CITY POINT SIGNAL STATION, May 7, 1864-5 p.m.
Everything is quiet here; all quiet below last evening. Do you desire me to make any demonstration toward Petersburg?
FORT MAGRUDER, May , 1864.
Captain A. F. PUFFER,
I tried the Chickahominy yesterday at Jones' Bridge after a sharp skirmish, during which a party of dismounted colored cavalry crossed above the bridge and captured the enemy's camp. The position was seized; the bridge was found to be entirely destroyed and no timber near to rebuild it with. The ford has been arranged so as to have sides almost perpendicular, and is very deep-over a house's head. The men, from want of experience, lost most of their forage. I did not hear any guns on James River; therefore thought the army could not have gone up. Finally concluded to return, get more provisions and forage, go back quickly and better prepared to repair the crossing. This I will do, unless otherwise directed, and effect a junction with the general. The colored cavalry behaved splendidly. I do not want any better troops.
R. M. WEST,
FLAG-SHIP, CURL'S NECK, May 7, 1864.
(Via Fortress Monroe, 12 m. 8th. Received 1.20 p.m.)
Honorable GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
Yesterday about 12 m. a large torpedo, which dragging had failed to discover, was exploded under the Commodore Jones, near Four-Mile Creek, and utterly destroyed the vessel, and about half her crew were killed and wounded. One of the torpedo men was killed, and the other two captured. Three coal vessels having afterward come up, dropped down last evening under the bluff to Curl's Neck, where we are now coaling the monitors. Contrabands from Richmond this a.m. report that Lee was dangerously wounded yesterday, and that our army fell back a short distance. This morning the tug gun-boat Shawsheen, while looking for a torpedo near Turkey Bend, of which a contraband had given information, was destroyed by a rebel battery and most of the officers and men captured. I hurried to her assistance (hearing the firing) with the Commodore Morris and shelled the enemy, who soon retreated.
S. P. LEE,
FORT GASTON, May 7, 1864-9 a.m.
All quiet this morning. Shall I send the two cavalry companies on a reconnaissance to Evans' Mill?