ing, I have ventured to recommend it. If resisted, the force necessary can be landed under the guns of the flotilla, and can advance with great hope of success.
The successful execution of all of these moments will call into exercise great secrecy, dispatch, resolution, and, indeed, all the brightest virtues of a soldier, but with the relative position of the two armies, as I understand them, to no grater degree than will be required for an advance anywhere along the whole line. The enemy have the advantage in position-they in the center; we on the circumference, with great natural and artificial obstacles between.
As it regards the details of execution, I inclose herewith a sketch taken by Lieutenant Magaw,* commanding lower flotilla, which represents with great accuracy the position of the depot, the batteries, and number of guns in each. I determined on the lower point of Split Rock to land, as there we have 4 feet water, and can march directly to the rear of the batteries.
From my best information I believe but three regiments are stationed here to work and defend these guns, and those are on the opposite side of the hill from them. No tents are visible about the batteries.
From my best information I believe but three regiments are stationed here to work and defense these guns, and those are on the opposite side of the hill from them. No tents aero visible about the batteries.
As the vessels of the flotilla have but limited capacity for transportation troops, and the most of them draw too much water, I recommend that canal-boats be used, and have them towed across by one of the tugs. Enough of them should be employed to transport 4,000 men, and should be sent to Liverpool Point at a time not to excite remark. I shall take no horses or baggage. On board the Freeborn are two 12-pounder howitzers with light carriages that I wish to take along, with a few artillerists. The men can haul them.
The batteries at Shipping Point are the same as when the sketch was taken forwarded to you through Colonel Small. They appear to have a company each to work the guns, and one regiment as a support, encamped near the figure 8 on the sketch. These batteries are on what is called an island formed by the waters of the Quantico and Chopawamsic almost uniting. A brigade connects it with the mainland on the south, recently built. Both the streams run through deep and miry channels; in fact, impassable except by the bridge. This can easily be destroyed. For this reason it may be deemed expedient to land directly on the island in the vicinity of the saw-mill. Here the water is shoal, and will require boats of light draught. To land by the aid of lighters would greatly hazard the success of the movement. After the guns are spiked the flotilla can take position to render great assistance.
The battery at Possum Nose has been established recently. It has four guns, two pointing up and two down the river. It is midway between Cockpit Point battery and what is called Newport Town. There appears to be a company to each battery to work the guns, and a regiment almost in rear of Cockpit Point to service.
The tenuous, and vessels of the flotilla should take positions to co-operate. At or near Powell's Creek will be a good landing.
To cross my division will be required for this service, and should be landing near by at the same time.