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I think I should not have been damaged so much had it not been for my getting ashore directly in front of them, giving them but a few feet between me and their guns.

The officers and men behaved with their accustomed coolness and efficiency, and promptly responded to the order to man the battery, though under a heavy fire of musketry.

A shot has penetrated the flange of the port-wheel, cracking it in several places; it will not do for me to be in any sea-way, as I will lose my wheel.

The starboard side of the pilot house was carried away, together with two iron plates; in fact, my upper works are completely riddled. One shot struck the steam-valve, bending it, which slowed us down — fortunately not stopping the engine.

As you ordered me to return after delivering the despatches, I passed the batteries again at night, but was not fired at. Ten shots struck the vessel in all, to say nothing of the bullets in the wood-work from the sharp-shooters.

Very respectfully, your obed't servant,

E. P. Mccrea, Lieutenant Commanding. Commander J. M. Gillis, Commanding Naval Forces, James River.

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