Today in History:

75 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


Numbers 2. Report of Commander R. b. Pegram, C. S. Navy.

PIG POINT BATTERY, June 5, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the Federal steamer Harriet Lane stood within range of this battery at 9 a. m. to-day, and taking a position at the distance of miles, commenced firing upon us with shot and shell from her 11-inch shell-gun and 32-pounders. She fired about thirty-three shot and shell, many off them well directed, but on one of our party was hurt, nor did the fortifications sustain any injury. A 32-pounder shot struck the muzzle of one of our 8-inch shell guns and cracked it from the face to the chase ring. The gun at the same time was run inform loading, and although the shot was broken in three fragments in the midst of our men, no one sustained the slightest injury. A number of shells exploded near and around us, but all fell harmless to the ground. In retire we fired twenty-three shot and shell; four or five were sent o take effect in the hull of the steamer, and, i am inclined to believe, did her some injury, from the manner in which she moved off.

For men who had never before been in action, the Portsmouth Rifles were remarkably cool and self-possessed, and, after a few rounds, got the range of the enemy and fired admirably well. Every officer and man behaved in the most spirited and creditable manner, and were so regardless of danger, that I had often to interpose my authority to prevent their exposing themselves unnecessarily to the enemy's fire. The action lasted about fifteen or twenty minutes.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Commander, Virginia Navy.


Virginia Navy, Commandant Naval Station, Va.

JUNE 7, 1861.- Reconnaissance from Yorktown to Newport News, Va.

Report of Captain W. H. Werth, Chatham Grays, Virginia Cavalry.

CAMP YORKTOWN, June 12, 1861.

SIR: I beg leave to make the following report of reconnaissance made by of the enemy's position at Newport News on Friday, 7th June, 1861:

I had under my command twenty picked men and horses from the Old Dominion Dragoons, together with two men from my company. Captain Phillips accompanied me, as did Lieutenant Cary and Lieutenant Harrison, the latter from the Charles City Cavalry. My object was to make a close examination of the enemy's works at Newport News, which I knew would be of service to you in your future movements. I did not start with the intention of pressing my men into certain ruin by an attack upon an overwhelming force, but simply to make a reliable reconnaissance. At about 1 o'clock i had approached the enemy's position to within two miles. I, Captain Philips, and two men were in advance of the detachment some four hundred yards, whilst two men marched the same distance in rear.