From the Richmond Dispatch, 7/30/1864, p.1, c 6
Two Youths Drowned. – Charles Phillips and Henry Pierce, the first twelve and the other ten years of age, were drowned yesterday morning about half past seven o’clock, while bathing in James river, a short distance this side of the floating bridge. They were apparently trying their skill in distance swimming, and being young beginners, as well as youthful in age, it is supposed that they attained too great a length from the shore before being aware of that fact, and had not strength enough left to enable them to return. Two or three other boys, who observed from the shore the exhausted condition of their unfortunate comrades, endeavored to the best of their ability to rescue them; but their efforts proved unavailing, and amid great anguish they were forced to witness the sad spectacle which death struggles presented. In a short while after the parents of the deceased were apprised of the melancholy end of their children, which almost overwhelmed them with grief, and their cries and lamentations were truly agonizing to listen to. Soon a crowd of neighbors, assisted by some soldiers who were in the vicinity of the scene of the distressing occurrence, proceeded with grappling irons and by diving to recover their bodies, and their efforts were in a very short time rewarded by bringing to the surface that of young Pierce; but up to noon they had not succeeded in *** Phillips.