At 1 o'clock p. m., after ordering preparations to be made for landing, and sending a small boat with Lieutenant Andrews, of the Ninth Regiment New York Volunteers, and six of the Rhode Island Battalion, into Ashby's, to make soundings and examine the landings, I proceeded to the naval fleet, and after consulting with Commodore Goldsborough I determined to attempt a landing before night. After visiting my armed propellers and finding them doing good service, on my return to the troops' fleet I received Lieutenant Andrews' report, which satisfied me that the decision to land at Ashby's Harbor was correct. In leaving the landing Lieutenant Andrews and crew were fired upon by the enemy, wounding one of the crew, Charles Viall, of Company E, Fifth Rhode Island Battalion, in the jaw. The reconnaissance of Lieutenant Andrews was such as reflects great credit upon him as an officer. I accordingly ordered General Foster, who was ready with his first detachment, to attempt a landing at some point in the harbor. I had before to halt until the naval-boat howitzers, under Midshipman Porter, could be brought up and placed in position. they were soon taken in tow by General Reno, and in a very few minutes General Foster's boat and his had reached the shore, and were soon after joined by the boats carrying the first detachment of General Parke's brigade. I had before ordered the Picket down to the mouth of the harbor to cover the landing of the troops, and Captain Rowan had also brought his flag-ship, the Delaware, under command of Captain Quackenbush, down for the same purpose. The immediate point of landing at Ashby's Harbor in the original plan was Ashby's Landing, but on approaching it General Foster discovered an armed force in the woods in the rear of the landing, and very wisely directed his leading vessel to another point in the harbor, opposite Hammond's house. This armed force was soon dispersed by a few shell from the Delaware and Picket. In less than twenty minutes from the time the boats reached the shore 4,000 of our men were passing over the marshes at a double-quick and forming in most perfect order on the dry land near the house; and I beg leave to say that I never witnessed a more beautiful sight than that presented by the approach of these vessels to the shore and the landing and forming of the troops. Each brigadier-general had a light-draught steamer, to which were attached some 20 surf-boats in a long line in the rear. Both steamers and boats were densely filled with soldiers, and each boat bearing the national flag.
As the steamers approached the shore at a rapid speed each surf-boat was "let go," and with their acquired velocity and by direction of the steersman reached the shore in line. Captain Lewis Richmond, assistant adjutant-general, with Mr. W. H. French, one of my secretaries, landed with the Fourth Rhode Island, and Lieutenant D. A. Pell, my aide-de-camp, with the Fifty-first New York, Colonel Ferrero. I then went on shore, where I met General Parke, and received from him his report of the disposition of the forces for the protection of the landing of the remainder of the division, which disposition I entirely approved of. Soon after I met General Reno, whom I left in command, General Foster having returned to his vessel to bring up his second detachment.
A position on land having thus been secured, I went on board the commodore's vessel to consult with him in reference to the work of the next day, leaving Captain Richmond, Lieutenant Pell, and Mr. French on shore. The battery at Pork Point was very formidable, and had not been entirely silenced; but when I informed him that the entire