April 22.—An expedition up the Rappahannock River, under the command of Foxhall A. Parker, commanding the Potomac flotilla, terminated this day. The following communication detailing the facts connected with it, was made by the commander in charge:
“Having learned, from various sources, that the rebel government had established a ferry at Circus Point, a few miles below Tappahannock, on the Rappahannock River, and was busily engaged in collecting boats at some point on the river for the purpose of attacking the blockading vessels, I proceeded thither with a portion of this flotilla, on the eighteenth instant, where I remained until this evening, visiting both banks of the river and all its various creeks, (some of which I was told had not before been entered during the war,) from Circus Point to Windmill Point, with the following result: Two ferries broken up, seven large lighters, (each capable of carrying one hundred men, three pontoon-boats, twenty-two large skiffs and canoes, two hundred white-oak beams and knees, (large enough for the construction of a sloop-of-war,) five hundred cords of pine wood, and three hundred barrels of corn destroyed. Twenty-two fish-boats, (one of which is fitted for carrying small-arms,) one thousand pounds of bacon, two horses, sixty bushels of wheat, a chest of carpenter’s tools, and many other articles, (a correct list of which will be sent to the department at an early day,) brought off. Five refugees and forty-five contrabands (men, women, and children) were received on board of this vessel, and landed in Maryland, with the exception of five stout fellows whom I shipped.
“At Bohler’s Rocks, on the south side of the Rappahannock, the landing of our men was opposed by a large force of cavalry, (said to be five hundred,) which was kept at bay by the fire of the Eureka, commanded by Acting Ensign Hallock, and a howitzer launch in charge of Acting Master’s Mate Eldridge. Acting Master W. T. Street, who had charge of this expedition, showed good judgment, and proved himself a valuable and efficient officer. He speaks highly of Acting Ensign Roderick and Acting Master’s Mate Borden, who accompanied him on shore. In Parrot’s Creek, eight seamen, led by Acting Ensign Nelson, chased six of the rebel cavalry.
“Yesterday afternoon, as the Eureka got within thirty yards of the shore, just below Urbanna, where I had sent her to capture two boats hauled up there, a large number of rebels, lying in ambush, most unexpectedly opened upon her with rifles, and a piece of light artillery. Thus taken by surprise, Acting Ensign Hallock displayed admirable presence of mind, and I think not more than five seconds had elapsed before he returned the fire from his light twelve-pounder, and with small-arms; and, although the little Eureka, with officers and men, has but sixteen souls on board, for some ten minutes (during which time the fight lasted) she was one sheet of flame, the twelve-pounder being fired about as fast as a man would discharge a pocket-pistol. The rebels were well thrashed, and I think must have suffered considerably. They fortunately fired too high, so that their shells and bullets passed over the Eureka without injury to the vessel or crew. It was quite a gallant affair, and reflects a great deal of credit upon both officers and men of the Eureka, a list of whom I herewith inclose.
“This morning, April twenty-second, observing a party of eighteen men at a distance of about two miles from this ship, with muskets slung over their backs, crawling on their hands and knees to get a shot at some of our men then on shore, I directed a shell to be thrown at them from a one-hundred pounder Parrott gun, which struck and exploded right in their midst, killing and wounding, I think, a large number of them, as only four were seen after the explosion, who were, as might be supposed, running inland at the top of their speed.
“Lieutenant Commander Eastman, who had the detailing of the various expeditions, well sustained, in the performance of this duty, the reputation which he had already acquired as an officer of marked energy and ability.
“I have it from the best authority that the rebels have placed torpedoes in the Rappahannock, just above Bohler’s Rocks, where this flotilla was anchored; off Fort Lowry, off Brooks’s Barn, opposite the first house above Leedstown, and at Layton’s, somewhat higher up. All these are on the port hand going up. Others are said to be placed at various points in the river, from Fort Lowry to Fredericksburgh. They have also been placed in the Piankatank River, and in many of the creeks emptying into Chesapeake Bay.”
—Major-General J. G. Totten died at Washington City this day.
—”The capture of Richmond,” said the Columbus, Ga., Times, of this day, “would prove of greater importance to our enemies, in a political point of view, than any other sense. With our capital in their possession, we would find additional influence brought to bear against us abroad; but as a material loss, its fall would in no manner compare with the disadvantages which would result from a defeat of General Johnston, and the occupation of Georgia that would follow. The first point is near our boundary lines; the second is our great centre. To lose the one would be as the loss of a limb; should we be driven from the other, it would be a terrible blow at our most vital point. This we must admit, and our enemy knows it.”—A Party of six rebel guerrillas were captured near Morrisville, Va. They had attacked a National picket-station, and killed one man a short time previous.