Report of Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Hooker, U. S. Navy, commanding First Division Potomac Flotilla.

Report of Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Hooker, U. S. Navy, commanding First Division Potomac Flotilla.

Rappahannock River, Virginia, May 14, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that after I left St. Inigoes on the evening of the 11th instant I was met by the army tug Commodore Foote, with Colonel Draper on board, who informed me that he was ready to proceed on the raid proposed in the morning and that he had telegraphed to you to the effect. Believing that it would meet your approval, I at once proceeded to the wharf, and took on board troops, and then pushed forward to this place. Owing to the slowness of the transport Star, which was in company, I did not reach the Rappahannock as early as I wished to do, but before 9 a.m. (12th) I had landed, with my small boats only, all the troops, cavalry included, also my howitzer, its crew, and twenty more sailors as a support. These were all under the command of Acting Master Street, the army part being under the command of Colonel Draper himself.

As soon as the column moved forward I detailed one boat from each ship, the Yankee, Currituck, and Fuchsia, under the command of Acting Master Cook, to look for torpedoes, of which we exploded several and fished out two. About noon the Resolute arrived with a launch, and I at once sent it to Captain Cook, and with her he went up Mill Creek, destroying a large number of boats, some grain, etc.

In the meantime I had received word from shore that the expedition was pushing forward toward the Piankatank, and at 6 p.m., leaving all the other vessels, including the Dragon, which had arrived with a coal schooner, in charge of Acting Master Cook, I went to the Piankatank, and at 10 o'clock p.m. had made my way to the head of Fishing Bay, <nor5_423>and was in communication with the troops, learning that the movement had been a brilliant success. They had had a sharp fight, losing I soldier killed, 3 severely and 6 or 8 slightly wounded. The enemy had lost 8 killed and some prisoners. They were under the command of Acting Masters John Maxwell and [Bennett G.] Burley; of these, Maxwell is killed and Burley a prisoner. They also found some torpedoes and a quantity of powder, all of which I send up by the Currituck.

At daylight yesterday (13th) the rest of the fleet reached me, and I commenced at once to embark the troops for the purpose of carrying them across the river. At 10 o'clock a.m. they were all landed again on the south side of the Piankatank and en route for Mathews Court-House. At 8 o'clock p.m. they returned, having destroyed considerable property and brought away a large number of mules, cattle, etc. The night was intensely dark and raining in torrents; we therefore decided not to embark until daylight.

The Currituck brings up a part of the troops, plunder, etc.

The results of this expedition are: One mill and several granaries full of grain burned; several torpedoes exploded and 6 captured, together with a quantity of powder; about 30 boats destroyed; a large number of cattle and mules, with some carts, etc., brought off, to go to the contraband farm.

The casualties on our side are 1 killed and 5 wounded; the enemy's, 8 killed and 10 prisoners.

Our forces were 300 colored infantry and 15 cavalry, under Colonel Draper, and 35 sailors, with a howitzer, under command of Acting Master Street.

Colonel Draper and Captain Street both speak highly of the sailors on shore, while I can but express my satisfaction at the promptitude with which they have performed their duty by day and night, and in an almost constant rain storm.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Actg. Vol. Lieut., U. S. Navy, Comdg. First Div. Potomac Flotilla.


Commander F. A. PARKER, U. S. Navy,

Commanding Potomac Flotilla.


Taken from the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies
in the War of the Rebellion



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