with the barges on shore to report to Colonel Keys. I went on shore myself, and again offered to assist in crossing the troops. The Colonel, however, wished to cross them himself. It was five o'clock in the morning before all the troops were across the river. At three o'clock, on the afternoon of the fourth instant, seventy (70) men returned, under charge of the Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment, and recrossed. At two o'clock this P. M. Acting Ensign Arnold Harris arrived here in the army gunboat Brewster, and reported to me that the remainder of the troops under Colonel Keys had been taken to Norfolk, and would not return to recross at Nansemond. I immediately got under way, and proceeded to Newport News. I am, Sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
Report of Lieutenant Fyffe.
United States steamer Morris, Newport News, April 15, 1864.Sir: I have the honor to report that in obedience to your orders of the thirteenth instant, I proceeded with this vessel, the Commodore Jones, and Shokokon, accompanied by the army transports Brewster and John D. W. Pentz, up James River, to a point in Burrell's Bay, about three miles north of Point of Shoals light-house, where, arriving at 3.30 A. M., of the fourteenth, the troops were disembarked from the transports by the boats of this vessel, the Commodore Jones, and two launches, the Shokokon being sent on picket about four miles farther up the river. All the troops, nearly four hundred, of the Twenty-third Massachusetts regiment, were landed by five A. M., when the transports steamed down the river. About seven A. M. some musket firing was heard, which I supposed to be a small party of skirmishers. At eight A. M. an officer (quartermaster) came down to the beach at a point about one and a half mile below where the troops had landed and made signal to this vessel. He was accompanied by three soldiers. I went in a boat to communicate with him, but before I got to the beach he had sent two of his men off, who did not return, and are now supposed to be prisoners. On landing, he told me that he had two wounded men; that they were in the rear guard of the regiment, which was but a short distance off. I took five men with me to help bring the wounded down, the officer acting as guide. We proceeded about three quarters of a mile to where he said the rear guard ought to be, but saw nothing of them, nor could we find the wounded. We saw a cavalry picket or escort, composed of about eight men, riding in the direction of Day's Point. We fired upon them, at which they returned and galloped back, and we returned to our boats. I brought the officer and one man on board this vessel, and soon after I put them on board the Brewster. At 12.15 discovered some soldiers on shore, at a house just above Rock Wharf, who.were signalizing to this vessel. I now discovered them to be the same ones we had landed in the morning. I manned two boats, and went on shore to see what assistance was required. On landing, the Colonel told me he had four wounded men and four prisoners, and said he had no way of caring for the wounded, and no way of keeping his prisoners, and wished me to receive them on board this vessel until they could be properly cared for, which I did. They were all put on board the Mt. Washington last evening, and sent down. He had also a twelve-pound Dahlgren howitzer, which he had found in the house, and which he said he should leave, as he had no way of taking it with him. I then took it and brought it on board, where I still have it. It is complete, with the exception of sights. At ten P. M. last night the John D. W. Pentz came up after the troops, and requested of me some boats to help reembark them, which I sent. They were all got off at 3.30 this morning, and immediately started down the river. I remained there until I received your orders to return to this station, which I reached at seven o'clock P. M. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Joseph P. Fyffe, Lieutenant, commanding. Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.P. S.--I omitted to mention that at 2.30 this morning this vessel was hailed from Rock Wharf. I sent a boat, which brought off a soldier of the Twenty-third Massachusetts, who said he had been left behind. I shall send him to his regiment.
Joseph P. Fyffe, Lieutenant, commanding.
Report of Acting Master Campbell.
United States steamer Stepping Stones, off Newport News, Va., April 15, 1864.Sir: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your order of the thirteenth instant, I proceeded with this vessel and two launches from the Minnesota in tow, under command of Acting Master Charles B. Wilder, to the mouth of Pagan Creek, at sunrise on the fourteenth, to cooperate with a detachment from the army; but as the transports did not arrive until nine A. M., and then all got aground, it was late before we could proceed. As soon as the transports grounded I sent a boat to know if I could render them any assistance, to which the Captain replied they had no pilot. When the boat returned, and reported this to me, I steamed down to them, told the captains to follow me as soon as they could get afloat, and I would show them the way, which they did, and I steamed up the creek to Smithfield, arriving at 12.15 P. M., followed by the steamers C. W. Thomas, John Tracey, and Emma, and landed the troops without opposition. The Stepping Stones taking position about one hundred (100) yards below, and the launches about fifty (50) yards above, the transports to cover the landing. After the troops were landed, I immediately reported to the senior army officer present, and was