Strength of the Yankee Armada in the James
The Yankees must have an immense armada in the James. A paroled prisoner, who came up on the last flag of truce, and who on the way passed through the whole fleet, gives us what we have reason to believe is an entirely trustworthy statement of its numbers and strength. ?He states that he counted on his way up, 64 large transports, averaging, he would say, 500 men; 17 gunboats, carrying each from 5 to 8 guns; 4 monitors, 1 double and 8 single turreted. From the closest calculation, based on his observations, he would suppose the enemy to have a force of some 32,000. The enemy had some 6000 negroes, 4000 of whom had been landed at City Point, and 2000 below Fort Powhatan. With the crews of the gunboats, who will average above 100 men to each, our informant thinks that the aggregate force of the expedition, as near as can be figured up, may be set down for 35,000 to 40,000 men, and the fleet – monitors, gunboats, and transports – at about 120 vessels in all.
Source: Fayetteville Observer, May 16, 1864, as found on www.ncecho.org.