War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0305 Chapter XXX. SIEGE OF SUFFOLK. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

The boat howitzers were withdrawn and re-embarked on the arrival of Lieutenant Crabb. Contrary to expectation the morning dawned without an attack. A section of Battery A, Fifth U. S. Artillery, under the command of Lieutenant Murray, and the remainder of the One hundred and seventeenth New York were sent across. No demonstration was made by the enemy during the day with the exception that in the morning a line of skirmishers advanced across a field and afterward withdrew.

In compliance with the order of the major-general commanding, given upon my representations, the position was evacuated on the night of the 20th. The movement began soon after dark. The artillery, intrenching tools, surplus ammunition, &c., were embarked on the Stepping Stones, and the troops ferried across and landed on the marsh opposite by the West End and by small boats. The picket line was held to the last moment, and at 12.30 o'clock the last load crossed over undisturbed by the enemy, who during the whole evacuation scarcely fired a shot or gave the least annoyance.

After the capture of Hill's Point Battery nothing of special importance occurred until May 3. The enemy's sharpshooters caused considerable annoyance to our pickets and working parties; nevertheless the works were pushed vigorously, every available man being sent into the trenches.

On the 18th the enemy opened fire from two heavy guns in sunken batteries on the West Branch, a few hundred yards above Hill's Point; but the capture of Hill's Point on the 19th exposed them to a similar fate and necessitated their withdrawal. They were withdrawn on the night of the 19th.

On the 24th the Ninth Vermont, Eighth Connecticut, and the Nineteenth Wisconsin Volunteers were ordered by the major-general commanding to report to General Dodge to take part in a reconnaissance under direction of General Corcoran. They returned the following morning.

On the 27th instant a new battery of the enemy was discovered some distance west of Norfleet's house, and on the morning of the 28th it opened fire on the Swan and Commerce, two unarmed steamers which passed down the river from Suffolk.

On April 30 the enemy opened fire from a battery of three heavy guns at Le Compte's house on the West Branch. After a shot engagement with the gunboats and the two 20-pounder Parrotts, under Captain Morris, in Fort Stevens, the battery was silenced.

On May 2 I received orders to make a reconnaissance on the Providence Church road the following day.

The operations of the 3rd instant constituted a reconnaissance designed to ascertain the number and position of the enemy's force and his movements. They were threefold. The main force was to advance on the Providence Church road, while two expeditions were to cross the Nansemond below at different points, seize Reed's Ferry, and feel the enemy's left. The One hundred and third and Eighty-ninth Regiments New York Volunteers, supported by the Twenty-fifth New Jersey and Thirteenth new Hampshire, crossing the bridge over the river, deployed as skirmishers on the right and left of the road and advanced, driving the enemy back from position to position until he took refuge in his rifle-pits and batteries. Hasbrouck's battery, kept silent the enemy's artillery. Major Wheelan, with four companies of the Mounted Rifles, followed

20 R R - VOL XVIII