placed on board of the tug. The Mound City,
inder Capt. Kelty, U.S.N., was the flag-ship for
he expedition. Weather clear and very hot.
\t forty-five minutes past eleven, the flag-ship
found City signalled the commanding officers
if the St. Louis and Lexington to come on board.
At ten minutes past one P.M., passed the mouth
f the St. Francis River. At fifteen minutes past
>ne P.M. the flag-ship made a general signal; an
wered it, rounded too, and stood up the river,
,nd at forty-five minutes past one came to off
he St. Francis River. The tug Spitfire then
pent a short distance up that stream, and return,
ig at fifteen minutes past two, the Mound City
ounded to, followed by the St. Louis and Lex-
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
ington, when the fleet stood down the river
At three P.M., discovered the large rebel trans
port steamer Clara Dolsen lying at Helena, Ark.
At twenty minutes past three a small boat from
the Mound City came alongside, with orders to
give a coal-barge we have in tow to the St. Louis,
and give chase to the Dolsen, which had started
down the Mississippi. The flag-ship Mound City
fired several shots at the Dolsen, but they all fell
short. At fifty minutes past three we passed the
flag-ship, being in pursuit of the Dolsen, together
with the Spitfire, which was some distance ahead.
At a quarter-past eight P.M. we came to anchor
off the foot of Island No. Sixty-nine, to await the
arrival of the other boats. At half-past twelve
P.M. we weighed anchor and stood up the Missis
sippi, arriving where the Mound City and St.
Louis were anchored at four A.M. this Saturday.
"We took our coal-barge in tow again, and stood
down the Mississippi. At half-past four P.M. the
flag-ship signalled to follow her motions. At
forty minutes past eight A.M. our fleet arrived off
and ascended the mouth of White River. At ten
A.M. we came to off the Arkansas River cut off,
in company with the other boats. In the mean
time the tug Spitfire was sent up the river to re
connoitre. At two P.M. the tug returned to where
we all lay anchored, from up White River, fol
lowed by the Clara Dolsen, which she found hid
in a slough, all but the tops of her chimneys be
ing out of sight.
The Clara Dolsen is a capital prize, being one
of the largest and best business steamers on
our waters. She was built at Cincinnati, fifteen
months ago, and has capacity for over sixteen
hundred tons. She is worth forty thousand dol
lars, being in excellent condition. Her officers
state that the Clara had been detained at Helena
the authorities fearing that her crew intended
to run her to Memphis and there deliver her to
the Federal authorities. She had been secreted
up White River, but was on her way to a new
hiding-place up St. Francis River so her officers
Capt. J. Riley Jones, who purchased the A.
W. Quarrier and Gen. Pike in Cincinnati, before
the rebellion, is in command of the Clara Dolsen.
A man named Nixon (who has a brother piloting
one of our gunboats) is one of the Clara s pilots.
Rees Townsend, of St. Louis, who run the block
ade from that city, is the chief engineer. The
Dolsen is partially owned in Cincinnati, where
the bulk of her building bills, we understand, re
The Clara now lies alongside of us. She has a
large supply of wood on board, a portion of which
is being transferred to our gunboats. She will
be sent to Commodore Davis, at Memphis, this
evening, or to-morrow morning. The gunboat
Conestoga is expected down from Memphis with
the mail, and will convey back the prize.
The Mississippi and White Rivers are in fine
navigable order, more particularly the latter
stream. Two hundred bales of cotton were found
on the Clara Dolsen.
OPENING OF NANSEMOND RIYER, VA,
CAPTAIN HYNER S REPORT.
FORTRESS MONROE, VA., June 15, 1862.
Col. D. T. Van Biiren, Assistant Adjutant- Gen
COLONEL : According to instructions, I proceed
ed on the eleventh inst. on board the steam-tug
C. P. Smith, Capt. II. C. Fuller. Got, at six
P.M., the armaments of two rifled three-inch Par
rot guns and one mountain-howitzer on board,
and started at once for Fort Wool, to take Capt.
