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for a few days from the close vicinity of the town. The army gunboats, under Captains Lee and Rowe, never left the Upper Nansemond. To Brigadier-General Getty, commanding Third division Ninth army corps, was intrusted the defences of the Nansemond River. A more capable officer or more efficient troops could not have been selected for this arduous and responsible duty. The nature of the duty is comprehended in the statement that five thousand men were to hold a line eight miles long, and prevent forty thousand from crossing a stream too small to permit a large steamer from turning round. Moreover, the banks of the Nansemond were of such a character that troops could not, without making long marches around ravines, creeks, and swamps, pass as reenforcements from one point to another. To remedy this feature in the topography, General Getty instantly commenced the construction of a military road several miles long, including several bridges and long spaces of corduroy, following
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Volume 4., Operations South of the James River. (search)
eyes's) remained on the Peninsula when the Army of the Potomac was withdrawn (see p. 438, Vol. II.), and who took command at Suffolk soon after, gives the following account of events on the Nansemond and the Black-water, between September, 1862, and May, 1863 [see map, p. 494]: On the 22d September, 1862, I was ordered to Suffolk, with about 9000 men, to repel the advance of Generals Pettigrew and French from the Black water with 15,000 [5000] men. . . . Situated at the head of the Nansemond River, with the railway to Petersburg and Weldon, Suffolk is the key to all the approaches to the mouth of the James River on the north of the Dismal Swamp. Regarding the James as second only in importance to the Mississippi for the Confederates, . . . I prepared a system, and on the 25th commenced Fort Dix. . . . My labors alarmed the authorities at Richmond, who believed I was preparing a base for a grand movement upon the rebel capital, and the whole of the Blackwater was fortified, as we
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 21: beginning of the War in Southeastern Virginia. (search)
them. He was accompanied by Lieutenant John T. Greble, of the Second Regiment of Artillery, an accomplished young officer, educated at West Point, whom he appointed Master of Ordnance, to superintend the construction of the works. Greble had under his command two subalterns and twenty men of the regular Army. Camp Butler was at once established; and in the course of a few days a battery was planted at Newport-Newce that commanded the ship-channel of the James River and the mouth of the Nansemond, on one side of which, on Pig Point, the insurgents had constructed a strong redoubt, and armed it well with cannon from the Gosport Navy Yard. It was a part of Butler's plan of campaign to Newport-Newce landing. capture or turn that redoubt, pass up the Nansemond, and seize Suffolk; and, taking possession of the railway connections between that town and Petersburg and Norfolk, menace the Weldon Road — the great highway between Virginia and the Carolinas. To do this required more troo
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 3., Chapter 1: operations in Virginia.--battle of Chancellorsville.--siege of Suffolk. (search)
perating against General John J. Peck, at Suffolk. Ever since the Confederates lost Norfolk, See page 888, volume II. and with it the mouth of the James River and the region bordering on the Nansemond and the Dismal Swamp, they had been devising measures for recapturing it, and the territory they had lost. To prevent this, and to establish a base for operations against the Weldon and Petersburg railway, a strong body of National soldiers was stationed at Suffolk, at the head of the Nansemond River, and upon a railroad branching to Weldon and Petersburg. This was an important military position, and became the center of stirring scenes in 1862 and 1863. In September, 1862, Major-General John J. Peck was placed in command of nine thousand men at Suffolk, and at the same time Generals Pettigrew and French, with about fifteen thousand Confederates, were on the line of the Blackwater, menacing that post. Peck comprehended the great importance of his position, and immediately comme
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 35: operations of the North Atlantic Squadron, 1863. (search)
voc committed by steamer Hetzel. vessels dispatched to occupy Nansemond River. gunboats in demand. Lieutenant Lamson distinguishes himselfnd of Lieutenant R. H. Lamson, with instructions to occupy the Nansemond River between Suffolk and the bar, at the mouth of the western branceadquarters, 3D Division, 9Th Corps, U. S. S. Stepping Stones, Nansemond River, April 20th, 1863. Admiral: I beg to express my most sincerrs: U. S. Gun-Boat Stepping Stones, Sleepy Hole Landing, Nansemond River, April 21st, 1863. Admiral: I have again to express my oblito Suffolk. The prisoners were landed on the right bank of the Nansemond immediately after the battery was carried, and sent to Suffolk. etc. Headquarters 3D Division, 9Th Corps, In The Field, Nansemond River, April 29th, 1863. Admiral: I deem it proper to state that raise. An affair which occurred on the 14th of April in the Nansemond River, where Lieutenant Lamson in the Mount Washington, and Acting-M
