I have sent a force, and will let you know what I can do when it returns.
General HINKS: 2 P. M.
I can do nothing. One of my boats has had a hole put through her boiler already.
the fort that opened on you is on the opposite side for the river from us, and commands this road as well as the river. It is impracticable to advance on this road. I shall fall back to the middle road and make a reconnaissance on that. Please keep a lookout on this road and prevent the enemy following on it.
It was not necessary to direct the fire of the guns on General Graham's boat, as their range was not sufficient. There were no signal parties on the other shelling was continued two or three hour. We reconnoitered the enemy's position very thoroughly and came upon his works at several points. Having accomplished all that was possible, the force returned to City Point in the night.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. B. PARTRIDGE,
First Lieutenant, Signal Corps, U. S. Army.
Captain LEMUEL B. NORTON,
Chief of Signal Officer, Dept. of Va. and N. C.
Numbers 7. Report of Lieutenant Harvey W. Benson, Signal Corps, U. S. Army, of operations June 2-30.
James River, July 1, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report operations for the month of June, while serving with the James river fleet, as of great importance to the fleet to enable them to learn of the enemy's movements, as pertains to naval operations and protecting the right flank of our force; also in directing the fire of gun-boats and any attacking force that might assail the works on the right.
June 2, General Terry desiring the admiral to open fire on his front for practice and to get the ranges, &c., I went aboard the Onondaga. We fired a range given by signal, the station at Battery Numbers 3 reporting to Curtins' house station, which station reported to my station. We fired 3 shots only and obtained range. I then returned to the fall-ship Agawam.
June 9, station on shore reported the enemy sending a gun-boat down the river, and on my report all was made ready for action.
June 13, the station at battery reported one of the rebel rams as moving down to attack us and others following slowly. The admiral sent me with iron-clad Tecumseh and we opened fire on the enemy, firing entirely by direction and range, &c., given by signal, and, after firing a few shots the enemy retired up the river again out of sight.