Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 34.djvu/158
150 Southern Historical Society Papers.
Charles I. Dimmock. Afterwards Capt. George Bourdette and Capt. Virginius O. Cassell were commanders, whether successively or not, I am not advised.
During this long period the organization seems to have main- tained a prosperous condition, for its rolls bear the names of many of the foremost citizens of our town and county.
Capt. Carey F. Grimes succeeded Capt. V. O. Cassell and was at its head when Gov. John Letcher called out the Virginia volunteers to defend State sovereignty.
At this time, April 20, 1861, Bernard Fauth and I were lieuten- ants, and forty-five men were on its muster roll; but in a short time the company was recruited to over 100 men. On the night Gosport navy yard was evacuated by Com. Charles S. McCauley we were ordered out and parked with four old iron smoothbore guns on the court green. The next morning a gun's crew was sent to the navy yard and the balance of the men with the guns were sent to Fort Nelson, and there the men who had been sent to the navy yard re- joined the company during the day. We remained at Fort Nelson until May 16, 1861, when we were transferred to Hoffler.'s Creek, in Norfolk county. There we were comfortably encamped in a location where we could observe all the marine events on Hampton Roads, including the celebrated battle between the C. S. Iron-clad Virginia and the Federal fleet.
Our first engagement occurred on October 7, 1861. Some of our men were fishing in a small boat, off shore, when a Federal steamer came over from Newport News after them. We unlimbered our rifle cannon, having received new guns prior to this event, and fired one shot at her. She returned the fire, but her shots falling short, she hastily put back to her own shore.
Time will not allow me to detail many events of our camp life at Hoffier's Creek, so I will only note two incidents.
On Wednesday, November 7, 1861, an election was held with the following result: For President, Jefferson Davis, 48 votes; for Congress, John R. Cham bliss, 28 votes; for Congress, William Lamb, 17 votes.
On Tuesday, March 28, 1862, the company was reorganized with ninety-nine men present, all of whom re-enlisted and elected the following officers: Carey F. Grimes, captain; John H. Thompson, first lieutenant; W. T. Fentress, second lieutenant; T. J. Oakum, second lieutenant; Francis Russ, second lieutenant.