June 4th Report of Col. Daniel Ruggles, Commanding Department of Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, Va., June 4, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to state, for the information of the general commanding, that, since Saturday last, no attack has been made on our batteries at Aquia Creek, and that the steamer Pawnee only has been lying off at that point, repairing damages, and in communication with various steamers and other vessels passing up and down the Potomac. It has just been reported to me, however, that after I left the creek yesterday, and at about 9 o’clock at night, two or more war steamers, with a vessel in tow, came down the Potomac and joined the Pawnee. Thus far I have no report of the renewal of the attack this morning. It is my intention to throw the Arkansas regiment, Colonel Fagan’s, now at Camp Jackson, upon the Potomac coast, near Chopowamsic, as soon as it is in condition to do so.

I am, much in want of an effective battery of 24-pounder howitzers for service, in conjunction with that force, to prevent the enemy from landing. The Fredericksburg Artillery, of 6-pounders, will be wanted at Aquia Creek to prevent landing there, if an attack is made. The movements of the enemy indicate that an attempt will soon be made in force to land at, or in the vicinity of, Mathias Point in a brief period of time. I respectfully recommend that point be covered by a good regiments of infantry, with a good battery of field-guns, until measures are taken to establish a good and sufficient battery at that point to command the channel, for the establishment of which I respectfully renew my former recommendation. Under authority give me, I have fabricated here carriages for a battery of 6-pounder guns, and respectfully request that guns may be furnished me without delay for use in the field.

Since it has become impracticable to establish a battery at the White House to command the Potomac, I respectfully recommend that a competent engineer be sent me to examine the vicinity of Evansport with that view, and, if found suitable, that a battery may be established there with as little delay as is practicable. That point is important in connection with the position at Manassas Junction, as well as the avenues of approach from the Potomac to this town.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Provisional Army, Commanding Forces.

Col. R. S. GARNETT, Adjutant-General Virginia Forces.


The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.