War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0332 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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to Captain Stribling with a note inquiring into the casualties, a copy of which is herewith inclosed, with Captain Stribling's indorsement thereon.* About 1 o'clock Major Boggs informed me that the gunboats above Hill's Point had moved farther up the river, their decks covered with troops, and Captain Martin also reported to me that a large body of infantry (he thought a regiment, if not more) had passed his position (Norfleet's Landing) the day before, moving down the river. These facts I mentioned to General Law immediately after being informed of them, he having come to Moore's house where I then was.

Shortly after receiving Stribling's reply to my note I received a note from you giving me general directions, and I determined not to return to camp. About sunset I saw the boats in motion above Hill's Point, and from the signal whistles I judged that one or more of them intended to try to pass the batteries. I dispatched a messenger to Captain Smoot to hold himself ready, and held Coit's two 3-inch rifled guns to dash out whenever I could make them available in sinking any boat that we might disable. In a short time I heard a volley of musketry, then a few scattering shots, and then loud and continued cheering. In a few moments a messenger informed me that the enemy had landed a large body of infantry from three boats above Hill's Point, and had charged and taken the position. I immediately sent Major Boggs to inform colonel Connally, who at once moved his regiment down. I then sent a courier to General law, one to General Hood, and one to yourself. The courier to General Law returned, bringing me word from him that he could not send us assistance, and I at once directed Major Boggs to order Captain Bradford out from his position and sent Captain Smoot an order to get his guns and ammunition out into the road as soon as possible. I then ordered Coit's two light guns forward and went toward the fort or work as far as the farm-houses to ascertain the position of affairs. I soon became satisfied that any attempt to retake the guns with the force we had must fail, and that neither infantry nor artillery could cross the plateau under the cross-fire of seven gunboats and two land batteries, with an unknown body of infantry filling the work and lining the river bank. I therefore returned to the Reed's Ferry road to await your coming and to direct the movements of the remaining batteries. Your note directing me to have Connally post his regiment to support Stribling's battery and to prevent the landing of troops was not received until 8 o'clock, an hour or more after the position had been taken.

I herewith inclose Major Boggs' and Lieutenant Carroll's+ reports, and copies of the various notes, directions, &c., referred to above.

In conclusion, general, I have the honor to ask for a court of inquiry as well to verify the facts stated in the foregoing report as to have a record answer to any charge of neglect of duty, either expressed or implied.

Very respectfully,


Major and Chief of Artillery.

Major General S. G. FRENCH,

Commanding Division.

P. S. - It may be proper to state that the work is a heavy earthwork, fronting down the river, with heavy traverses between the guns, the


*See Inclosures G and H to Major-General French's report, Numbers 24.

+See Inclosure J to Major-General French's report, Numbers 24.