Lee, Ninety-ninth New-York volunteers, and his
command on board. As part of the men and
stores were at Sewell s Point barracks, the tug
was made fast for the night, it being not thought
advisable to venture further in the darkness. On
the twelfth, at four A.M., we got under way; ar
rived at five P.M. at Sew ell s Point, got the men
and stores on board, and had to return to For
tress Monroe to take an additional quantity of
coal, also some shells for the rifled guns. At
ten P.M. we got under way for the mouth of the
Nansemond ; passed Pig Point battery at seven
o clock P.M*. ; ran up the river about four miles ;
got aground on a sand bank at low-tide, and had
to wait till return of high-water. I tried to col
lect all the information I could from some negroes
dredging for oysters, and some contrabands coin
ing down the James River, in a large boat, with
their families. Two. of them volunteered to stay
with me, and, after having supplied the remain
der with water, of which they were short, I di
rected them to report at Fortress Monroe. The
two remaining on board volunteered all the in
formation they had to give, assisted the boat s
crew, and conducted themselves very well.
Waiting for the tide, I got the cutter and the
small boat under way, and reconnoitred the
first row of stakes, about five miles from Pig
Point battery, also both shores for about a mile
above it. On the eastern shore I found three
batteries, respectively of two, one and five guns,
commanding the stockade, but all abandoned,
with the guns removed.
The exact location will be shown in the map.
As soon as the steamer was afloat, I attacked
the stockade, and succeeded in opening a gap
about one hundred feet wide, when darkness
made further work impossible, which, however,
was resumed at daylight, and the gap enlarged
to about one hundred and fifty fest or more,
We then proceeded up the river, guided by
William, (colored and free,) who had joined tho
boat voluntarily the previous night. This man,
being a resident of this neighborhood, had a thor
ough knowledge of the river, the location and
the nature of the obstructions in it, a,nd subse
quently his services became very valuable.
About twelve or thirteen miles from Pig Point,
at the mouth of the western branch, we found
a second obstruction, consisting of a row of piles
driven in clumps of twos and threes across the
channel, and connected by heavy chains. Be-
The tops of the piles were cut | very active as spies, and in other nefarious prac-
-isiblc at low-water. At high- tices. Their names are Henry L. Tyncs or Ty-
hind these logs the hulls of small vessels, loaded enemy s troops had visited the place a week pre-
with heavy materials, were sunk ; also, in the vious, but that four residents of the village were
off, so as k> be visible at low-water. At higl
tide vessels drawing from six to seven feet of
water can be forced around the edges near the
east shore, the bottom being soft mud.
Above the mouth of the western branch, was
masked battery for five guns, which, however,
had been hidden or removed.
Being unable to do anythinj
in this place as
long as high-water lasted, I proceeded up the
river to Suffolk, and reported my arrival verbally
to Gen. Mansfield, and per telegraph to Major-
At noon as the tide had fallen sufficiently, I
returned to the obstruction near the mouth of
West Branch, and removed of it as much as pos
sible, till the return of high-water forced me to
abandon the work.
At five P.M. I returned to Suffolk, and embark
ed companies K, Capt. J. E. Mulford, and F,
Capt. W. A. S. Sanders, of the Third New- York
volunteers, all under command of Major Abel
Smith ; for I wished to make a reconnoissance up
the west bank of the river. I left at nine o clock !
p. jr. At Halloway s Point, about half-way be
tween Suffolk and Pig Point, a large, substan
tially-built pier afforded accommodation for land
ing to a steamer. Accordingly, at half-past ten
o clock I disembarked the whole force, with the
exception of ten men and a corporal of the Third
New- York volunteers, and six men and a corporal
of the Ninty -ninth New- York volunteers, to serve
as artillery. The road to Chucatuck village, dis
tant about five and a half miles, is a country
road, but in good condition, and if only the first
quarter of a mile is a little improved, artillery
and transportation of the heaviest kind can be
passed over it without any difficulty. Proceed
ing on, I took the necessary precaution to pre
vent intelligence of our approach being sent to
the enemy, who, as I was informed, was in the
habit of sending at night mounted scouts to the
village. The people were for the most part some
what violent in their expression of rebel senti
ment ; but reasonable arguments and kind treat
ment had a good effect on them, and when I left
there next morning I felt convinced that a consid
erable revulsion in their ideas had taken place,
for they certainly could not help to admire the
good discipline of the troops, and the gentleman
ly, soldier-like conduct of the officers. At about
one o clock A.M. the column reached Chucatuck
village, at the head of Chucatuck River. I post
ed detachments on all the roads leading to and
from it, and surrounded the village with a chain
of sentinels. The whole was done so quietly
ner, Richard Denton,
y L. Tyncs
G corse Crum. a miller, and
that even no dog barked. After postin
necessary .pickets, as also the reserve, in con
venient positions, I directed my colored guide,
George Willis Duder, also a resident of the west
ern shore, and Mr. Lewis, who lives about five
miles above Barrell Point. The road from Chu
catuck village to Petcrsburgh is a good turnpike,
and, I was told, for a distance of at least twenty
five miles unobstructed. Everett s bridge is still
unburned ; probably also the county bridge
across Black River, where the enemy s scouts
pass in and out of their lines.
