Doc. 165.-bombardment on James River.A correspondent with the James River fleet gives the following account of the midnight bombardment on the river:
567] guns--one rifled — soon made a perceptible impression on the rebel batteries, but still they continued to fire on us with great rapidity for over an hour. At half-past 2 the rebel fire had slackened greatly, and at five minutes of three we had completely silenced their batteries. Our twenty-four-pounder brass howitzers did excellent service. Our largest guns threw five and ten-second shells, which made a telling impression upon the enemy. At fifteen minutes past three, orders were given to pipe down and secure the magazine, but be ready at a moment's call. The night was dark and rainy a circumstance of which the enemy have availed themselves several times before. 10 P. M.--At eight o'clock A. M. we started on <*>r convoy trip down the river, being relieved for this purpose by the United States gunboat Mahaska. On returning to our anchorage at six P. M., we were pleased to see that Gen. McClellan had ordered a strong force to land and destroy all the houses and other buildings on the point of land from which the rebels made their attack on the Cimerone last night. Several transport steamers were engaged in this duty as we steamed past, on our way up the river to report to the Commodore. Upon our arrival at headquarters, about four miles from where we were attacked this morning, we saw dense columns of smoke rising from several houses on the rebel point of attack, and very soon a dozen houses could be seen burning with great brilliancy. All these buildings have been used by the rebels for hiding-places, from whence they could watch all our movements. One house, the largest, a fine mansion, had a tower at one end that had been used as an observatory till within a day or two. Our firing was watched closely last night from th<*> flag-ship, whose officers inform us that nearly every shell thrown from our two one hundred-p<*>nders fell directly in the midst of the rebel b<*>teries. On beating to quarters, every man on the Cime<*>ne, from Captain Woodhull down to the lowest g<*>de, seemed to feel that each one had some imp<*>tant duty to his country to perform. There was no hesitation; every body went into action with a will, determined to do his best to silence the batteries and save the right wing of the army, as well as the fleet of transports, (over one hundred vessels,) from destruction; and it is a source of great satisfaction for us to hear from the lips of the Commodore that our efforts last night had accomplished this important result. For an hour the rebel shell and shot fell thick around the ship, bursting in the water near us, some passing over, others falling short; probably many would have struck and damaged the ship if the night had not been so dark. It was very cloudy, and rained heavily from eight o'clock till midnight. An army signal lieutenant and two soldiers have been stationed on board the Cimerone for two weeks, who receive and convey important army intelligence, but they are not permitted to inform even the officers of this ship what they know respecting army movements. Upon the former going on board the flag-ship this evening, the signal-officer there was quite surprised to meet him, as he was reported killed last night on the Cimerone. The Commodore and all the large gunboats went up the river at six o'clock yesterday afternoon, and sent us orders to remain here at our usual anchorage as watch-vessel. Yesterday morning, however, we resumed our duty of convoying the mail and other steamers down the river below Jamestown Island, and returned last evening at six o'clock to our anchorage. The only damage done us in the bombardment was caused by the bursting of a rebel shell near the starboard side of the ship, just abaft the wheel and under the captain's gig, which, in the hurry of going to quarters, was neglected to be lowered into the water. Another shell burst forward and did some damage to our second cutter. A marine was stunned by the concussion, and fell on deck, but soon recovered.
Richmond Examiner account.
Petersburgh, August 1, 1862.A large force of artillery, including many heavy guns, having been placed in position at and below Coggin's Point yesterday, and sighted, opened on McClellan's fleet and camp this morning at one o'clock. The firing continued fiercely for two hours. The enemy's gunboats replied very feebly, doing no damage. At the first round from our guns every light in the fleet was extinguished. Heavy damage is supposed to have been inflicted. The enemy was evidently greatly alarmed. A great crashing was heard in the river, whether from our balls or the vessels colliding is unknown. The entire fleet disappeared this morning at day-light, and such of McClellan's camp as was visible seemingly in great commotion. One man was killed on our side, and six wounded--two, belonging to the Page battery, badly — all caused by an accident to our own guns.
Petersburgh, August 1--P. M.The casualties last night were: William F. Dalton, of Louisiana, killed; Thomas Farquhar, of Richmond, severely wounded in the thigh; Patrick Graham, of Richmond, slightly in the left shoulder — all of Dabney's battery. Also H. Clackey, of Hanover, both hands mangled and subsequently amputated, and John Brooks, of Hanover, shockingly burned — both of Page's battery. Four others were slightly wounded.