War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0216 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

her and burst before she was fairly under way. Sent some six or eight shots after her with good effect while getting out of sight; consider her somewhat damaged. In the meantime the rebel rams and iron-clads, seemingly startled by the sudden attack, had got up steam and moved farther out into the stream for the purpose of following in the wake of the wooden vessel. Turned all my attention to them. Deeming the fire too hot to permit of their crossing the open space, they gave up the attempt and sought the shelter of the bank below as rapidly as possible, giving us one or two rounds as they went. The bank did not prove high enough, however, to hide their smokestacks into four or five feet, and we aimed at them, striking one. Not thinking it prudent to remain longer in that position, after steaming up and down the river several times seeking a safer hiding-place, but failing, they finally mustered courage sufficient to pass the open space. Paid strict attention to them as they sailed by. After the boats were out of danger the rebel heavy-gun batteries on the opposite shore opened on us with great vigor, bursting three 10-inch columbiad shell on the parapet, two inside the work, and the remainder far in rear. One of the shells which went over cut off a man's foot and killed a horse belonging to Captain Ashby's battery; all the casualties that occurred. Returned the fire of the land batteries with the only piece (a 30-pounder) that I could bring to bear. Expended 145 rounds of ammunition, all of which took the grooves and burst, but two.

Am happy to state that the affair was more successful than I at first expected. Deem it just to say that I am greatly indebted to Mr. Woodruff, of my company, for his valuable assistance.

I am, sir, very respectfully your obedient servant,

H. H. PIERCE,

Captain, First Connecticut Artillery.

Lieutenant PETER S. MICHIE,

U. S. Engineers, Acting Chief Engineer.

Numbers 17. Reports of Major General Winfield S. Hancock, U. S. Army, commanding Second Army Corps, of operations August 12-October 28.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

Near Petersburg, Va., November 12, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the troops under my command on the north side of the James River, from August 12 to August 20, 1864:

At 12 m. August 12 I received instructions from the major-general commanding to move my corps to City Point, the artillery to cross the Appomattox at Point of Rocks, and to park in some concealed position within General Butler's lines. Great care was taken to conceal these movements from the enemy, and the idea was encouraged that the command was about embarking for Washington. On the morning of the 13th I received my instructions, which were nearly identical with those furnished me in July when operating from Deep Bottom. An estimate of General Butler's was furnished me, putting the enemy's strength north of the James at 8,500 men. General Gregg's division of cavalry was placed under my orders, and also the Tenth Corps, under Major-General Birney. A portion of this corps was then holding the