serving have been tumbled over the bluff banks on which they stood to where they can be picked up by the vessels of the flotilla. Yesterday my men succeeded in moving the Homan's English rifled gun, 95-pounder, to the edge of the river, and it is now, I presume, at the navy-yard. The rebels left everything behind. Some of my regiments have been constantly at work in removing stores of all kinds, and to-day I hope the Sixth New Jersey Volunteers will complete that work. A defeat could not have been more disastrous to the rebels. They left in the utmost consternation. The defensive works of the rebels in and around the batteries were stupendous. I am informed that the rebels still hold to the positions on Aquia Creek.
BUDD'S FERRY, March 14, 1862.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS:
One of my negro spies reports that he went to the Rappahannock; saw large bodies of troops yesterday below Fredericksburg, on the Caroline side of the river. Troops, he says, are concentrating there in good numbers. Entrenchments are being thrown up on the race-course - a place, it is said, artillery commands the approach for a great distance; vicinity a level plain. The bridges about Fredericksburg are standing. The rebels expect a great battle there. The prominent citizens there have their goods packed, ready for a move. This can be relied on.
HEADQUARTERS HOOKER'S DIVISION,
Camp Baker, Lower Potomac, Maryland, March 14, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN P. VAN LEER,
Commanding Sixth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers:
You will land five companies of your command on the north side of the Quantico, and five companies on the south side of the Chopawamsic, and direct both columns to march on Dumfries. You will direct careful search to be made on both for all scows and boats, and send down the river as many as practicable that may be of service. Throughout all your march you will capture and bring off as many of the rebel stores as may be of service to us. Should you meet with resistance, capture and destroy them; also destroy all rebel stores that can be of no service to us. Let the march be made with great caution. Allow no straggling, and keep your advanced guard and flankers well thrown out. Members of the signal corps will accompany you to communicate any important information you may have to send me. Return to-night.
Very respectfully, & c.,
Washington, D. C., March 14, 1862.
Major General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Fairfax Court-House:
About twenty-five steamers to carry troops are here. Others must arrive rapidly. I will directly let you know the carrying capacity of.