Letter from Anna Wharton Seward to Frances Miller Seward, May 13-19, 1862

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Letter from Anna Wharton Seward to Frances Miller Seward, May 13-19, 1862
x

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:jfr

student editor

Transcriber:spp:axm

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1862-05-13

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Letter from Anna Wharton Seward to Frances Miller Seward, May 13-19, 1862

action: sent

sender: Anna Seward
Birth: 1834-03-29  Death: 1919-05-02

location: Washington D.C., US

receiver:  
x

 

Birth:   Death: 

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: jfr 

revision: iwl 2021-02-09

<>

Page 1
x

Editorial Note

This is a journal style letter that spans May 13, 1862 to May 19, 1862.
Monday morning
May 19th 1862.
My dear Mother.
Secretary
Welles
Birth: 1802-07-02 Death: 1878-02-11
being obliged to
go down the river to
look after his gunboats
&c invited us to go with
him. Mr. Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
not feeling
quite well for some days
concluded to go & said
Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
must go too. We left
last Tuesday afternoon at
4 o'c, intending to returnon
Friday. but Sunday
found us still surrounded
by the "sacred soil" – we
reached home this morn-
ing at nine o'clock.
In order that you may
Page 2

fully understand our
journey, I ^will^ write a des-
cription of it in the
form of a journal, &
if Molly
Birth: 1847
will study
it out upon the map
she will learn more of
geography than she has
learned in some time.
Monday afternoon.
After writing four sheets
I find I have only finish-
ed the second day –
I will send this & write
more tomorrow.
Page 3

May 13t h 1862.
Tuesday 4 o'C P.M.
Mr. Seward, Fred, and I drove
to the navy-yard & went
on board the steamboat
City of Baltimore. It is one
of the navy-yard boats, &
like the others was painted
blue last Spring to enable
it to run the blockade.
It has just returned from
Fortress Monroe, having been
there two months. In case of
another fight with the
Merrimac it was the inten-
tion to run the Baltimore on
top of her, she being a very
fast boat – of course she would
have been ruined, but would
have checked the Merrimac
so the gunboats could have
a good chance to fire at her.
Page 4

Our party consisted of Sec'y
Birth: 1802-07-02 Death: 1878-02-11

& Mrs. Welles
Birth: 1817-06-18 Death: 1895-02-28
, Miss Welles
Birth: 1851-04-16 Death: 1932Certainty: Probable
their
neice The Attorney General
Birth: 1793-09-04 Death: 1869-03-25
,
Mrs
Birth: 1807 Death: 1885-01-28
and Miss Goldsborough
Birth: 1842 Death: 1866-05-10
,
Mr. Goldsborough
Birth: 1805-02-18 Death: 1877-02-20
, Mr.
Faxton
Birth: 1822-04-17 Death: 1883-09-19
Chief Clerk in navy-dept.
Dr. & Mrs. Whelan
Birth: 1808-09-04 Death: 1865-06-11
, the Dr. is a
navy-surgeon, Captain Dahl-
gren
Birth: 1809-11-13 Death: 1870-07-12
of the navy-yard, his
son
Birth: 1839-10-23 Death: 1912-01-10
& daughter
Birth: 1825 Death: 1870
.
Wormley
Birth: 1819-01-16 Death: 1884-10-18
– a colored man
Unknown
who
keeps a hotel here was the
caterer. We left the yard
at 5 o'C – it was a bright,
warm afternoon & a pleas-
ant change after the dus-
ty city. There were ten
state rooms off the upper-
cabin & after selecting our
places & putting our carpet-
bag in them, we went on
deck to enjoy the sail.
Soon after passing Mount
Vernon
we went to tea
which was served in the
Page 5

(2)
lower cabin. On coming to
the deck again we found
we were passing the steam-
boat from Aquia-creek
which runs to connect with
the railroad to Mc Dowall
Birth: 1818-10-15 Death: 1885-05-04

division near Fredericks-
burg
. It was the old North
America from the Hudson.
As the night was warm
we sat out till 11 o'clock.
Wednesday
May 14th
On meeting this morningit
was found that no one
had slept very well.
The latter half of the jour-
ney being on the Chesapeak
bay and rather rough.
At 8 o'clock we are at
the mouth of York river
in full view of Yorktown
& the the rebel fortifications.
Page 6

