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Doc. 7. engagement on four-mile Creek, Va.

Commander E. T. Nichol's report.

United States steamer Mendota, James river, July 3, 1864.
Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, commanding N. A. B. Squadron, James River:
Admiral: I have the honor to make report of the following proceedings in and about Four-Mile Creek within the past few days: At about seven o'clock A. M., on the thirty-first ultimo, the enemy opened fire on the United States steamer Hunchback, Lieutenant Fyffe commanding, with a battery of five guns, located on Four-Mile Creek, about two thousand yards from the river. Lieutenant Fyffe immediately returned the fire, and kept it up for some time, when the battery was apparently silenced. During the engagement the Hunchback was struck once in port wheel-house, but no damage done. About noon the monitor Saugus, Commander Calhoun, came down and took position and opened fire. The battery fired only two or three shots at the Saugus, but opened rapidly and spitefully whenever any wooden vessels showed in front. A number of vessels were fired on in this manner in the course of the day, notwithstanding the presence of the Saugus, but only one was struck — an army tug, of which the chief engineer was severely wounded. On the morning of the first instant, in company with the Agawam, this vessel took position to bring a cross-fire on the position of the battery, and both vessels opened without eliciting any reply, neither could any one be seen in the neighborhood. After firing about twenty shell I ceased, and there has been no demonstration in this vicinity since. On the afternoon of the first information was received from a French resident that the enemy had moved some of their guns further down the river, with a view to annoying passing vessels, and to shell the camp of General Foster, below Four-Mile Creek. I therefore directed Lieutenant Fyffe to proceed down the river, below Tilghman's wharf, and if the enemy were about, to remain there. About seven o'clock P. M. Lieutenant Fyffe fired again, which was immediately responded to by the rebels, their shell bursting in the neighborhood of General Foster's camp. Their fire soon ceased, and it was ascertained by Lieutenant Fyffe the next morning that one of his shells fell among the rebels, whereupon they abandoned one of their guns and did not return for it until after ten P. M. Since then everything has been quiet about here.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Ed. T. Nichols, Commander, United States Navy.

July 9, 1864.
The engagement and movements referred to in this report of Commander Nichols were in pursuance of immediate instructions from me.

S. P. Lee, Acting Rear-Admiral, commanding N. A. B. Squadron.

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Fourmile Creek (Iowa, United States) (3)
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