As daylight .approached I returned on board,
where the column arrived at five o clock A.M. I
can hardly speak in terms of sufficient commen
dation of the services of Capt. Lee, Ninety-ninth
New- York volunteers, whose practical experience
was of the greatest value in sounding and re
moving the obstacles. Also the men under his
command, who were indefatigable, having work
ed hard from daylight till dark, and after that
making a forced inarch during the greater part
of the night.
The. detachment of the Third New- York volun
teers behaved likewise splendidly, showing the
highest state of discipline and the most soldier
like conduct during the whole time they were
Major Abel Smith made all the disposition of
his command on the march in the ablest and
most thorough manner, showing all the skill and
discretion which are absolutely necessary for the
success of secret reconnoissances.
Capt. Fuller, of the steam-tug C. P. Smith, was
indefatigable in the performance of his duty, and
handled his boat with the greatest skill and dex
terity in steering her through the obstructions.
The colored pilot, William, rendered the most
valuable service on the river and as a guide on
the march to Chucatuck village ; also, in collect
Hoping soon to be able to report the entire re
moval of all obstructions, I remain, very respect
fully, your most obedient servant,
Captain Volunteer Topographical Engineers.
BATTLE AT JAMES ISLAND, S. C.*
GENERAL WRIGHT S REPORT.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, N. D. D. S. f )
JAMES ISLAND, S. C., June 13, 1362. f
MAJOR : I have the honor to present the fol
lowing report of my division in the action of the
sixteenth inst. :
Before proceeding to describe the part taken
and also one ne-ro whom I found steepta*- !n the ! b >" the tro P s unde . r my immediate command, it
all the neo-roes in the 1S im P ortant . a . ncl indeed indispensable, that the
porch of a house, to collect all e negro
village, for I believed them the only ones willin
to give reliable information.
From them I learned that the last scout of the
VOL. V, Doc. 14
plan of operations, as determined upon by Gen.
Benhara, and distinctly laid down by him, regard-
* See Gen. Benliain s narrative, Sep. REBELLION RECORD.
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
ing the cntii c force brought into the field, should
be explained. This is essential to the complete
understanding of the part taken by and the dis
position made of the various commands in the
According to this plan, the division of General
Stevens was to form the assaulting column against
the enemy s works at Secessionville, and being
formed in the utmost silence at his outer pickets,
was to move forward at the first break of day
upon the enemy s batteries, while the remainder
of the troops, comprising Willliams s brigade and
a part of my division, moving together from the
camp at Grimball s, were to act as a support to
Gen. Stevens, protecting his left and rear from
an attack of the enemy s forces from that direc
tion. So important was the duty assigned to this
covering force deemed, and so convinced was Gen.
Benham of the probability of an attack in that di
rection, that he ordered in the event of the re
pulse of Stevens, that the covering troops should
not resume the assault.
The parts to be performed by the two columns
were therefore well defined and distinctly under
stood. That of Gen. Stevens was to assault and
carry the works at Secessionville : that composed
of the troops of Gen. Williams s brigade and my
division were to cover the assault, and protect it
from attack on the left and rear. The organiza
tion of the left column having been left to me, I
added to the brigade of Williams the Ninety-
seventh Pennsylvania regiment and one section of
Hamilton s battery, and arranged the force as
AcTiNtt BRIG. -GEN. WILLIAMS s BRIGADE. 1
Third Rhode Island, five companies ; 2 Third
New-Hampshire, ten companies ; 3 Ninety-sev
enth Pennsylvania, six companies ; 4 company
E, Third artillery, one section.
COL. CIIATFIELD S BRIGADE. 5 Sixth Con
necticut, two companies ; 7 Forty-seventh New-
York, eight companies.
COL. WELSH S BRIGADE. 8 Forty-fifth Penn
sylvania, six companies ; 9 First New - York
volunteer engineers, three companies ; 10 artil
lery, two sections; 11 cavalry, t\vo squadrons.