As it rains quite ^hard^ it is decid-
ed not to land, but to go
up the river to West Point.
Mr. Seward being anxious
to communicate with Mc
Clellan
Birth: 1826-12-03 Death: 1885-10-29
if possible.
When The Attorney General
appears this morning in
a white cravat, which on
inspection proves to be a
pocket handkerchief – he
announces that a rat carried
off his stock during the night.
Yorktown consists of half a
dozen brick houses - said to
have been built before the
Revolutionary-War, Their
inhabitants have fled.
Our soldiers are the only
white persons there, one
regiment being left to gu-
ard the fortifications.
Plenty of colored folks about
who come to the wharf grin-
Page 7

ning & waving caps & aprons.
The river, after passing Glou-
cester
, opposite Yorktown
& which the rebels abandon-
ed at the same time, is
as wide as the widest
part of the Hudson. Several
times when near one shore
we could scarcely see the
other. Several small
houses have white flags
before them - but no inhabi-
tants to be seen but when
-ever we pass a negro-
cabin six & eight folks
will run to the bank
bowing & courtseying & cheer
-ing. The only house on the
west side of the river much
larger than a negro cabin
was a few miles south of
West Point – it was a double
three story red brick, but
closed like the others. It must
have belonged to one of the
Page 8

first families. West Point
is 35 miles from the There
was reported to be better
houses on the East-side, but
we could not see across.
West Point is 35 miles from
Yorktown at the confluence
of the Mattapony & the
Pamunkey rivers. ^There was a bat^
^-tle here on the landing of our troops from^
^Yorktown^ . Here we
expected to meet McClellan
but he left with 35,000
men three days before,
there was one regt & many
supply-boats, one large
gun boat lay. off the Point.
A rail road ^to Richmond ^ starts from
here, distance 35 miles. The
rails run to the wharf, no
station – Virginia fashion.
The town consists of two houses
but before another week
there will be a large settle-
men, our troops are now
building barracks & large
storehouses. Three boats were
which the rebels were build-
x

Editorial Note

Four pages are missing here.
Page 9

(4)
terribly W yesterday for giving
water to some
of Genl Stoneman's
Birth: 1822-08-08 Death: 1894-09-05
men.
His wife
Birth: 1836-07-28 Death: 1915-03-08
says she is
ready to die, since her
land has been desecrated
by the Yankee devils.
They have fourty slaves.
We drove through some of
the camps near the river
& then went upon a
hill to take a birds-eye
view. Most of the men
had the small shelter
tents, which seemed to
keep their heads & shoul
-ders tolerably dry, but
were not long enough
to cover their feet if they
stretched out full length.
They were cooking their
supper & the camp fires
were the only bright spots
Page 10

in the scene. When wec
ame down the hill
we found twenty regts
drawn up for a review.
The gentlemen took horses,
& rode passed them, we
following in the ambulan-
ces, but gave up when
half through the ranks
as going over the plough-
ed field cross-way of
the ridges was not the
easiest driving in the
world. It was tea-
time when we returned.
Genl McClellan had a
long consultation with
Mr Seward. We then
anchored in the stream
for the night - the pilot
fearing to pass the ob-
struction in the river.
Page 11

After returning from shore Genl Van Vliet
Birth: 1815-07-21 Death: 1901-03-28

came to see us. He is
quartermaster general,
had been during the
day at White house point
4 miles up the river at
the head of navagation.
The White house is owned
by Mrs Lee
Birth: 1808-10-01 Death: 1873-11-05
of Arlington
& is onethe spot where
stood the house in which
Washington
Birth: 1732-02-22 Death: 1799-12-14
& Mrs Custis
Birth: 1731-06-13 Death: 1802-05-22

were married. Genl Lee
Birth: 1807-01-19 Death: 1870-10-12

has used it for head–
quarters for several months
& left it only three days
ago. His sons baggage
is there now & the men
who came to carry it
away are under arrest.
On the front-door was
Page 12

tacked this notice "The north-
ern army will please res-
pect the house & property
of the Grand-children of
Washington" signed Mrs
R. E. Lee." We are now
only 27 miles from Rich-
mond. The rebel pickets
are 21/2 miles from us.
The army expects to ad-
vance at 4 o'clock in
the morning.
Page 13

