concentration of these troops at Weldon and Goldsborough was ordered, to prevent the cutting of our important line southward.
In accordance with instructions from the general commanding Army of Northern Virginia, I made a personal examination of the Yankee shipping and encampment on the 28th instant, and determined to attack it from Coggins' Point and Maycock's on the south side. This expedition was intrusted to Brigadier-General French, and was a complete success. Forty-three pieces, under command of General Pendleton and Colonel J. T. Brown, were placed in position, on the night of the 31st, on the banks of the river, within easy range of the objects to be reached. Much damage was done to the Yankee shipping, some destruction of life caused in the camp, and the wildest terror and consternation produced. The report of General French is herewith submitted.* This officer had charge of the expedition, agreeably to the wishes of General Lee. Doubtless the night attack had much to do with the evacuation of Westover, as it made McClellan feel that his shipping was insecure. Two days after, he took possession of Coggins' Point, and maintained a force on the south side till he left the river. His gunboats were attacked at the moth of the Appomattox, and points were selected for the further harassing of his shipping. An expedition wa sent out under Colonel J. R. Chabliss,jr., to within 2 miles of Suffolk. Arrangements were made for the defense of the Blackwater, Chowan, and Tar Rivers, and a point selected for fortifications on the Roanoke, to secure Weldon.
On August 21, I left Petersburg to join the army in Northern Virginia, and was given command of McLaws' division and three brigades of my own division, at Hanover Junction. The brigades of Ripley and Col-quitt, of my division, were in advance of us at orange Court-House.
On August 26, we left Hanover Junction and joined General Lee at Chantilly on September 2, three days after the Yankees had been finally and decisively beaten in the second great battle of Manassas.
On the 4th, Anderson's brigade was sent to fire on the Yankee trains at Berlin, and, with two brigades, we drove away the yankee forces near the month of the Monocacy, and crossed the Potomac. That night and the next day were spent in destroying the lock and canal banks. The aqueduct could not be destroyed for wan of powder and tools.
The night of the 5th, my division followed General Jackson to within a few miles of Frederick. The general being disabled by the fall of his horse, the next morning I was placed in charge of all the forces, and marched into Frederick. The telegraph wires were cut and the station seized. A few stores and prisoners were taken in the city.
On the 10th, my division constituted the rear guard, and had charge of the immense wagon-train moving in the direction of Hagerstown.
On the 13th, I was ordered by General Lee to dispose of my troops so as to prevent the escape of the Yankees from Harper's Ferry, then besieged, and also to guard the pass in the Blue Ridge near Boonsborough. Major-General Stuart reported to me that two brigades would be sufficient to hold the pass. I, however, sent the brigades of Garland and Colquitt, and ordered my other three brigades up to the neighborhood of Boonsborough.
An examination of the pass, very early on the morning of the 14th, salified me that it could only be held by a large force, and was wholly indefensible by a small one. I accordingly ordered up Anderson's brigade. A regiment of Ripley's brigade was sent to hold another pass,
*See Series I, Vol. XI, Part II, p. 940.