Hampton Roads, May 19, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to report to the Department that Captain J.H. Ward arrived here yesterday in company with two small schooners and very small steam tug, in addition to the one commanded by himself. About the time of his arrival I heard and saw firing from Captain Eagle’s vessel, the Star [Monticello], now actively blockading the mouths of James and Elizabeth rivers. I immediately ordered Captain Ward to go up to him. He found a battery being erected by the rebels from Norfolk, which, with the aid of the Star [Monticello], was partially destroyed.
Captain Eagle is very vigilant in the performance of his duty on that station.
I yesterday had the honor of a visit from Senators Wade, Chandler, and Morrill, with some gentlemen traveling in their company. They desiring to return direct to Washington, I ordered Captain Ward to convey them in his steamer, with further orders to look in at the mouths of the Virginia rivers on his way up and down, and to return to this place as soon as possible. I hope this will meet your approval.
This afternoon (Sunday), about 5:30 p.m., Captain Eagle, in the Star [Monticello], again opened fire upon the battery referred to above with a heavy gun and a small one (he only carries two), and fired with promptness and a spirit until he exhausted his ammunition, when he returned to this ship.
I shall supply him with ammunition, and in the morning he will proceed to his original blockading station.
I have the honor to enclose to the Department a copy of the report of Captain Henry Eagle, commanding U.S.S. Star [Monticello].
Respectfully, your obedience servant,
Senior Flag-Officer Blockading Squadron
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of Navy.
Enclosure: May 19th Report of Captain Henry Eagle, U.S.S. Star (Monticello)
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series I, Vol. 5. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897.