(5)
Thursday
May 15th
Soon after we
retired last night
I was surprised to find
that we were under-
way
, and this morning
we were anchored off
Yorktown. The moon
has risen about 12 o'clock
& the pilot
Unknown
& captain
Unknown
of the
boat concluded to venture
Captain Dahlgren remain-
ing up to assist.
This morning it rained
again, we viewed the forti-
fications from deck, decid-
ing not to go ashore as
^there were no^ ambulances and saddle-
horses. We continued on
Page 14

to Fortress Monroe. The wind
was blowing hard mak-
ing Chesapeake Bay quite
rough it is at this place
where the sea sets in
from Capes Charles and
Henry, the roughest part
of the coast. I was quite
sick for four hours,
obliged to go to my berth.
When I got up I f was
much relieved to find
I had not been alone in
my misery, all the ladies
having been more or less
ill. Half way to the Fort-
ress we found the Man
of War Minnesota, which
is now the flag-ship.
Page 15

Commodore Goldsbrough
came over to our boat to
see see his wife & daugh-
er. They had not met
for six months. He said
he would go on with us.
Lieut Selvidge
Birth: 1836-02-06 Death: 1924-02-04
was with
him, he was on board
the Cumberland during the
fight with the Merrimac
& the next day on board
the Monitor, & took command
after Lieut Worden
Birth: 1818-03-12 Death: 1897-10-19
was
injured. Arriving at the
wharf at the Fortress we
sent for Genl Wool
Birth: 1784-02-20 Death: 1869-11-10
, who
soon came & invited us
to his quarters, but the
rain continuing we decid-
ed to go down to Norfolk,
Page 16

the guns at the Fortress
saluting us as we pass ^ed^ .
In the bay around old-
Point Comfort there are
hundreds of vessels.
Many Men of War, &
Gun-boats. They all
give us the Secretary's
salute seventeen guns.
We carry the flag of the Sec'y of
the Navy, a Union-jack
from the fore & mizzen-
masts. We saw the
French ship Gassendi
& two English men of war.
Our ship the San Jacinto
of Slidell
Birth: 1793 Death: 1871-07-09
& Mason
Birth: 1798-11-03 Death: 1871-04-28
memory
was a special object of
interest. Just off Craney
island, the place of meet-
Page 17

(6)
ing for the boats with
the flags of truce
was the buoy at
which the Merrimac
anchored. Here the
rebels had sunk a
great number of vessels
& the hull of the old ship
United-States had been
towed from the Gosport
Navy-yard for the same
purpose but left for want
of time. I noticed that
our flag pointed up-
on the bow of the old-
ship had been altered
into a Secession flag.
Near by one of the English
Ships was entangled in
the obstructions –The Capt.
Unknown
Page 18

came to us us in a row-
boat to ask the Comr
Unknown
for
a diving apparatus.
Norfolk is a beautiful
city, unlike most towns
the finest houses and
gardens are close by the
water. When we reached
the wharf -the ware-houses
presented a doleful sight.
Every one closed, the
streets as quiet as mid-
night. The ferry-boat
running to Portsmouth,
& the sentinels upon
the wharf being the only
active objects. Soon groups
of colored folks gathered,
& then a few white loung-
ers, & by the time the mili-
tary Governor Genl Veile
Birth: 1825-06-17 Death: 1922-04-22
Page 19

arrived we had quite an
audience. While the Genl
& Mr Seward were in pri-
vate conference we amused
ourselves by watching the
crowd. Two men
Unknown
about
seventy especially attracted
my attention – as being bet-
ter dressed & more intelli-
gent than the rest. I spoke
of them to Genl Veile who
said they were two of the
half dozen Union men in
>town. Mr Seward sent for
them to come on board.
They appeared on deck, the
tears running down their
cheeks, & for some minutes
were unable to speak a
word, then old ^one^ exclaimed
"Bless the Lord! that I should
live to see this day. For
ten months I never laid
eyes on the flag of my Country."
Page 20

