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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Volume 4., Closing operations in the James River. (search)
Richmond and Drewry in the same order. It was a most complete surprise. The first picket that fired at us was at the foot of Signal Hill; the first heavy gun was opposite Dutch Gap. We had to anchor twice above the Yankee obstructions to wait for the other vessels, and having cut away some spars we passed safely through their obstructions at 1:15 A. M. and came to anchor some four hundred yards below to wait for the other vessels. . . . We waited for an hour and a half, when our captain (Sheppard) sent up and found the Virginia, Richmond, and Drewry hard aground, witl the tide falling. . . . We came up and anchored above the Virginia. The enemy had opened on us from four mortar-batteries and several rifled guns, and were getting our range pretty well, but up to daylight no damage was done. About daylight a double-turreted monitor came up to within nine hundred yards of the Virginia and opened on her with 15 and 11 inch guns. Their land-batteries of 200 and 100 pounder Parrotts al