We learn that Gen. Stuart
has performed another of his brilliant scouts in rear of the enemy's lines and succeeded in successfully shelling the Yankee transports at ‘"North Bend
, "’ on James river
below Charles City C. H.
The party consisted of the 1st company of the Washington Artillery, Capt Squiers
, commanding, a Parrott section of the Loudoun
Battery under Capt. Rogers
, and one piece of Stuart's horse artillery, with a small cavalry support, the whole being in charge of Col. Lee
; and having reached the desired point on the river bank, under cover of the night, they opened fire last Monday morning on the enemy's transports coming up with reinforcements and supplies for McClellan
The first transport was disabled and driven back, and as soon as the position of our artillery became known, the enemy brought up his gunboats and shelled them at a desperate rate.
Managing, however, to avoid their range, our boys waited till evening, when a large fleet of transports appeared in the river, supported by gunboats.
then ordered them into battery on the bank just opposite, when they poured into the Yankee vessels a terrible fire of shot and shell.
Having all rifled guns and a good range the shots from our artillery told upon the enemy with great effect, sinking one of his transports and raking the others from stem to stern.
Several masts were cut away and the vessels so riddled that they were compelled to lighten them, by throwing off their freight in the river.
The enemy's gunboats kept up a rapid fire, but our batteries were too close to them for their shots to take effect, and they had to withdraw, with no loss whatever on our side.
This expedition has demonstrated that these gunboats, though they do throw shell ‘"as big as a metallic coffin,"’ are not the horrible monsters they have been supposed to be by our people, and that our "masked batteries are more than a match for them when properly handled.
Our forces retired from Charles City C. H. next morning by a circuitous route, just in time to escape capture by a large force of Yankee infantry and cavalry, sent down to cut off their retreat.