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ORN Series 1, Vol. X: Telegram from Acting Rear-Admiral Samuel P. Lee, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, June 21, 1864

Engagement of Federal fleet with Confederate ironclads and shore batteries at Howlett’s, June 21, 1864.


Flagship Malvern,
Farrar’s Island, June 21, 186411 p. m.
(Via Fort Monroe, 4: 30 p. m., 22d. Received 6: 45 p. m.)


Acting Rear Admiral Samuel P. Lee submitted this report from his flagship USS Malvern on the night of June 21, 1864, mere hours after the Action at Howlett’s Bluff had ended.

About noon enemy opened fire from Howlett’s Battery and from his ironclads and gunboats, which were concealed from view above Dutch Gap.

Saugus’s deck, before turret, was injured by one X-inch shot. A number of 1-inch iron plates required immediately to protect weak and cover wounded places; also spare screws for XV-inch guns. The enemy seems determined to control this part of the river.

Instead of withdrawing the Tecumseh, it is necessary to largely increase the ironclad force here.

S[amuel]. P. Lee,
Acting Rear-Admiral.

Hon. Gideon Welles,
Secretary of Navy.1


  1. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 10, pp. 176177
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