Illustrations of the War in America.The Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1120, p. 570,572.
December 7, 1861
Our Special Artist in the Federal Camp on the Potomac continues to forward to us Illustrations of noteworthy incidents in connection with the civil war raging in that part of the States. Four of these, respecting which he writes as follows, are given on the accompanying pages:—Fifty miles below Washington the Confederates have constructed some formidable batteries on the Virginia shore of the Potomac, opposite to a place known as Budd's Ferry. Among the series of sketches forwarded you will find one showing Budd's house, and a small earthwork mounting two 10-pound Parrott guns, which the Federalists have there in position. Preparations are being made at the same point for attack on the Confederate batteries over the river, three exceedingly heavy ones having been unmasked. During my visit a dozen or so of small schooners of light draught successfully
Page 572ran the blockade by hugging the Maryland shore closely, where the water shoals considerably. Heavy vessels dare not risk it, as the deep channel lies right under the batteries, and the consequence is the blockade of the Potomac may be looked upon as effective. We on our side watched the little ships anxiously as they came within range of the enemy's guns, which they no sooner did than a terrible fire of shot and shell opened upon them, not one, however being struck seriously, and all enabled to keep their course down river. We, the spectators, ran probably more risk than the vesse1s, for many of the shells came over to our neighbourhood, bursting in close proximity to where we stood. Our turn then came, and we gave them a few rounds from the tiny Parrotts, pitching the 10-pound shells right into their works, and peppering a steamer, one of the Confederate navy, until they were glad to haul her into Quantico Creek. The river at this point is a mile and three quarters in breadth. My "Reconnaissance with General Sickles in the Bed of the Potomac" was a most remarkable ride, for nearly the whole time we had to wade to our horses' girths in the river itself, sometimes even swimming, the banks being impracticable in places. The neighbour hood is Indian Head, close by the batteries.