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ORN XI: Abstract log of the U. S. S. Hunchback, Lieutenant Joseph P. Fyffe, U. S. Navy

Abstract log of the U. S. S. Hunchback, Lieutenant Joseph P. Fyffe, U. S. Navy.1

January 22, 1865. — At 8:40 p.m. Navy firing was heard in a southwesterly direction.

January 24. — From midnight to 4 a.m., Navy firing at intervals in direction of Dutch Gap. From 4 to 8 a.m., steamer M. Martin came up the river with orders for us to proceed up the river. Immediately slipped our cable and proceeded up to Jones’s Landing and reported to the senior officer on board the ironclad Onondaga. At 9 the captain left the ship and went on board the Onondaga for further orders. At 9:20 Captain Pyffe returned with orders to proceed up the river and attack the wooden boats of the enemy, if there were any. At 9:30 the Onondaga and the rest of the fleet got underway and proceeded up the river. At 10 we opened on the enemy’s ironclads and battery; continued firing until meridian,, when we dropped down the river. Shell expended: IX-inch, 33 10-second, 6 15-second; 100-pounder, 3 10-second, 4 15-second. From meridian [i.e. noon] to 4 p. m., vessel lying off Dutch Gap Canal. The fleet dropped down below Dutch Gap Canal at 1:20 p.m. At 1:45 p.m., got underway and proceeded down the river in obedience to orders of division commander. At 8 p.m. came to anchor below the canal.

January 25. — At 2:30 a. m. Navy firing with muskets and great guns in the direction of Dutch Gap. At 3:30 saw smoke in the vicinity of the vessel and slipped anchor to be in readiness for action. At 10 proceeded up the river and came to anchor off Crow’s Nest. At 9:30 p.m. two boats left the ship in charge of Captain Pyffe, Acting Master E. K. Valentine, and Acting Master Sias; proceeded up the river and returned at 11:30.

January 26. — At 3 p.m. the rebel batteries opened fire. Got underway and went down river.

January 27. — At 11:20 a.m. the ironclad Saugus passed up the river and anchored astern of the Onondaga.

January 28. — Clear, cold weather. River frozen over. At 4:15 a.m. got underway and returned to our station below the canal. At 2 p.m. the Commodore Morris got underway and proceeded down the river. At 2:30 the rebels opened fire on us from Howlett’s house battery; we got underway and steamed out of range.

January 29.— At 12:30 p.m, got underway to proceed down the Deep Bottom. On arriving at the pontoon bridge we could not get through on account of the ice.

  1. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, page 652
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