FORT MONROE, April 3.
The weather today is clear and pleasant, and everything is progressing in most satisfactory manner.
The rebels fired several shots from Sewall’s Point last night, at the transports in the harbor, some of the shells falling within fifty feet of a vessel loaded with horses.
A reconnoisance was made from Newport News to Watts creek, a distance of nine miles. The enemy appeared 3,000 strong, and opened on our forces with cannon, but their balls passed entirely over them. Our batteries were immediately got in position and opened fire on the rebels, when their entire force broke and fled across the creek in great confusion. The object of the reconnoisance being accomplished the troops returned.
The whole country through which our troops passed was formerly the garden spot but is now perfectly devastated. But one house was left standing. The houses, fences and trees have been burned by the retreating rebels.
There are no signs of the Merrimac yet, and from her long delay the opinion is gaining ground that she will not come out. She has now a fine field to operate on, if she triumphs over the Monitor; and if she fails to come now, it is thought she is afraid to run any risks.
An officer of the Seminole says he read a Savannah paper of the 23d inst., which acknowledges the terrible rebel defeat at Pea Ridge.
A second reconnoisance was also made to Big Bethel. The enemy was found to have returned and occupied the earthworks in force. No seeing our scouts they threw shells into the woods occupied by our troops previous to their advance, but they were unoccupied, and no damages was done.
The steamers conveying troops to Newport News were repeatedly fired into from Sewall’s point, and also by a rebel gunboat this p.m. No injury was sustained, as far as we can learn.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Friday Morning, April 4, 1862, p. 1