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At 9 a. m. of June 5th, the Federal steamer Harriet Lane opened on the Confederate battery established at Big Point, across the James from Newport News, with shot and shell from her 11-inch gun and 32-pounders, from a distance of a mile and a half. The steamer fired thirty-three shot and shell, but did no damage except to crack an 8-inch gun. The battery in return fired twenty-three shot and shell, which caused the steamer to move off, apparently injured after a combat lasting fifteen or twenty minutes. Commander R. B. Pegram, of the Virginia navy, praised the cool and self-possessed conduct of the Portsmouth (Va.) rifles, who had never before been in action, writing of them: ‘Every man behaved in the most spirited and creditable manner, and were so regardless of danger that I had often to interpose my authority to prevent their exposing themselves unnecessarily to the enemy's fire.’

On the 7th of June, Governor Letcher, after an extended correspondence with the President in reference to the standing officers in the Virginia service would have in the Confederate service, issued a proclamation transferring all Virginia troops, ordnance stores, etc., to the government of the Confederate States.

On the 10th the Louisiana Zouaves, under Lieutenant-Colonel Coppens, were ordered from Richmond to Yorktown, as were also Alabama companies from Richmond and Gloucester point, to form a regiment under Col. John A. Winston.

Capt. W. H. Werth, of the Chatham Grays, Virginia cavalry, on the 7th of June made a reconnoissance with 20 picked men of the Old Dominion dragoons, two men from his own company, and accompanied by Captain Phillips, Lieutenant Cary and Lieutenant Harrison, to examine the Federal camp at Newport News. He then rode to within a few hundred yards of the fortifications, when he came unexpectedly on a party engaged in cutting wood, the leader of which he killed, and the Federals scattered, yelling, ‘Look out for the Virginia horsemen!’ Two companies from a Federal regiment, that had apparently come to the rescue, did not fire their muskets, but in a panic all rushed back to camp, yelling, ‘Virginia horsemen!’ even gunners abandoning two guns already unlimbered.

General Butler, having learned that the Virginians had

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