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[243] in the very act of pulling the lock-string of the howitzer to fire the second shot. Mr. O'Connor then fought and managed the first launch gallantly, bringing her out manfully, and his men fought heroically. I ordered him to take position on the opposite side of the bridge, but he said he had wounded in his boat, so I allowed him to proceed to the Stepping Stones, and the shots then were very few. The Stepping Stones at this time chimed in beautifully, sending a number of well-directed shots in various places at the edge of the woods, which greatly cheered us, and we heard no more firing from the enemy.

I am very gratified to say that Mr. Simms, officer of the piece in the second launch, was remarkably cool, and directed the working of the gun in a most creditable and skilful manner. All the men, both at the gun and the oars, gave the strictest attention to every order, and I feel at a loss to commend any individual one. Therefore, sir, I commend to your notice both officers and men of both launches. Not a shot was dodged by any one, and when I headed the second launch towards the town, to get clear of some bushes on my starboard quarter, the crew murmured, and to hasten the move I had to tell them I was only getting clear of the bushes for a better position. I then lay a while in easy range, and the army having possession of the town and its rear, I reported to Captain Campbell, and lay astern of the Stepping Stones until the next morning. At about seven A. M. we covered the advance of the little army steamer Emma, with troops, up the creek, and had the satisfaction of driving a number of the enemy from the same place. She returned without the Torpedo.

I am, Sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Jas. Birtwistle, Acting Ensign. Lieut.-Commander J. H. Upshur, Commanding U. S. Steam Frigate Minnesota.

Report of Surgeon Longshaw.

United States steam frigate Minnesota, Newport News, Va., April 15, 1864.
Sir: I have to report the following casualties to the detachment sent from this ship on the thirteenth instant, under command of Acting Master D. M. Campbell, to cooperate with the army in landing at Smithfield, Va., on the fourteenth instant. Killed,. Acting Volunteer-Lieutenant Charles B. Wilder; wounded, Harmon H. Miller, landsman, severely in left shoulder.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

William Longshaw Jr., Assistant Surgeon U. S. N. Lieut.-Commander J. H. Upshur, Commanding U. S. Steam Frigate Minnesota.

Report of James M. Williams.

United States steamer Commodore Perry, Nansemond River, Va., April 14, 1864.
Sir: In obedience to your orders of the thirteenth instant, I proceeded up the Nansemond River, and at 7.45 P. M. of that day (thirteenth instant) reported to the commanding officer of the Commodore Perry, (lying at first obstructions in the river,) who furnished me with two boats (crews armed) from his vessel. We then proceeded up the river, and at 10.55 P. M. anchored at Sleepy Hole. I then fitted out two armed boats from this vessel, and with the two from the Commodore Perry communicated with Colonel Keys, of the One Hundred and Eighteenth New York volunteers, (at 11.30 P. M.,) who required our assistance in transporting his troops to the opposite side of the river. At 2.30 A. M. of this day (fourteenth April) they commenced crossing in army launches and boats on the expedition from this vessel, and at six A. M. the last of them ,had crossed. I then returned to this vessel immediately, got under way, and, with two of the Commodore Perry's boats in tow, steamed to Western Branch and anchored at the obstructions; then, with two boats' crews, armed, proceeded about three miles up the branch, where I communicated with the Colonel of the Thirteenth New Hampshire volunteers, who informed me that the pickets had seen rebel cavalry in the morning, (it was noon when I met the Colonel.) He also informed me that they (the rebel cavalry and infantry) were reported to be about ten thousand strong, and in the neighborhood of Barker's Cross Roads. A little farther up the branch I met a citizen (a farmer) whom I strictly questioned concerning torpedoes, boats, &c. He positively denied that any such things were in that neighborhood, but he acknowledged that they might be in Chuckatuck, as Lieutenant Roy had a force at his headquarters to replace the old one that we had captured on the twenty-ninth March. After receiving from him all the information that he appeared to know, I returned to my vessel, steamed to Sleepy Hole, where the Commodore Perry was anchored, returned her boats, and proceeded down river to flag-ship.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

James M. Williams, Acting Master, commanding. Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, Commanding N. A. B. Squadron.

Report of Lieutenant Foster.

United States steamer Commodore Perry, April 15, 1864.
Sir: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your orders of April thirteenth, I proceeded up the Nansemond River to the landing opposite Halloway's Point, at which place I arrived at 9.50 P. M. I there found Colonel Keys, of the One Hundred and Eighteenth New York volunteers, who told me that he intended to cross four hundred (400) troops as soon as his barges should arrive.

I offered to render him any assistance in my power with regard to crossing his troops. He told me that he would cross the troops himself, but desired me to take such a position as would cover the landing of his troops. This I immediately did.

At 11.45 P. M. the Delaware came up with four (4) launches, under the charge of a Lieutenant of the naval brigade. I immediately sent the Lieutenant

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