New Light on the great Drewry's Bluff fight. From the News leader, September 8, 1906.Judge William Izard Clopton's description of the naval Engagement—a valuable addition to Civil war History—Facts heretofore Unpublished.
The following report of the great naval battle of Drewry's Bluff was prepared and delivered to a large audience at Chesterfield Courthouse, Tuesday afternoon, September 4, 1906, by Judge William I. Clopton. In speaking of this address, Judge Clopton said: ‘There is no effort at elocutionary pyrotechnics, nor any flowery eloquence. It is simply an historical report of what actually happened in an event which was fraught with so much moment to Richmond in the stirring times of the Civil War. The naval engagement here related is the one which prevented the men of war of the enemy from coming up to Richmond and bombarding the city in 1862.’ In treating the facts concerning the naval battle which occurred at Drewry's Bluff, May 15, 1862, I am aware that much controversy has arisen as to the true state of facts. The usual source of information is the official reports, but as these are strangely oblivious of the part taken in this very important battle by the Chesterfield company, commanded by Captain Augustus H. Drewry, I shall confine my account to the descriptions given to me by Captain (afterwards major) Drewry, and Sergeant Samuel A. Mann, which latter account is vouched for as true, by Dr. Thomas J. Cheatham, who certified that he was present during the whole action and that Sergeant Mann's account is correct in all respects. I can perform this service in no better way than by simply reading Sergeant Mann's plain and simple, but very eloquent account of the battle, and by reading Major Drewry's account of