DECEMBER 15, 1861.-Capture of the sloop Victory.
Report of Brigadier General Joseph Hooker, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS HOOKER'S DIVISION, Camp Bakker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, December 17, 1861.
GENERAL: I have this moment received a communication from Major George H. Chapman, Third Indiana Cavalry, dated Millstone Landing, December 15, 1861, informing me that his pickets had captured a sloop engaged in the rebel trade, and is now awaiting instructions concerning her. She is now at the mouth of the Patuxent. His letter relating to this subject is as follows:
A party of my men captured a sloop, the Victory, of Baltimore, of about 40 tons burden, with a small lot of contraband goods on board. Those on board deserted her on the appearance of my men, and succeeded in making their escape. She was taken near Spencer's Landing, about 7 miles above here. I found on board 86,250 percussion caps, 43 pounds flax thread, 87 dozen fancy brass buttons, 2 boxes of needles, 1 sack of gum shellac, a box of carpenter's tools, 1 carpet-sack and contents, consisting of wearing apparel and some silver forks, spoons, &c., marked J. C. M. and McC., a trunk and its contents, mainly clothing, and $25,328.17 in promissory notes, payable to Hamilton Easter & Co., of Baltimore, on parties throughout the Southern States, directed to Mr. James H. Weedon, 9 Pearl street, Richmond, Va., care Messrs. J. B. Ferguson & Co., with letters of instruction accompanying. I have brought the sloop to this landing. I very much regret that my men did not catch those on board. I will make such disposition of the sloop and things on board as you may direct. The caps are suitable for Colt's revolvers, I believe. I regret that my men are not so armed.
In my opinion the best disposition to be made of her will be to have her, with the property, brought up the Potomac to Liverpool Point with her fight, and shall request the officer in command of the lower flotilla to have a crew placed on board for that purpose. On her arrival the freight can be forwarded directly to Washington, and the sloop, if found suitable, I should like to have retained here for service in the quartermaster's department. This disposition will be made of this prize unless I should be otherwise instructed.
I have now three companies of cavalry operating between Port Tobacco and the mouth of the Patuxent, and it will be much more convenient for them to draw their forage and subsistence from Baltimore than from this point. They should be landed at Millstone Landing, which is in direct steamboat communication with Baltimore. This arrangement will save 60 miles land transportation over horrible roads. I have given directions for Major Chapman to make his requisitions on the heads of those departments in Baltimore, and request that those officers may be directed to honor them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Adjt. General, Army of the Potomac.
DECEMBER 15-17, 1861.-Operations on the Lower Potomac.
Report of Brigadier General S. G. French, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS, Evansport, December 17, 1861.
SIR: I have not deemed it necessary to report to you the actions of the enemy in front of us. For the last three weeks they have daily