HEADQUARTERS, BROOKE’S STATION, VA., June 27, 1861.
SIR: I have to report that a small party of the enemy landed at Mathias Point on the 25th and burned the house of Dr. Howe [Hooe]. The landing was effected under the guns of the enemy, and doubtless was with a view to discover whether we were erecting a battery there. If it be the wish of the commanding general that a battery should be erected to prevent the free navigation of the river, I respectfully recommend that the neighborhood of Evansport should be preferred to Mathias Point. There is very little difference in the distance of the channel from the shore, and large guns will command either. From Evansport there is a good road to Fredericksburg, which would turn this position, and a good road to Manassas, turning that position; whereas from Mathias Point it would require a long land travel to any vulnerable point. If you can send me two 32-pounders (rifled), or two 8-inch Columbiads, I believe I could stop the navigation of the river, if the general commanding thinks it a matter of sufficient importance to justify the expense. I could use the rifled 6-pounders that I now have in Walker’s battery to annoy the enemy’s commerce, but we have not the ammunition to spare.
I am, colonel, very respectfully,
T. H. HOLMES,
Colonel GEORGE DEAS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, C.S.Army.
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series I, Vol. 4. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1896.