War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0582 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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Alexandria, Va., August 24, 1861.

Major S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: I received information a few days ago which led me to believe that a correspondence between the Maryland and Virginia sides of the river was kept up by means of small boats, which were kept hidden when not in use in marshes near the mouth of Hunting Creek. I sent to the commanding officer of the Perry, the vessel of war which lies off the town, and asked him to send a boat with a guide, whom I would furnish, to look after these small boats, and if possible catch the men engaged in this business. Yesterday he called to see me, and informed me that he could not make the search without direct orders from the Secretary of the Navy. I then asked him if he would search such boats as might be caught in the act of passing and he declined, on the ground that officers of the Navy must be very careful in making searches of boats, &c. I report hose facts because the matter in question is important, and in case of emergency it might be necessary to get an order from the Secretary of the Navy to fire on the enemy on the same principle.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Alexandria.


Poolesville, August 25, 1861.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac:

MAJOR: There is nothing of importance to report since my report of last night. The enemy have fired a few cannon-shot this morning from Conrad's Ferry. In all, they have fired at that point about eighty shot and shells causing damage to the ferry houses, but only two very slight wounds to our men.

Very respectfully, I am, major, your most obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Poolesville, August 28, 1861.

Major S. WILLIAMS, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that in the recent firing across the river on my outposts the enemy are reported to have lost by our riflemen 3 killed and 7 wounded, while on our side 3 men were contused; none wounded or killed.

I can see no indication of an increased force opposite, but have information that there are two regiments of Mississippi troops at Leesburg and Waterfod respectively, while a corps of irregular cavalry, three or four companies, move up and down the river from goose Creek to Point of Rocks.

Major-General Banks informs me that he has ordered General Hamilton's brigade to this point for temporary service.