May 19th Report of Capt. Peyton H. Colquitt, Commanding at Sewell’s Point

SEWELL’S POINT, VA., May 19, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you an engagement this evening between the Confederate troops, consisting of the City Light Guards, Columbus, Ga.; Wood’s Rifles, Captain Lamb; detachment of the Norfolk Juniors, under Lieutenant Holmes; detachment of Light Artillery Blues, under Lieutenant Nash, all under my command, and the steamer Monticello and Federal steam-tug, which lasted for one hour and a half, in which nobody was hurt on our side. The enemy fired with great accuracy, several balls passing through the embrasures of the fort, one striking a 32-pounder within the battery, and one shell bursting in the fort. From three to five shots from our battery took effect, we think; others struck around the steamer. The troops acted with great bravery, and I had to restrain them in their enthusiasm. The flag of Georgia was hoisted over the fort in the absence of the Confederate flag. Out firing was less frequent that that of the enemy, as our ammunition was scarce; only two rounds left after the engagement. Your aides, Major William E. Taylor, R. R. Collier, and Colonel Thomas Newton, were present and aided in the struggle.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Major-General GWYNN, Commanding forces, Norfolk Harbor.

P. S. –Two members of the City Light Guards (Georgia) dug away the sand in front of one of the port-holes during the hottest of the fire.


The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.