While we were occupied with
them, one of the ladies
Unknown
said
that two gentlemen had
attempted to come on board,
but the guard would not alow
them, & they were calling for
Mr Seward. Going to the side
I discovered ^they were^ Dr March
Birth: 1795-09-20 Death: 1869-06-17
and
Henry
x

 

and called to them
to come on board. They had
with them another Dr
Unknown
who
seemed to have seen some
time in Albany I understood
him to say he sphad staid
with Mr Pumpelly
Birth: 1795-08-01 Death: 1882-09-28
. Dr March
had been in the hospital
at Fortress Monroe & had
come down to Norfolk for
the day. It cleared off about
sunset & we took a short
walk thin the town. There
were only two shops open
an apothacary and a tailors.
The latter was an Irishman
Unknown

& had out a flag. At several
houses where ladies were
standing at the open windows
Page 21

(7)
they withdrew themselves
quite suddenly at our approach.
We are to remain here
tonight being out of
coal & provisions. Wormley
has gone in search of the
latter, & the Commodore has
sent for a coalboat to supply
us with the former
The Captain
Birth: 1802-11-20 Death: 1881-04-12
of the Susquehan-
na had just come to visit
us. His ship a man of war
is lying off Norfolk, a terror
to evil-doers. It is now giving
us a salute & maneuvering the
yards.
The Attorney General had
another visit from the rat
last night, who took one of
his slippers. He told Mrs
Whelan of it this morning
making her promise not
to tell Mr Seward. We have
had much amusement at the
Page 22

expense of the old gentleman.
He remarked this morning
it was fortunate he did
not wear a wig – for they
would surely have taken
it for a nest.
Commodore Goldsbrough
is getting up an expedi-
tion to attack two rebel
batteries on the James river.
He gave orders to the
monitor to attack them
on her way up the river
the first of the week, but
she did not do it, being
in a hurry to get to Rich-
mond. He thinks to be
ready to start Saturday
morning. Mr.Seward & Mr.
Welles have about deter-
mined to go with him,
that is for our boat to go.
Page 23

During our exploration of
our boat the day after
we started we found
there were two brass how-
itzers onboard & two dozen
muskets with sword bay-
onets. In fact we are
an armed vessel, and
capable of defending our-
selves.
Page 24

(8)
Friday May 16th
This morning about
breakfast time, we
started for Gosport navy-
yard about two miles
beyondd Norfolk, on the
Elizabeth river. It has
been in possession of the
rebels during a year &
was set on fire the day
before the Merrimac was
blown up. The yard is
four times as large as
the Washington Navy-yard
& has cost the government
ten millions of dollars. It was
the saddest sight I have
yet seen, caused by the
war. The docks & river was
Page 25

lined with the remains of burnt vessels, & of the
fifty immense foundry's,
machine-shops and ship
houses only a few broken
walls & chimnies remain.
All the expensive machinery
blown up – In one place
was two acres of the char-
red remains of ship timber,
in another was a pile of
1500 tons of coal, which
after a weeks burning
was still a live mass of
fire. There were four
houses for officers in the
yard with large gardens
attached and secluded by
evergreen hedges. We walk-
ed through two. The roses
were growing in the greatest
Page 26

luxuriance, in full bloom,
the largest fushias I ever
saw, & all varieties of annuals
& rare plants. In the veg-
etable garden, the straw-
berries were nearly ripe,
the corn & tomatoes a foot
high fig, cherry, & peach
trees loaded with fruit.
The gardens were well
kept & all in order.
We brought away boquets,
but I wanted so much
to take some shrubs, but
there was no way to carry
them. We saw the large
Dahlgren-gun which was
burnt on board the Merri-
mac during the fight with
the Monitor. The dry-dock
which cost one million of dol's
Page 27

was not much injured.
They had burned the
gates, but the attempt to
blow up the masonry only
displaced a few stones.
On our return we passed
near the wreck of the
Merrimac. Mr Seward,
Mr Welles & Mr Bates went
with several sailors & a
saw & hatchet to procure
some relics. The portion
above water is only three
feet high & two thick.
We then sailed to the Min-
nesota & accompanied the
Comr on board & spent an
hour. The crew & officers
number 900 men. They have
a printing-press by which
their orders & reports are printed.
Page 28

