ORN Series 1, Vol. X: Report of Acting Master William B. Sheldon, U. S. S. Shokokon, May 28-June 23, 1864

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in Naval Volume X

[Report of Acting Master William B. Sheldon, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Shokokon, of cooperative engagements in Pamunkey River, June 21, 1864, including Summary of Shokokon‘s Movements from May 28 to June 23, 1864]

[Subenclosure C]

U. S. S. SHOKOKON,
Cumberland, Va., June 21, 1864. 

Eliza Hancox by James Bard 1864

Civilian Steamer Eliza Hancox was fired into by Confederate Cavalry on June 21, 1864, causing USS Shokokon to respond. (James Bard Painting)

Sir: I would respectfully submit the following report: This morning, 8:30 a.m., just after a thick fog had cleared away, the transport steamer Eliza Hancox passed up. When abreast of Cumberland Point, 1 mile above where this vessel was lying, she was fired on by a party of rebels, who were concealed on the bank of the river. I immediately opened fire with our forward battery, and slipped the chain, steamed up to the point where the fire proceeded from, the most of our shell exploding near and among them. They soon fell back under cover of the woods out of sight. Shelled the woods, but could not get any reply. Kept in the position near the point until 12 o’clock m. I learned from a man whom I called down to the beach that the enemy were a party of dismounted cavalry, numbering about 150; that they had fallen back toward New Kent Court-House. He reported that they had some wounded, but could not tell whether there were any killed. I also learned from him that they dismounted about a mile back and came down to the river during the fog. Nothing more has been seen or heard from them up to this, 6 p. m. Enclosed I will send report of ammunition expended.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W[illiam]. B. Sheldon,
Acting Master, Commanding.

Lieutenant-Commander Cha[rle]s. A. Babcock,
Senior Officer, Commanding U. S. S. Morse, White House, Va.

Expenditure of ammunition, U. S. S. Shokokon, June 21, 1864.

Rounds.

5-second 30-pound Parrott shell……………………………………………………………..5

10-second 30-pound Parrott shell……………………………………………………………5

5-second 30-pound Parrott case shot………………………………………………………1

24-pounder shrapnel………………………………………………………………………………5

24-pounder canister……………………………………………………………………………….1

Total……………………………………………………………………………………………………..17

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S[amuel]. P. Crafts,
Executive Officer.

 

[Subenclosure D.]

U. S. S. Shokokon,
Off Yorktown, June 24, 1864.

Sir. In obedience to orders from Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, May 28, 1864, to report to you at Yorktown, or wherever you might be, I reported to you at White House, May 31, 5 o’clock a. m.; was ordered by you to proceed down the Pamunkey and take position off Cumberland, to protect the transports passing up and down. In compliance with your orders, I took position where I could command Cumberland Point and an old earthwork formerly held by the enemy, on the right bank of the river. Nothing occurred of note until the 6th of June, when a small force of the One hundred and seventy-ninth New York Volunteers came down to occupy the heights. I gave all assistance they required in landing and getting their stores ashore. Everything remained quiet until the morning of the 21st instant, when a party of about 150 rebel cavalry (dismounted) came down to Cumberland Point— during a thick fog—and fired from the bank of the river at one of the transports passing that point—details as per report of that day. On the evening of the 22d the force occupying the heights evacuated and passed down the river. I rendered them all assistance possible in getting on board the transport.

On the 23d instant, 2:45 p. m., was ordered by you to proceed down the river in company with the other gunboats, arriving off Yorktown at 11:15 p. m., June 23, 1864.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W[illiam]. B. Sheldon,
Acting Master, Commanding.

Lieutenant-Commander Cha[rle]s. A. Babcook,
Senior Officer, Commanding U. S. S. Morse, Off Yorktown, Va.1

Source:

  1. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 10, pp. 167168

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