under
rny own eye, consequently the bursting could not
have been caused by the shot not being "home."
In making my report to the Commodore after
the action, I requested him to appoint a board of
officers to examine into the cause of the bursting.
The board so appointed examined the gun, etc.,
and report that they find an old flaw extending
from the inside of the vent to near the outside
surface of the gun, and that, therefore, they con
sider that the bursting was caused by the gun
heretofore having been subjected to severe and
protracted tests, etc., and fully clearing me from
any want of attention or neglect. This I am
.... I am anxious to rejoin the James
River squadron at once, although it has been de
cided that another gun cannot be fitted without
considerable delay, and I have therefore offered
the Flag-Officer to return as I am, as Commodore
Rodgers told me when I left him- at City Point
that the vessel, even in her present condition,
could be of great service to him. . . .
Sincerely yours, I). C. CONSTABLE.
Captain JOHN FAUNCE.
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
REI3EL OFFICIAL REPORT.
DRURY S BLUFF, May 15, 1SC2.
Hon. S. R. Hallory, Secretary of the Navy :
SIR : The enemy came up the river at half-past
six A. jr., the Galena ahead, the Monitor and a
small iron steamer, a side-wheel and a smaller
gunboat following in succession.
When about four hundred yards from our ob
structions our batteries opened fire upon the
Monitor and Galena. They did not reply until
the Galena had placed herself directly athwart
the channel. After which she and the Monitor
opened a brisk fire, the other vessels keeping
under way, and at about from a quarter to a mile
lower down, and so close under the opposite
shore that only four of our guns could bear upon
them. Our fire was mostly directed upon the
Galena, only occasionally paying a compliment to
Several of our shots at long range passed
through and through them, and they soon
dropped out of range. The small iron-clad and
the side-wheel gunboats were badly crippled.
We turned our attention to the Galena, nearly
every one of our shots telling upon her iron sur
f-ice. At eleven o clock A.M., one of the Patrick
Henry s eight-inch solid shot passed into her bow
port ; immediately the smoke rushed out of her
own ports, showing, evidently, that she was on
fire. Vie gave her three hearty cheers as she
slipped her cables and moved down the river.
Our pickets heard her captain say to one of the
other gunboats that she was " in a sinking con
Our sharp-shooters did good service, picking
off every man who showed himself.
There is no doubt we struck them a hard blow.
The last that was seen of them they were steam
ing down the river.
Every officer and man performed their duties
with coolness and determination, and it would be
doing injustice to many if I should mention or
particularize any. Capt. Drury and his company
fought their guns with great effect
CASUALTIES. Seven killed, among them Mid
shipman Carroll, and eight wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EBEN FARRAND, C.S.N.,
GENERAL BUTLER S ORDER NO. 28.
HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF GOLF )
NEW-ORLEANS, May 15. J
As officers and soldiers of the United States
have been subject to repeated insults from wo
men calling themselves ladies, of New-Orleans, in
return for the most scrupulous non-interference
and courtesy on our part, it is ordered hereafter,
when any female shall by mere gesture or move
ment insult, or show contempt for any officers or
.soldiers of the United States, she shall be regard
ed and held liable to be treated as a woman about
town plying her avocation.
Bj command of Major-Gen. BUTLER.
GEO. C. STRONG. A.A.G.
This order fell into the hands of Gen. Beaure-
gard, who issued the following :
For the information of the army, general order
No. Twenty-eight of the Federal officer, Major-
Gen. Butler commanding at New-Orleans, will be
read on dress-parade.
Men of the South, shall our mothers, wives,
daughters and sisters be thus outraged by the
ruffianly soldiers of the North, to whom is given
the right to treat at their pleasure the ladies ot
the South as common harlots ? Arouse, friends,
and drive back from our soil these infamous in
vaders of our homes and disturbers of our family
ties. G. T. BEAUREGARD,
FAST-DAY IN THE REBEL STATES.
PROCLAMATION BY JEFF. DAVIS.
To the People of the Confederate States of Ame
AN enemy, waging war in a manner violative
of the usage of civilized nations, has invaded our
country. With presumptuous reliance on supe
rior numbers, he has declared his purpose to re
duce us to submission. We struggle to preserve
our birthright of constitutional freedom. Our
trust is in the justice of our cause and the pro
tection of our God.
Recent disaster has spread gloom over the land,
and sorrow sits at the hearthstones of our country
men ; but a people conscious of rectitude and
faithfully relying on their Father in heaven, may
be cast down, but cannot be dismayed. They
may mourn the loss of the martyrs whose lives
have been sacrificed in their defence, but they
receive this dispensation of Divine Providence
with humble submission and reverent faith. And
now that our hosts are again going forth to bat
tle, ancl loving hearts at home are filled with anx