Upon ascertaining these facts and consulting with General Wessells, who was present, he advised me to retire, as I was unsupported by infantry or artillery, and would be liable to be cut off by advancing, and my command fired on by the enemy's infantry under cover of the woods, without the power of making an effectual resistance.
I sent Major Clendenin to the gunboat on the river with a request to throw a few shells in the woods, where the enemy was plainly visible; but he could not get on board, and did not know the private signals, and the boat would not send on shore to communicate with him; consequently I returned to camp with the command, after examining all the houses and ground, so far as we advanced, for stragglers or wounded, but found none.
Lieutenant-Colonel Eighth Illinois Cavalry.
Colonel J. F. FARNSWORTH,
Eight Illinois Cavalry.
JULY 5-7, 1862. -Operations against Union shipping, James River, Va.
Numbers 1. -Colonel Stephen D. Lee, C. S. Artillery.
Numbers 2. -Captain C. W. Squires, First Company Washington Artillery.
Numbers 1. Report of Colonel Stephen D. Lee,
C. S. Artillery.
CAMP DISCIPLINE, VA., July 20, 1862.
CAPTAIN: By direction of the general commanding I have the honor to report that, by his direction, on the night of the 5th and 6th instant I proceeded to the banks of James River, above Charles City Court-House, with Squires' battery (Washington Artillery, of Louisiana), and a riffled piece of Pelham's battery (Horse Artillery), and about 2 a. m. on the 6th opened fire on one of the enemy's transports, carrying supplies to McClellan's army, some 4 miles above the point where we were. On opening the fire the boat immediately put out her lights. She was struck several times and considerably injured, but succeed in passing the battery.
On the night of the 6th instant the same guns, accompanied by a section of Rogers' battery, proceeded to a point known as Wyanoke, on the banks of the James, some 4 miles below Charles City Court-House, and about 7 o'clock in the morning of the 7th opened on a transport, and after some twenty shots made her turn back, throwing overboard part of her cargo to facilitate her escape. Several gunboats of the enemy immediately came to our vicinity and commenced shelling the woods and fields, but without damage. About midday I sent a section of Squires' battery some 5 miles lower down the river, under Lieutenant Galbraith. He opened on two transports towed by a tug. He drove the tug down the river and the crews from the transports, sinking one of the transports and severely injuring the other. The crews took to their small boats and made their escape to the opposite band of the