United States Steamer Louisiana,
Chincoteague Inlet, October 28, 1861.
Sir: I have the honor to report that, in consequence of a rumor reaching me that a steam saw-mill at the mouth of Swan's Gut creek was getting out lumber for the construction of a battery to resist the advance of the federal troops, and also a floating battery to attack the Louisiana, I resolved to fit out an expedition, and if a closer view of the mill justified the rumor, to destroy it. Lieutenant A. Hopkins, the ex-officer of this vessel, was selected to command the party, and was also directed, in case he found the way clear, and appearances not justifying the destruction of the mill, to proceed up the creek and destroy any vessels that might be secreted there by the enemy.
It was a "night expedition," and, besides Mr. Hopkins, was composed of Master's Mate Hollis, Third Assistant Engineer McDaniels, twenty-five men from this vessel, and five volunteers from the island. It was creditably executed. The mill was closely inspected, and nothing appearing confirmatory of the report, it was spared. The party then proceeded up the creek a mile or more, where they found and destroyed by fire one schooner and two sloops.
The party left the ship in three boats at 10 p. m. last night, and returned at 4 o'clock this morning, all well. The whole thing appears to have been conducted with so much system and discretion, that the enemy, said to be three hundred strong in and about Horntown, was unconscious of our presence.
In connexion with this report, I will add that I am fully persuaded of the fidelity of these islanders, and would recommend their being armed and organized to assist in suppressing the insurrection on this peninsula. The activity of my little command is much impaired by the necessity of my close protection to Chincoteague.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Flag-Officer L. M. Goldsborough,
Commanding-in-chief, N. A. Blockading Squadron, Hampton Roads.