FORTRESS MONROE, April 3. – The weather to-day is clear and pleasant. Everything is progressing in the 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 reconnoissance was made from Newport News to Watt’s creek, a distance of 9 miles. The enemy appeared 3,000 strong, and opened with cannon on our forces, but their balls passed entirely over them. Our batteries were immediately got in position, and we opened fire on the rebels, when their entire force broke and fled, fording the creek in great confusion, but keeping out of range. The object of the reconnoissance being accomplished, the troops returned.
The whole country through which our troops passed was formerly the garden spot of Virginia. It is perfectly devastated and but one house was left standing. The house, fences and trees have been burned by 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 in, if she should triumph over the Monitor, and if she should fail to come now it is thought she is afraid to run any further risks.
An officer of the Seminole says he read a Savannah paper of the 23d inst., which acknowledges a terrible rebel defeat at Pea Ridge.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 5, 1862, p. 3