War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0133 Chapter IX. DESCENT ON MATHIAS POINT, VA.

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of the party. The first named, it seems, was the pilot, who was a captain of a wood vessel, and acquainted with Gresham. He inquired if he had any chickens or lambs for sale. Mr. Gresham replied that "He had a plenty, but not a d-d one for that party." He then took the pilot aside and told him they had better be getting away, as there were troops in the neighborhood, and that he did not wish his premises to be the scene of a battle, as his mother was very ill in the house. While they were talking a small company of Lancaster troops, about thirty in number, were seen coming down the road in double-quick time. The alarm was given, and the enemy fled precipitately to their boats, our men firing into them as they shoved off. In their flight they left one of the barges the men in great confusion crowded into the other, and others wading out to the large barge on the flats. In their flight they left, besides the barge, two breech-loading rifles, a revolver,and several swords, with coats, hats, and shoes, thrown away in their hasty retreat. It is confidently asserted that four of the enemy were killed in the boat. Nobody hurt on our side. As soon as our men fired on the enemy the ship opened her guns on Mr. Gresham's house. She fired fifty-three shot and shell, seventeen of which took effect, damaging the house to the amount of at least $1,000. As in all of our engagements, the preservation of life was most remarkable. One of the balls struck the bed on which Mrs. Gresham was lying ill. She was then removed to an outhouse, and a bomb-shell came in and exploded in the room without injury to any one.

I have given you, in a very hurried manner, these particulars, which I gather from most reliable sources of information. You will unite with us in contemptuous indignation at the cowardly conduct of these dastardly scoundrels, who, refusing to meet half their number face to face, at a safe distance, in their ship, destroy the property of our citizens.

I hope to be able to visit your camp soon and renew the acquaintance I had the pleasure of having with you last winter.

Hastily and truly, yours,

JOS. CHRISTIAN.

Colonel CHARLES A. CRUMP, Gloucester Point, Va.

JUNE 25, 1861. - Descent on Mathias Point, Va.

Report of Brigadier General T. H. Holmes, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS, BROOKE'S STATION, VA. June 27, 1861.

SIR: I have to report that a small party of the enemy landed at Mathias Point on the 25th and burned the house of Dr. Howe. The landing was effected under the guns of the enemy, and doubtless was with a view to discover whether we were erecting a battery there. If it be the wish of the commanding general that a battery should be erected to prevent the free navigation of the river, I respectfully, recommend that the neighborhood of Evansport should be preferred to Mathias Point. There is very little difference inn the distance of the channel from the shore, and large guns will command either. From Evansport there is a good road to Fredericksburg, which would turn this position, and a good road to Manassas; turning that position; whereas from Mathias Point it would require a long land travel to any vulnerable point. If you can send me two 32-pounders (rifled), or two 8-inch columbiads, I believe I