War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0033 Chapter IX. AFFAIR AT SEWELL'S POINT, VA.

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MAY 18-19, 1861. - Engagement between the Unite States steamer Monticello and the battery at Sewell's Point, Va.


No. 1. - Brigadier General Walter Gwynn, commanding Confederate forces at Norfolk.

No. 2. - Captain Peyton H. Colquitt, commanding at Sewell's Point.

No. 1. Reports of Brigadier General Walter Gwynn, commanding at Norfolk.

NORFOLK, VA., May 20, 1861.

The enemy fired on the unfinished battery at Sewell's Point on the 18th, but did no damage. There were at that time no guns mounted or nearer than Norfolk. I sent forward here guns immediately and two of the rifled cannon. Got them in position at 5 p. m. on the 19th. Soon after the enemy opened fire, which was returned and kept up one and a half hours, when the vessel from which the guns were fired withdrew. A fuller report will be made to-morrow. Just returned from Sewell's Point. Reports in form the pickets at all points.

No immediate attack apprehended. Troops thrown forward and in position. Confident of making defense food. I am strengthening, to some extend, my position. Want six hundred laborers, and am re-enforcing the batteries, which takes off so many men that additional troops are required.



Adjutant-General Virginia Forces.


May 20, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that, late in the evening of the 18th instant, I received intelligence of an attack,made by the enemy's steamer Monticello, on the unfinished works at Sewell's Point. This battery was not sufficiently advanced at the time to receive its armament and garrison. The Monticello carried three guns, one of which was a heavy 10-inch Dahlgren. With these she kept up a constant fire with solid shot and shell for more than an hour, when a steam-tug, from Old Point, carrying one gun, came to her aid, and the two vessels continued the cannonade until the close of the day, without any serious injury to the works. The tug then returned to Old Point, and the Monticello moored, with broadside on, with the intention, apparently, of continuing the attack,in order to demolish the works or prevent their progress. Early on the morning of the 19th I hurried on the guns and equipment, and repaired to Sewell's Point, to expedite the works for their reception, and by 5 p. m. succeeded in getting three 32-pounders and two small rifled guns into position, while detachments of infantry and artillery, ordered from neighboring posts, occupied the battery and contiguous points. During all this time the Monticello, apparently not suspecting the operations going forward, was engaged in preparing for another effort, by calculating the range and distance and adjusting her guns to suit. With instructions to Captain Colquitt, of Georgia, to whom I gave the command of all the forces and guns at the post, to continue