(9)
Leaving the Comr
we landed at Fort-
ress Monroe & went
to the Headquarters of
Genl Wool. He had
just returned from Nor-
folk, and busy writing
surrounded by his staff.
He went with us upon
the ramparts from which
there was a fine view &
a refreshing sea breeze.
There are 280 guns mount-
ed. The ramparts are as
wide as an ordinary street
& a mile & a quarter in cir-
comferance, ^enclosing 75 acres^ . We were too
tired to walk far after
our tramp at the navy-
yard. There are four
comfortable houses for
Page 29

officers, besides the barracks
within the Fort. A large
number of temporary
barracks have been put
up, beside extensive
storehouses with supplies
in case of a siege. The
outer wall is surrounded
by a ditch thirty feet
wide. The only connect-
ion with land is by a
bridge across to Hamp-
ton
. Where a number
of regts have been encam-
ped during a year,
there is now only a guard.
Genl Wool is as active as
a man of fourty. While I
he was walking with me
Page 30

on the ramparts, an orderly
came up and asked when
he could see him on busi-
ness. "Tomorrow morning"
said the Genl. "Will 9 o'C
be too early": said the
orderly! "Oh no!" replied
the Genl "come at six or
seven!" Last week was
the ^fiftieth (50)^ anniversary of his enter-
ing the army.
This is Mr.Seward's
birthday. We had green
peas and straw-berries
for dinner, from Nor-
folk. In consequence
of which I am quite
ready to remain in
these parts for a while.
Page 31

For fear of further losses
the Attorney-Genl changed
his stateroom last even'g.
I noticed within the Fortress
some peculiar trees which
had ^resembled^ the at a distance
stunted apple trees, but
the foliage was quite
new to me. I feared
they were the live oak.
This is their northern
limit. We are an-
chored in the bay for the
night. All feeling tired,
and talking of retiring
early. Tomorrow we
go up the James river.
Page 32

(10)
Saturday evening
May 17th 1862.
This has been an
eventful day. It was
nearly eight o'clock
this morning before we
had all assembled
on deck and received the
intelligence from Captain
Dahlgren that the Comr
with his fleet had
been under sail two
hours. This was agreed
upon last evening that
they were to go in advance
of us as their ships came
from various points, the
rendez-vous being the
Page 33

mouth of the James river
As soon as breakfast was
over we started, going as
near in shore as possible
to get a good view of the
pretty little village of
Hampton two miles from
the Fortress. About twenty
houses with pretty gardens.
We having had a large
force there for a year
^there is quite a village^ past the of barracks & store-
houses. There is a large
Seminary for young ladies
at ^the^ lower end of the village,
which has gained consid-
erable popularity in the
Southern states. It is a
large four storied building
with cupola, standing
Page 34

near the water & command-
ing a fine view of the
bay & Norfolk. As we near-
ed New-Port News – at the
mouth of the James river
we came in sight of our
fleet which consisted of
two men of war, two
gun-boats & a tug for
a pilot. The Comr being
onboard the Susquehanna
one of the men of war.
On turning Newport-news
point the wrecks of the
Cumberland & Congress
were just before us. The
remains of the latter are
nearly on the beach, as
Captain Smith
Birth: 1826-12-29 Death: 1862-03-08
was trying
to run her ashore when
he was killed.
Page 35

The Cumberland is al-
most in the channel.
The masts are entirely
out of water, only the
hull sunken, a small
part of the flag still
flying from the main-
mast. Mrs. Whelan who
is with us, is a cousin of
Captain Smith of the Con-
gress. Two of our sailors
Unknown

where on board the ves-
sel and have shown us
the place on shore where
they buried his body.
it was there two days
before being removed to
Washington. There are
two houses at Newport-news,
we have only two regts
there now commanded
Page 36