The remaining troops -were left in camp and on
picket duty, from which they could not be with
drawn without compromising the safety of the
camps and depot.
Orders were issued to call the men at two A.M.,
and to have them in line for marching at three
All this was accomplished, and at the appoint
ed time the column was in motion, and proceeded
to and formed under cover of the woods about
one mile in advance of our camp, to await inform
ation of the advance of Gen. Stevens s column, as
had been agreed upon.
Prior to receiving such intelligence, however,
a few stray shots on our right and to our front
Indicated that Gen, Stevens s command was ad
vancing, and without waiting farther, the column
was at once pushed forward.
By this time daylight was upon us, but as the
oianiing was dark und cloudy, objects could not
be clearly discovered to any considerable distance.
I should remark here that just after or about the
time I gave the order for the advance from camp,
I was joined by General Benham, who assumed
the command of the column, and who retained it
during the action, leaving ine responsible for my
Moving rapidly to the front, I formed my com
mand partly behind a hedge-row parallel to t^
front of the enemy s works, partly a little in rea*
and brought up two pieces of artillery to open
upon the enemy, and then proceeded to the front,
to ascertain exactly the condition of affairs there.
I should have stated that soon after the col
umn was put in motion from the wood where it
had been halted, a messenger came from General
Stevens to say that he was advancing ; and be
fore we had reached our position, a message from
Gen. Stevens asking immediate support was an
swered by an order from Gen. Benham to Acting
Brig. -Gen. Williams to report to General Stevens
with his command. This was a change in the
original programme, by taking from the covering
column the brigade under Williams, and adding
it to the assaulting column. On reaching the
front, I found that the command of Gen. Stevens
was falling back ; that a portion had been formed
behind the advance hedge-row; that the Ninety-
seventh Pennsylvania was behind the same hedge
on the left of Gen. Stevens, and that the Third
New-Hampshire and Third Rhode Island, which
had been pushed well up to our left of the enemy s
works and on the left of the marsh, were hotly
engaged, and under a cross fire from the works and
from a force of the enemy s artillery and infantry
on our left, in a low growth of bushes which cov
ered them from view. The performances of these
regiments and their gallant bearing under a most
destructive fire, will be detailed by their immcdi
ate commander, Gen. Williams, and I refer to
them at all only with a view to their connection
with the movements of the rest.
To silence the fire on our left, just referred to,
and to be able to resist more promptly any at
tack from that point, a section of Hamilton s
battery was brought into the field to the left of
the marsh, and opened on the enemy ; and the
Forty-seventh regiment, of Col. Chatfield s bri
gade, was also brought forward, and formed in
line of battle to the left, in face of the low growth
of bushes to which I have alluded a measure
which was executed with the most admirable
coolness and in perfect order. The fire of our
battery soon silenced that of the enemj , which
was not resumed. The other troops of my com
mand maintained their original position through
the entire engagement, except the volunteer en
gineers, who, by my direction, changed front for
ward to the left, to cover the approach in that
Although not actually engaged with the enemj%
the troops of my command were constantly under
the fire of the enemy s artillery, which was at
times very warm, and which was borne most un
flinchingly by officers and men, who were anx
ious to be brought up face to face with the enemy.
The conduct of officers and men was deserving
of all praise.
To Captain Hamilton, Third artillery, Chief of
Artillery, of the left column, I desire to express
my obligations for the judicious management of
the artillery, which had much influence in sub
duing the lire of the enemy ; and to the various
members of my staff, Col. E. W. Serrell, volun
teer engineers, Chief Engineer ; Capt. C. W. Fos
ter, Assistant Adjutant General ; Capt. Goodrich,
Assistant Quartermaster ; Lieut. Frederick A.
Sawyer, Acting Brigade Commissary ; Lieuts.
T. L. Hayan and H. W. Hubbell, Aids-de-Camp ;
John Darlington, volunteer Aid-de-Camp, and
Capt. J. M. Rice, of Gen. Hunter s staff, but
serving with me as a volunteer Aid I desire to
acknowledge the prompt and satisfactory dis
charge of the various duties assigned them.
The troops of the entire column left the field
in the most perfect order, the Forty- fifth Penn-
S} lvania regiment bringing up and covering the
rear, as far as our front line of pickets, where it
was halted and remained in position till all pros
pect of an attack on the part of the enemy had
The withdrawal from the field of both columns
was ordered by Gen. Benham.
