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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More naval affairs- May 1864

Report of Lieutenant. Commander Babcock, U. S. Navy, of cooperation with the army in the occupation of West Point, Va., April 30-May 1, 1864.

                    U. S. S. MORSE,
            Off West Point, Mattapony River, May 2, 1864.
SIR: I respectfully report that, having telegraphed to you on the evening of the 29th ultimo that some troops were about to proceed from Yorktown to West Point, and that Major.General Smith requested the aid of the gunboats to cover his landing and protect them while at this point, when, on the morning of the 30th, I received your communication by the Shawsheen, I was ready then to proceed up the river. For some reason unknown to me the transports were not ready to leave Gloucester Point until late in the afternoon of the 30th. At 4 a. m. on the morning of the 1st instant got underway, followed by four transports, carrying some 2,500 troops. The Shawsheen during the night having been obliged to haul her fires for slight repairs to her boiler, I left her at Yorktown with orders to follow as soon as possible. After being underway the General Putnam arrived from Hampton Roads; communicated with her, ordering her to bring up the rear. Arrived at West Point at 9 a. m. and came to anchor off the wharf, covering the landing of the troops who were disembarking from the transports. The troops at once marched out some 2 miles and took possession of the intrenchments which were thrown up by General Gordon some twelve months since. I then stationed the General Putnam and Shawsheen in different positions in the Pamunkey River for covering our troops and resisting any attack which might be made by the enemy. Proceeded with this vessel into the Mattapony River, taking a station where my guns would sweep the whole plain before the intrenchments. While lying in the Pamunkey River picked up three refugees from Richmond in a canoe; turned them over to Colonel Henry, commanding army forces at this place.
Not needing further the services of the Shawsheen, ordered her to proceed to Hampton Roads and report to you. I send by her a torpedo which had drifted down the river, and was picked up on the beach at Yorktown by Patrick McCall (seaman), one of my gigs crew, on the 29th ultimo.

              I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. A. BABCOCK,
    Lieutenant-Commander and Senior Officer Present.

Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,
    Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Hampton Roads.


-Official records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. ; Series I - Volume 9: North Atlantic Blockading Squadron (May 5, 1863 - May 5, 1864)

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