off all ammunition and stores of any value left by the enemy in their sudden evacuation of the camps and batteries at Cockpit Point and Evansport. A portion of the detachment should be provided with axes, spades, and picks, to cut away the parapet if necessary, in order that hawsers may be attached to the guns, for the purpose of hauling them off the banks on which they stand, that they may be secured by vessels of the flotilla. Some of these pieces are represented to be of great value. The detachment should be commanded by a discreet officer, with instructions to keep his men well together, with pickets well thrown out to prevent surprise, should rebel parties be found lurking in that vicinity. The detachment will be directed to be on board one of the barges now lying at Rum Point as early as sunrise to-morrow morning, as one of the vessels of the flotilla will be in readiness to tow them across the river at that hour. As soon as the work assigned them is completed. the command will return to camp. The officer in command will be directed to collect all possible information of the movements of the rebels and report it as early as practicable.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Colonel S. H. STARR, Commanding Third Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS HOOKER'S DIVISION,
Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Md., March 10, 1862.
GENERAL: I have nothing important to add to the advices sent you yesterday concerning the abandonment by the enemy of their positions in my front along the shores of the river. Everything left behind indicates that they left hastily and in great confusion. All the guns in the Cockpit Point battery were left mounted on their carriages and in good condition, except the guns being spiked. An effort was made to burn the carriages of most of the guns at Shipping Point, which the rebels succeeded in accomplishing in the majority of cases. The large English rifled piece, 98-pounder, remains on its carriage, uninjured. Most of the magazines were blown up and great quantities of clothing and subsistence stores destroyed. I have sent 1,000 men across the river to tumble the ordnance over the bluff banks on which the greater part of their batteries stand, in order that they may be more easily removed to such points as may hereafter be determined on. It is reported that the rebels took little or nothing with them in their retreat. Their roads appear to have been worse than ours, and their teams utterly worthless, from overtook and little or no feed.
I feel very confident that the Merrimac wears no armor the bolts of the Whitworth will not penetrate. Evidences of their accuracy, length of range, and effect are to be seen all over the deserted camps of the enemy. Two shots were fired at a house standing nearly half a mile in rear of the Shipping Point battery and in the center of one of their camps, both of which struck it about 4 feet from the ground and within 2 or 3 feet of each other. One of these shot was found on the mantel-piece, labeled "Fired by the Yankees February 27, 1862."
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.