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[281] the evacuation had been effected with considerable precipitation.

Among the first of the duties devolving on the gallant tars who had taken possession, was the running up of the glorious Stars and Stripes. This was a matter of the most ordinary convenience; for the rebels, in their haste, had actually left the flagstaff, with its halyards, standing, and the Star-Spangled Banner was run up by Acting Master Williams--“Old Jack,” of Mathias Point — who has achieved a reputation for devotion to the American flag.

On further examining the fortifications at Cockpit Point, it was found that some dangerous traps were attached to the three magazines. By an ingenious contrivance, a flap on hinges, at the entrance of each magazine, was made to descend on the caps of conical shells of large calibre — the flap having iron plates fitting down on the caps — while heavy shells on the flap would give an impetus to the blow. Outside of the entrance, concealed strings were so contrived that, on touching one with the foot, the trap would fall, involving all near by in destruction. The sagacity of Mr. Williams, however, enabled him to discover the snare, and he counteracted it by sending on board the Anacostia for a pair of shears, with which to cut the accursed strings, as he thought the jarring of even a knife might have had the effect that the rebels contemplated. Perhaps they relied on the uncalculating impetuosity of seamen. If so, they reckoned this time without their host.

While these things were going on at Cockpit Point, fires were seen in Quantico Creek, and all along the line of batteries to Chapawamsic Creek. The rebels were evidently destroying all they could not carry away, including the burning of the steamer George Page, and other vessels in Quantico Creek. Accordingly, the Anacostia soon got under weigh, and stood down the river to Shipping Point. Arrived there, a landing was about to be effected, after shelling the batteries, when a canal — boat was seen putting off from Budd's Ferry, loaded with a company of one of the Massachusetts regiments, that, without orders from the general, were willing to do a little fighting “on their own hook.” Capt. Badger towed them to Shipping Point, and on the way lent the gallant boys a flag belonging to one of his boats. On nearing the shore, however, the tars were determined to be ahead of the “sojers” --not a hard matter with seamen, in their peculiar element. Influenced by this sentiment, they made a dash on shore, and soon Mr. Williams came up to the flag-staff, which, like that at Cockpit Point, was still standing, and hoisted the pennant, as a substitute for the Stars and Stripes that had been lent to the soldiers. The military, too, soon landed, when the American ensign was hoisted amidst the most deafening cheers from the vessels, and from both banks of the river. Here, as at Cockpit Point, great caution was observed, to avoid falling into snares, and to steer clear of the probable explosion of mines. But, by the exercise of that prudence which is always allied to true bravery, under the protection of Providence, whatever of danger there was did not reach our brave boys. As at Cockpit Point, too, the gun-carriages had been set on fire, and fascines, and whatever could burn, were placed underneath, rendering it both difficult and dangerous to approach to ascertain whether any of the guns had been left unspiked. The guns had been loaded nearly to their muzzles, into which bags of sand had been rammed to cause the guns to burst. Three of them did explode, but, happily, none of our men were near by at the time. Late in the evening, the increased heat caused two guns to be discharged. One of the shots passed between the Yankee and the Anacostia, which were lying close together.

The rebel fortifications are perfect gems of engineering skill, and had they been constructed to repel a foreign enemy, great credit would be due to the genius who planned and superintended their construction. But designed as they were to aid an unholy rebellion against a beneficent government, they partake of the nature of those fabled contrivances which Milton, in his lofty language, ascribes to Satan and his revolted legions of fallen angels when they “made impious war in heaven.” Your correspondent thus expresses himself because he never has been one of those who could admire ingenuity and skill, however great, when they were enlisted in a bad cause.

At Cockpit Point there are four heavy guns, one of which, a Parrott, was found to be in fragments. The magazines are most ingeniously contrived. On entering one of them you descend an inclined plane, and after advancing about four feet you find yourself in a passage barely wide enough to admit a man. You turn within to the right or the left, still going underground, to the distance of from fifteen to twenty feet, when you come to the magazine itself, which is filled with shelves of cedar plank, on which shot and shell and other ammunition are stowed. The passage-way is lined with cedar planks, to prevent the earth from caving in.

Back of the guns are a number of excavations, running underground, into which the rebel soldiers could run whenever they saw the flash from the Union guns, either on the river or on the Maryland shore. Of course, these “rat-holes” are bomb-proof, and, provided a man can get into one in time, he is safe from hostile shot or shell. Like the entrances to the magazines, these “rat-holes” are lined with cedar planks. Still further back, and at divergent angles, are a number of rifle-pits, where, in the event of the cannon being taken, the rebel soldiery could keep the Union troops at bay; and about half a mile further in the rear a large steel gun is, or rather was, mounted. This was surrounded by other rifle-pits, by means of which it was hoped that, even though the intrenchments in part might be carried, the rebels might make the last stand, and either repel the Unionists, or, if the worst came to the worst, secure their own final retreat.

The batteries extending from Chapawamsic Creek to Quantico Creek, embracing Shipping Point and Evansport, are provided with defences


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