War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0268 Chapter XLVIII. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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fication of so seriously misleading the major-general commanding once, by accepting the statement of private persons, even the most reliable, I am loath to forward hastily reports not from a source which I know.

Very respectfully, captain, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding.

Captain G. B. LAMAR,

Aide-de-Camp, Burkeville.

Numbers 110. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Wyatt M. Elliott, Twenty-fifth Virginia Battalion, Hunton's brigade, of the capture of the U. S. gun-boat Shawsheen, at Turkey Island, May 7.


Chaffin's Farm, May 7, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the expedition organized by the commanding general, composed of a detachment of artillery, under Major Stark, and a detachment of four companies from my command, in support of the same, proceeded on the errand assigned it Friday evening, and that the whole have returned to camp, having as far as possible accomplished the objects of the expedition.

About 12 m. to-day the command encountered the gun-boat Shawsheen off Turkey Island, she having either incautiously or defiantly approached the position taken by the command, dropping anchor at a point within easy range for effective execution by the artillery and co-operating infantry, which opened upon her with such telling effect as to drive the gunners from their pieces and prevented resistance after the first discharge of the same. Very speedily the vessel was completely disabled by the excellent fire of Major Stark's artillery and though reluctantly, she nevertheless hauled down her colors and displayed the white flag in token of surrender. A boat was dispatched to enforce the delivery of the prisoners on board, the enemy's boats being made available to bring them off. The officer was also instructed to fire the vessel, which was effectively done, the fire quickly reaching the magazine, exploding it, consigning all to the wind and waves. The immediate approach of two iron-clads, against which we were not prepared to contend, prevented the removal of anything from the vessel save the prisoners.

During the engagement many jumped overboard and attempted to escape to the opposite side of the river, the larger portion of whom were killed by the infantry firing among them, it is thought Ensign Ringot, commanding, being of the number. Not more than 5 made their escape. The number of prisoners taken is 27, one of them being slightly wounded and now in brigade hospital. The crew is reported to have numbered between 40 and 50. She carried three guns-one 30 and one 20 ponder Parrott, and one 12-pounder howitzer (Dahlgren). It may be counted a matter of satisfaction that the vessel was so summarily and effectually destroyed, since we had information deemed satisfactory that it was a party from this vessel who had an hour before fired the barn and corn-houses of Mr. Robert Taylor, adjoining.