(11)
by Genl Mansfield
Birth: 1803-12-22 Death: 1862-09-18
.
Our fortifications
are not very ex-
tensive. After half an
hours sailing we were
within half a mile of
the fleet & the first bat-
tery just a head of us,
concealed by a turn
in the river. We waited
awhile until the tug &
one gunboat went in
advance to reconnoiter.
Soon we saw a cannon
flashing from the tug &
then others from the gun-
boat. This was to draw
the enemies fire. But
there was no response.
The large vessels were
Page 37

soon under way, and
when they had passed
the Comr signaled for
us to follow. The tug
had gone near enough
to see the fort
Unknown
was des-
erted. It was placed at
a point where the chan-
point where the chan-
nel was quite close in
shore. It was exceeding-
ly well made, the em-
brasures being plated
with iron & the banks
turfed, we could see but
one gun & no signs of life.
I was rather disappoint-
ed. The next fort was two
miles further up & as ^before^ we
soon ^came^ as ^in^ sight of it there
appeared a rebel flag
Page 38

above the trees. We all
became immediately
much excited, ^very angry^ & very brave.
Two young ladies
Unknown
who
were ^had been^ sure they should
be frightened when
they heard the big guns
were now ready to go
aboard the fleet & fire
them themselves. The
ships arranged in line of
battle before the fort &
opened fire, we remain
half a mile down the
stream. After seeing three
shells thrown & burst
inside the fort & itno
response, we drew nearer.
Twelve guns appeared
at the embrasures. There
Page 39

were several small houses
quite near but no one
appeared. Just above the
fort was a fine large
house apparently deser-
ted. Twenty or more shells
were thrown from the
different vessels, some
bursting in the fort, some
stricking the works & others
going quite ^into the woods^ beyond. the
Still the flag waved
defiantly. I have often
heard & read of the
noise made by cannon-
balls & shells going thro'
the air. I hope I may
never hear them under
less advantages circum-
stance.
Page 40

(12)
Three-quarters of an
hour after the firing
commenced the Comr
sent the tug to annou-
nce to the Sec'y of the
Navy that he consid-
ered the fort evacua-
ted, & should send arm-
ed boats ashore to haul
down the flag. Fifteen
^row^ boats carrying a company
of marines & a number of
sailors were soon under
way. The Sec'y of the
navy proposed to go too
but Mr Seward thought
it was not prudent -
there might be a surprise.
Page 41

So Captain Dahlgren &
Mr. Faxton were the only
ones from our boat.
They found the flag
nailed, but the staff
was soon struck down
& ^as soon^ raised again with
the stars & stripes. Such
a shout as went up
from our fleet was
not surpassed by the
canons roar. Two canons
had been spiked & one
blown up, but the others
were in condition. There
was bread & fresh meat
in the barracks showing
the rebels had just
quitted. The Comr orders
were not to explore the
Page 42

fort or surrounding's for
fear of torpedoes or a sur-
prise until he could
send a larger force.
As these were the only
forts below James Isd
to which we were going
we started under con-
voy of two gunboats,
leaving the to men of
war with the Comr to
destroy the fort, bring
away the guns & s.
After going six miles
we met the Port Royal
& Naugatuck bringing the
dead & wounded from
the engagement eight
miles this side of Richd
& going to Fortress Monroe
Page 43

for ammunition. Just after
they left us, our two
convoys got aground &
informed us they could
go no further tonight.
It was then seven o'clock.
Mr. Seward was anxious
to communicate with Mc-
Clellan & hoped by going
to Jamestown Island to
be able to send a dispatch
to the telegraph at Wms-
burg
seven miles. Our
pilot
Unknown
was willing to
venture & now at eleven
o'clock after getting agrou-
nd twice we are anchor-
ed off the island. There
are no lights ashore &
no more signs of life
than on the coast of Labrador.
Page 44

(13)
Captain Dahlgren
has ordered all
lights put out & has
loaded the two howi-
tzers. We are to have
an armed patrol during
the night. He has given
orders to fire on any
boat seen approaching.
From the appearance
of things we suppose
our the two companies
of our troops we expected
to find have left & we
no not for what reason.
Just now I heard a dog
bark, a sign we are
near a habitation, which
I suppose is not a desir-
Page 45

able thing to as we
are in an enemy's country.
Sunday May 18th
I heard Mr Seward
up several times du-
ring the night, & this
morning before 4 o' clock
he called us up to see
James-town island.
The ladies were a droll
sight, all appeared on
deck minus hoops, in
various stages of attire.
The gentlemen were mostly
dressed. The first lady
who was on deck told
me she found the Attor-
ney General there with
his overcoat over his
night shirt.
Page 46

