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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., chapter 15.58 (search)
derate brigade and of a district on the south side of the James River, embracing all the river forts and batteries down to the mouth of Nansemond River. My pickets were posted all along the shore opposite Newport News. From my headquarters at Smithfield I was in constant and rapid communication through relays of couriers and signal stations with my department commander, Major-General Huger1 stationed at Norfolk. The situation of affairs, both Federal and State, at Norfolk, on the morning oge in it was that in two places two or three of the port-holes had been blown into one great gap. It continued to burn until the brightness of its blaze was effaced by the morning sun. During the night I had sent an order to bring down from Smithfield to Ragged Island the twelve-oared barge that I used when inspecting the river batteries, and at the first dawn of day I embarked with some of my staff, and rowed in the direction of the Minnesota, confident of witnessing her destruction or surr