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 39: Miscellaneous operations, land and sea.--operations in the Nansemond, Cape Fear, Pamunky, Chucka Tuck and James Rivers.--destruction of blockade-runners.--adventures of Lieutenant Cushing, etc. (search)
Chapter 39: Miscellaneous operations, land and sea.--operations in the Nansemond, Cape Fear, Pamunky, Chucka Tuck and James Rivers.--destruction of blockade-runners.--adventures of Lieutenant Cushing, etc. Successful military operations. prospects of Southern independence. Confederate commissioners. completeness and discipline of U. S. Navy, 1863. position and strength of opposing forces. combined Army and Navy expedition up James and Nansemond Rivers. destruction of blockade-runners Bendigo, ranger, Venus and dare. capture and destruction of U. S. Steamer Underwriter. destruction of blockade-runners wild Dayrell, Nutfield, Dee, Emily, ae he was endeavoring to get the men in the tug to attend to his orders, the torpedo-boat struck the ship, exploded a torpedo, and made off in the direction of Nansemond River. Several shots were fired at the torpedo vessel, but she escaped in the darkness. The concussion caused great excitement on board the frigate. The drums be
re, unfortunately, out in search of forage, and the march was consequently delayed; for which reason we failed to reach Chancellorsville in time to participate in the battle. Nothing was achieved against the enemy on the expedition to Suffolk, at which point he possessed a safe place of refuge within his strong fortifications, protected by an impenetrable abatis. During our sojourn in this vicinity, quite a spirited affair occurred between our troops and the Federal gunboats, on the Nansemond river, and in which I suffered a grave misfortune in the loss of Captain Turner, of the Fifth Texas. As an outpost officer, he was gifted with the same pre-eminent qualities which distinguished the gallant Upton. On the march from Suffolk to Chancellorsville, intelligence reached us of the Confederate victory and of the death of Jackson. This latter event occasioned me deep distress. I was hereupon prompted to write to General Lee, giving expression to my sorrow, and, at the same time,
Torpedoes and Submarine batteries.--We are happy to be informed that, among the other defences of the Elizabeth and Nansemond rivers, are these admirable contrivances for giving an unexpected hoist to an invading fleet. In one place, we are informed, the work is of a character that would damage seriously the largest squadron that ever floated on the waters. It is also said that the same contrivances either have been or are about to be arranged at various places along the coast. The batteries around Norfolk are in tip-top condition, and any demonstration upon that point will be met in a manner that will make the eyes of the next generation of Virginians sparkle with delight when they open that illumined page of her history.--Richmond Dispatch, May 17.
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 4. (ed. Frank Moore), Doc. 82.-fight in Hampton roads, Va., March 8th and 9th, 1862. (search)
from Elizabeth River about noon on Saturday. She stood directly across the roads toward Newport News. As soon as she was made out and her direction ascertained, the crews were beat to quarters on both the Cumberland and Congress, and preparations made for what was felt to be an almost hopeless fight, but the determination to make it as desperate as possible. The Merrimac kept straight on, making, according to the best estimates, about eight miles an hour. As she passed the mouth of Nansemond River, the Congress threw the first shot at her, which was immediately answered. The Merrimac passed the Congress, discharging a broadside at her, (one shell from which killed and disabled every man except one at gun No. Ten,) and kept on toward the Cumberland, which she approached at full speed, striking her on the port side near the bow, her stem knocking port No. One and the bridleport into one, whilst her ram cut the Cumberland under water. Almost at the moment of collision, the Merri
Doc. 71.-opening of Nansemond River, Va. Captain Hyner's report. Fortress Monroe, V., June 15, 1862. Col. D. T. Van Buren, Assistant Adjutant-General: Colonel: According to instructions, I proceeded on the eleventh inst. on board the steam-tug C. P. Smith, Capt. H. C. Fuller. Got, at six P. M., the armaments of two rifled three-inch Parrot guns and one mountain-howitzer on board, and started at once for Fort Wool, to take Capt. Lee, Ninety-ninth New-York volunteers, and his commanay; arrived at five P. M. at Sewell's Point, got the men and stores on board, and had to return to Fortress Monroe to take an additional quantity of coal, also some shells for the rifled guns. At ten P. M. we got under way for the mouth of the Nansemond; passed Pig Point battery at seven o'clock P. M.; ran up the river about four miles; got aground on a sand bank at low-tide, and had to wait till return of high-water. I tried to collect all the information I could from some negroes dredging f
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