(14)
We sent an armed
boat ashore to see
if there were any
troops, but there were
none. The It was on
this island that the
C Cavaliers landed.
There is a large fort
& breast works built
by the rebels. One
very large house, the
only one, on the bank,
was deserted. Nearby
was the ruins of the
old church, the first
on this continent, the
bricks being brought
from England. Only
the front wall, with
Page 47

the door-way remains.
It was here that
Pocahontaswas baptized.
Before our boat return
we were surprised to
see coming off to us
from the farther end
of the Island another
boat filled with peo-
ple ^& carrying a white flag^ . Long before they
gained our boat we
discovered by our own glasses
that they were colored.
Mr. Seward hailed them
to as what they want-
ed. They replied "friends".
They said their master
Colonel Mallory
Birth: 1812 Death: 1873-11-09
was in
Page 48

the rebel army. He had
returned home found
some of his slaves had
left & "swore up to his
waist" (thewoman
Unknown
said)
that they should not
go. He had removed
the corn to the moun-
tains & they were to go
to South North Carolina
the next day. There
were eleven men, a
woman & two children
Unknown
.
They had come fifteen
miles from the interior,
bringing their clothes
in sacks. They found
the boat on the river
side. They said They
Page 49

came to the Island just
before dark, intending
to hide away in the
fort, till they saw a
boat coming. They said
the family
Unknown
were in the
large house, in the
evening, but were much
alarmed when they saw
our boat anchor there,
and left at two o'clock
in the morning in a
row-boat for the main
land, burning the gun
carriages in the fort
before they left. They were
still burning this morn-
ing. We took the contra-
bands
^on board^ & brought them
Page 50

(15)
to Fortress Monroe.
Wormley took the
woman & children.
At six o'clock we had
started to return. Mr.
Welles was anxious to
go up to City Point,
but Mr. Seward said he
must be in Washing-
ton Monday morning.
We stopped on our way
to speak with the Comr
who was destroying
the Fort Huger and possibly Fort Boykintwo Forts
. We learned
the name, Fort Huger,
Hardy's Bluff. The fam-
ilies
Unknown
at the houses near
by had returned du-
ring the night.
Page 51

and two men
Unknown
had been
down on the shore look-
ing at the ships and
watching their horses.
At Newport-news we
stopped at the wharf &
sent for Genl Mansfield.
He was delighted to see
us - he with his two
regiments are having a
very dull time, and are
anxious to be removed
to a more active field.
While the guns of the forti-
fications were saluting us
we walked up to the
Genl's headquarters, and
were treated to icewater.
The greatest luxury he
Page 52

could offer us – as ice
is scarce as coin in
these parts. He is oc-
cupying one of the two
houses of the place, a
small one without cellar,
& only two rooms.
During the engagement
of the Merrimac
with the Cumberland & Congress
a canon ball went
through the house.
The holes are still there.
The Genl was sitting
writing at a table, it
entered one side of the
room, crossed it, went
through he wooden man-
tle piece, tore off three
Page 53

feet of the chimney, and
a large piece of plaster-
ing beyond & went thro'
the wall. After going
to the boat again the
band came to the wharf
& played martial airs
till we were out of hearing.
We brought off with us
a young Lieut who was
anxious to go to Washing-
ton to meet his Father.
He is a Mr Slauson
Birth: 1833-02-21 Death: 1873-07-01Certainty: Probable
of
New York. Mr. Seward
knows his father
Unknown
. We are
now off Fortress Monroe.
Mr S. is sending telegrams
to McClellan, & to Augus-
tus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
, saying we shall be
Page 54

home in the morning.
We start immediately
and expect to reach the
navy-yard at 6 o'clock.
Fred propounded a con-
nundrum to us this eve'g.
Why is Colonel Mallory
like the Attorney General.
Answer - Because he has
lost his best black stock.