Accompanying this are the reports of Colonels
Chatfield and Welsh, commanding brigades.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. G. WRIGHT,
GENERAL STEVENS S REPORT.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, N. D. D. S., >
JAMES ISLAND, S. C., June 19, 1862. f
Brig. -Gen. H. G. Wright, Commanding United
States Forces, James Island, S. C. :
SIR : I have the honor to submit the following
report of the operations of my division in the ac
tion of the sixteenth instant.
The instructions of Brig. -Gen. H. W. Benham,
who commanded the forces, were to form my en
tire division before the break of day, in secrecy
and silence, at the outer pickets ; and at the
break of day say about four o clock to move
rapidly upon the enemy s works at and about Se-
cessionville, with a view of carrying them by a
coup fie main. In the attack, it was arranged
that all the available forces of Wright s division
and Williams s brigade were to move to its sup
port as soon as the fire from my attack was
heard. In the event the attack proved success
ful, the other operations of the day were to be
determined by the circumstances of the occasion.
My command was all in order of battle at half-
past three o clock at the outer pickets, the head
of my column being within rifle-range of the ad
vanced position of the enemy. The First bri
gade, Col.-Fenton commanding, consisting of the
Eighth Michigan, Lieut-Col. Frank Graves com
manding, the Seventh Connecticut, Lieut -Col. J.
R. Hawley commanding, and the Twenty-eighth
Massachusetts, Lieut. -Col. M. Moore command
ing, being in front, and the brigade of Col. Leas-
are. consisting of the Seventy-ninth Highlanders,
Lieut. -Col. David Morrison commanding, the One
Hundredth Pennsylvania, Major David A. Leckey
commanding, and the Forty-sixth New-York, Col.
Rudolph Rosa commanding, being in support.
A storming party, consisting of companies C and
F, commanded by Capts. Ralph Ely and Richard
N. Doyle, of the Eighth Michigan regiment, waa
in advance, followed by company E, Serrell s En
gineers, Captain Alfred F/ Sears commanding.
Four guns of the Connecticut light battery,
Capt. A. P. Rockwell commanding, followed the
First brigade, and company H, First Massachu
setts cavalry, Capt. S. M. Sargeant commanding,
followed in rear.
The strictest orders were given to maintain tho
most perfect silence, for each regiment to follow
the preceding regiment within supporting dis^
tance, and to rely exclusively upon the bayonet
in encountering the enemy, resorting to firing
only in case of manifest necessity.
At the first break of day, or about four o clock,
it being a dark and cloudy morning, the entire
command was in motion. My Aid-de-Camp,
Lieut. Benjamin R. Lyons, with a negro guide,
was at the head of the storming party. My Aid-
dc-Camp, Captain William T. Lusk, guided tho
Twenty-eighth Massachusetts. The command
pushed forward, surprised arid captured the pick
ets at the house occupied by them, entered tho
fields beyond, and as they came within the effec
tive range of grape and musketry, pushed for
ward into line of battle, and the entire Eighth
Michigan regiment, at about one hundred yards
from the enemy s works, the main body being
preceded only about forty feet by the two storm
ing companies, received his fire of grape, mus
ketry and canister.
At this period of time the entire three regi
ments of Fenton s had passed the hedge, some
five hundred yards from the enemy s works, and
I was engaged directing the attacking and sup
porting force of Col. Leasure. They were order
ed to keep to the left, and to push up to the
work, regiment following regiment, as in the case
of Col. Fenton.
Up to this period not a shot had been fired,
although five men of the Eighth Michigan had
been wounded by the pickets who were surprised
The firing now became general and continuous
in front. The advance of the Eighth Michigan
was on the parapet. The light battery of Rock
well was immediately pushed to the front, and
took its position at the second hedge, and tho
Highlanders, led by Morrison, seeing the hot fire
to which the Eighth Michigan was exposed, push
ed forward at the double-quick, and moving from
the left to the right of the field, entered a narrow
opening, gained the parapet to the right of the
point reached by the Eighth Michigan, and shot
down the enemy whilst serving their gims.
The front on which the attack was made was
narrow, not over two hundred yards in extent,
stretching from the marsh on the one side to tho
marsh on the other. It was at the saddle of the
peninsula, the ground narrowing very suddenly
REBELLION RECORD, 1862.
at this point from our advance. On either hand
were bushes on the edge of the marsh for some lit
tle distance. The whole space at the saddle was