War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0311 Chapter XXX. SIEGE OF SUFFOLK. VA.

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HEADQUARTERS CALHOUN'S POINT, VA.,

May 1, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the gunboats all below Hill's Point. They were fired upon while moving down about 7 o'clock p. m. yesterday. The officer in command of the picket at Hill's Point last night reports that about 9.40 p. m. his sentinels saw men approaching in small parties of 2 and 3, and our men who were on guard in advance of the rifle-pits opened fire upon them. The enemy returned it and continued to advance, increasing in numbers. Our sentinels fell back, firing, and the men behind the rifle-pit opened fire; but the enemy still advanced and greatly outnumbered our party. Our men took to the boats and on reaching the boats not a piece was loaded to give the signal agreed upon in case they were obliged to retreat. The officer in command, Lieutenant Magill, then fired three shots from his revolver, which was the signal, and all put off. They reached the opposite bank in safety a few minutes past 10 o'clock p. m. There was no firing from the enemy after the boats reached the shore, but in going they fired several volleys. There is nothing in reference to the enemy's batteries since 7 o'clock p. m. yesterday. the 30-pounder Parrott has not arrived.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. PEASE,

Colonel, Commanding.

Captain HAZARD STEVENS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Third Division, Ninth Army Corps.

HEADQUARTERS CALHOUN'S POINT, VA.,

May 4, 1863-8.45 p. m.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that I this morning sent Lieutenant Risley, of the One hundred and seventeenth New York Volunteers, with 30 men of his regiment, across the river with orders to advance as far as possible, and gain such information as he could of the movements of the enemy. He landed and sent a party of his men out as skirmishers, advancing slowly; seeing some indications of the enemy, I ordered him to return to the rifle-pits until I could send for one of the gunboats to come up and protect his left flank and rear. At 1.30 p. m., there being no indications that we were to receive any assistance from the gunboat, I directed Lieutenant Risley to advance slowly and go as far as he could. He started and found no impediment to his progress; he passed four batteries in the woods along the marsh on the right bank of the West Branch all bearing on the river. He reports that the enemy kept the right bank of the West Branch very strongly picketed. he passed on to the battery on the hill at Le Compte's house. The position is a very strong one; an excavation made behind a fence, revetted with timbers and two embrasures; rifle-pits on the right and rear of the buildings. Lieutenant Risley sent a citizen and a negro, both of whom I sent to headquarters of the division.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. PEASE,

Colonel, Commanding.

Captain HAZARD STEVENS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Third Division, Ninth Army Corps.