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Doc. 168.-fight on the Nansemond River.


Lieutenant Commanding Cushing's report.

U. S. Steamer Commodore Barney, Nansemond River, Virginia, April 14, 7.30 P. M.
To the Secretary of the Navy:
sir: This morning the vessels from above came down — the Mount Washington disabled. About half-past 11 A. M., the enemy opened on us with seven pieces of artillery, giving us a cross-fire. At once got under way and went into action, silencing the enemy in about an hour.

At about one P. M. the rebels took up a position within seven hundred yards of the Mount Washngton, who was aground, and opened on us with both artillery and sharp-shooters. I kept close to the disabled steamer, and fought the enemy at high-water, when I ordered the Stepping Stones to take the Mount Washington in tow. This was done under a heavy fire. At five P. M. had the satisfaction of silencing the enemy's battery. My loss foots up to three killed and seven wounded. I do not know as yet what the casualties are in the other vessels. I have eight raking shots, but fortunately my engine is not disabled.

I can assure you that the Barney and her crew are still in good fighting trim, and we will beat the enemy or sink at our post. . . . . The most of the wounded and the dead I send down to the Minnesota. It is only requisite to look at the Mount Washington to see with what desperate gallantry Lieutenant Lamson fought his vessel. I am now taking in coal, and shall anchor for the night where we have fought all day.

W. B. Cushing, Lieutenant Commanding.

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