Table of Contents:
The engagement at Sewell's Point.[From the Norfolk Day Book, May 20th.] Yesterday (Sunday) evening, about four or five o'clock, a small schooner from below passed up, and when near the Monticello she fired a gun which passed over the battery. It is not known positively whether she fired at the schooner or at the battery; though it is asserted by some that the schooner was acting in the capacity of a look-out for the steamer, and had sent a boat alongside of her before she fired the gun. The idea is, that the schooner got as near the fort as possible, and sent a man up on her mast-head to spy into the fort, those inside being unconscious of what was going on, and deeming her a friend. However, that first gun was taken as a banter, and the battery answered it with as much spirit and rapidly as convenience would allow, the second ball, we understand, taking effect in her rigging, much of which was cut away. The firing continued for some considerable time, by both the steamer and the battery. The two rifle-cannon, it is said, done the most execution, a shell from one of which it is reported bursted on striking the steamer's rigging, though it is not known whether it proved fatal. The steamer was struck in her hull several times, nearly amidships, and one hole we understand was knocked into her side, large enough for a flour barrel to enter. The steamer's battery was finally silenced, and about that time the two little steamers, the Yankee and the Young America, came up, both of which we understand fired a few bails at the fort. They all three then started off down the river, towards Old Point. It is the general impression that the Monticello is seriously crippled, from the manner in which she was careened over when she left, and probably from her having ceased her fire so quick. The shot and shell from the steamers few over the battery, many of them striking a mile in the rear. One shell bursted near the battery without injury. A piece of it, weighing four or five pounds, we saw last night. The tops of the pine trees in the neighborhood were pretty well cut down by the shot and shell from the Yankees, and the boughs and splinters were scattered about with a good deal of activity, though with no bad results, except the scratching of the hand of one of the staff officers who was present. It gives us pleasure to hear so glowing a report of the spirit of bravery which was brought out in this engagement. We feel satisfied that our cause is in the hands of the right kind of men. During the cannonading, we understand, some of the infantry sallied out on the beach and discharge their small arms. （Minnie rifles, we presume,) at the Monticello, she being, what was considered at the time, within range. It is said that every man engaged on shore acted the part of a hero; the only regret being that they were not more thoroughly prepared for the occasion, by having their heavy ordnance in better condition for the reception of the enemy. The only Injury, we understand, with the exception of the staff officer, was that received by Mr. Wm. Morris, of the Woodis Rifle corps, who got his ankle bruised by the re- bound of one of the big guns. We understand the injury is very slight. Not a shot of the enemy struck the works to injure them, most of them passing far over head. ‘"Nobody hurt" ’ on our side, though we don't believe we can say the same thing for the enemy, as the appearent confusion on board seemed to indicate otherwise. It is thought by some that this attack on our battery is intended as a russ to draw our attention from some point of more importance to the enemy. However this may be, they will likely find it unavailing, as our people now begin to realize that they are at war and have got fighting to do, which, judging from the eagerness displayed by ‘"the boys,"’ they will do to perfection if the Yankee will only give them a chance. By others it is surmised that the attack on that unfinished battery was intended merely to demolish it; that they did not know it was there till they discovered it on Saturday, while in pursuit of the steamer Kahukee, and finding it unprepared to return their fire, they anchored near by to deter our folks from working on it. We rather suspect the answer they got from the Sewell's Point battery yesterday evening took them somewhat by surprise.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.