Headquarters, Brooke’s Station, March 9, 1862.
General S. Cooper, Adjutant-General:
General: I was notified yesterday by General Johnston that he had ordered General French to abandon Evansport [Quantico], and that he and General Whiting with their commands would immediately march on Fredericksburg. He advised me to place these troops beyond the Rappahannock and only to hold the Potomac with strong outposts, breaking up the wharf at Aquia and being ready to destroy the railroad from thence to Fredericksburg. As the outpost for the Potomac, I propose to keep General Walker’s brigade at Aquia as it is. I am at a loss whether to remove the guns from the batteries there, and will be obliged if you will inform me by telegraph. I have ordered Colonel Brockenbrough’s regiment from the Northern Neck to this place. I have not been informed of the object of these sudden and, to me, very unexpected movements, and therefore can only strive to be ready for anything.
I am, General, very respectfully,
Th. H. Holmes,
P.S. — Since writing the above General French has arrived here and reports his brigade en route to Fredericksburg, that all the guns at Evansport have been or will be destroyed before the rear guard leaves, and that the George Page (steamer) will be burned. [O.R.-Series I-Vol. LI, part 2 (S#108).]