June 5th report of Captain Faunce, commanding U.S.S. Harriet Lane

U.S.S. HARRIET LANE,
Hampton Roads, June 5, 1861

SIR: In obedience to orders from General Butler to make a reconnaissance of Pig Point and vicinity, etc., I this morning at 4:50 got underway with my ship from off Newport News and stood toward Craney Island, steaming close in and along the shore. When off Pig Point I observed near the beach a number of men apparently engaged in transporting guns by means of ox teams and wheel carriages, while others were seen near the embrasures of the battery with the secession flag flying over them. At 8:30 a.m. I approached as close to the battery as the flats would allow, a distance of about 1,800 yards, and opened fire, which was promptly returned by the rebels, from, I judge, seven guns, four of which were either 42 or 32 pounders and the others appeared to be 24-pounder howitzers. Two of the shot took effect on the vessel, one passing through the plank-sheer forward of the fore rigging on the port side and out through the starboard bulwarks; the other through the fore rigging, grazing the foremast. Several of their heavy shot passed over the vessel and struck some distance beyond. The shell from their howitzers all fell short. Thirty rounds of shot and shell were thrown by us, nearly all of which fell short; some few, however, were observed to strike within the embrasures. The rebels fired about fifty shot and shell. Having accomplished my object of drawing the fire of the enemy, and thereby discovering the strength of their battery, and finding the range of my guns less than theirs, after an engagement of forty-five minutes I drew off out of range. From the enclosed report of the surgeon you will perceive that five of our men were wounded. It affords me much pleasure to bear testimony to the gallant conduct of the officers and men under my command.

Respectfully submitted.

JOHN FAUNCE, Captain.

Flag-Officer G. J. PENDERGRAST,
Commanding West India Squadron, off Fortress Monroe, Va.


U.S.S. HARRIET LANE, June 5, 1861.

List of wounded.

  1. John Brainard (seaman), severe splinter wound in left leg.
  2. Nicholas Payne (captain after guard), severe splinter wounds of left hand and face.
  3. Peter Woods (ordinary seaman), slight splinter wound of leg.
  4. Chris. Kane (seaman), splintered face and leg—slight.
  5. Charles Johnson (ordinary seaman), severe contusion.

L. CAMPBELL, M.D., Surgeon.

Captain FAUNCE.


Sources

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series I, Vol. 5. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897.