in approaching your command. Nevertheless, I am induced to comply with the request made to me and shall also take advantage of this flag of truce to renew the request contained in my letters of July 5 and 6 that Miss Segar may be sent to this point.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. H. STRINGHAM,
Flag-Officer, Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
U. S. FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA,
Hampton Roads, July 6, 1861.
Flag-Officer S. H. STRINGHAM,
Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Hampton Road, Va.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to your orders I hoisted a flag of truce on board the steam tug Adriatic at 1 o'clock p. m. and proceeded toward Norfolk to communicate with General Huger as directed. When about a mile below the Craney Island beacon and after having passed the batteries on Sewall's and Bush Points a shot was fired at the tug from Caney Island. It passed diagonally across the bow and struck within twenty feet. Had not the engine been stopped at the flash the boat's head turned a little to starboard the shot must I think have struck her.
I immediately ordered the tug anchored and left in the barge with Midshipman McCook to communicate with the boat which I supposed would meet me from Crany Island as it did when I was up with a flag of truce in May last, but I had not got more than three-or four boat's lengths from the tug when a second shot was fired at the barge which passed directly over and struck about thirty yards from her. My first impulse was to return immediately and report the circumstances to you, but my second led me to remain and ascertain if possible if the flag of truce had been fired on by order of General Huger or the commanding officer at Craney Island.
Two officers came off in a boat from Craney Island, of whom I asked the name of the commanding officer at the island and if General Huger was still at Norfolk. The senior of the two (I did not learn their names) replied: "Colonel Richardson commands at Craney Island," but he did not know anything of General Huger.
I then stated that I was the bearer of a flag of truce to General Huger, but before I could transact any business in relation to it I must first ascertain from them if General Huger or the commanding officer had ordered the flag of truce to be fired on; if so I had no further communication to make but should return and report the facts to you. The senior officer then stated that no such order had been given; the shot striking so near was accidential; he knew the flag of truce was coming up; had reported it to the commanding officer when the order was given to fire a shot her. To this I replied: "A blank cartidge would have been all that was necessary and what was customary to stop a flag of truce. " To this he said something about not knowing what was customary.
I then gave him your letter to General Huger saying I would wait for an answer, at the same time asking him to give compliments to the commanding officer and says his men fired well; it was good target practice. He replied: "The circumstane shall be reported to the commanding officer. " I also stated to him the difference in the reception of officers coming with flags of truce to us.