War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0076 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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About half an hour after midnight, on the morning of August 1, the enemy brought some light batteries to Coggins' Point and the Cole's house, on the right bank of James River, directly opposite Harrison's Landing, and opened a heavy fire upon our shipping and encampments. It was continued rapidly for about thirty minutes, when they were driven back by the fire of our guns. This affair was reported in the following dispatch:


Berkeley, August 1, 1862-8 a.m.

Firing of night before last killed some 10 men and wounded about 15.

No harm of the slightest consequence done to the shipping, although several were struck. Sent party across river yesterday to the Cole's house; destroyed it and cut down the timber. Will complete work to-day, and also send party to Coggins'Point, which I will probably occupy. I will attend to your telegraph about pressing at once. Will send Hooker out. Give me Burnside, and I will stir these people up. I need more cavalry; have only 3,700 for duty in cavalry division.

Adjutant General's Office forgot to send Sykes' commissions as major-general with those of other division commanders; do me the favor to hurry it on.


Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.

To prevent another demonstration of this character, and to insure a debouche on the south bank of the James,it became necessary to occupy Coggins' Point, which was done on the 3rd, and the enemy, as will be seen from the following dispatch, driven back toward Petersburg:


Berkeley, August 3, 1862-10 p.m.

Coggins' Point was occupied to-day, and timber felled so as to make it quite defensible. I went over the ground myself, and found that Duane had, as usual, selected an admirable position, which can be intrenched with a small amount of labor, so as to make it a formidable tete-de-pont, covering the landing of a large force.

I shall begin intrenching, it by the labor of contrabands to-morrow. The position covers the Cole's house, which is directly in front of Westover. We have now a safe debouche on the south bank, and are secure against midnight cannonading. A few thousand more men would place us in condition at least to annoy and disconcert the enemy very much.

I sent Colonel Averell this morning with 300 cavalry to examine the country on the south side of the James, and try to catch some cavalry at Sycamore Church, which is found a cavalry force of 550 men, attacked them at once, drove in their advance guards to their camp, where we had a sharp skirmish, and drove them off in disorder. He burned their entire camp, with their commissary and quartermaster's stores, and then returned and recrossed the river. He took but 2 prisoners, had 1 man wounded by a ball and 1 by a saber cut. Captain McIntosh made a handsome charge. The troops engaged were of the Fifth Regulars and the Third Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Colonel Averell conducted this affair, as he does everything he undertakes, to my entire satisfaction.


Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

On the 1st of August I received the following dispatches:

WASHINGTON, July 30, 1862-8 p.m.

A dispatch just received from General Pope says that deserters report that the enemy is moving south of James River and that the force in Richmond is very small. I suggest he be pressed in that direction, so as to ascertain the facts of the case.



Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, July 30, 1862-8 p.m.

In order to enable you to move in any direction, it is necessary to relieve you of your