at that moment prepared to march, to Blow's Mill and Grove Landing, and Colonel Hill's regiment of North Carolina volunteers to proceed at once to meet the enemy at the point threatened. This movement I intended to have made, at all events, on the following day. Colonel Hill met the command of Major Montague at the Half-way House, the latter having retreated, after consultation with his officers, from this position. Colonel Hill dispatched Major Montague's command to guard the Poquosin River, and proceeded with his regiment and two pieces of artillery to occupy and fortify this place. Colonel Stuart, in obedience to orders from me, proceeded to the bridge, on the Newport News road, which enters the York two miles above the Half-way House, and destroyed the bridge over the stream at that point, and blockaded all the country roads above it, thus rendering impossible to turn this position without a march of at least twenty miles. On the same evening (the 6th) I inspected Colonel Stuart's work, and slept at the Half-way House.
On the 7th I reconnoitered the Poquosin River and roads leading to it on this side, occupying the remainder of the day in devising means to supply the force here with provisions and forage.
The next day (yesterday) I arrived here, and found that the works under Colonel Hill had advanced very rapidly. In the course of these operations several collisions took place between our scouting parties and those of the enemy very creditable to our troops and citizens. Three of the latter, on horseback, met with nine of the enemy on foot, and an exchange of shots resulted in our killing one, wounding another, and taking a third prisoner. I remember the names of but two: Mr. Scott, of Texas, and Mr. Ben. Phillips, of Elizabeth City.
Previous to the arrival of Colonel Hill at this post, Captain Werth, of Virginia volunteers, then in command, proceeded to Newport News, with a small body of horsemen, for the purpose of reconnoitering. Being at the head of his men, he found himself in the enemy's lines before he was aware of it, and, coming suddenly upon a working force, consisting of a commissioned officer and over twenty privates, he killed the commissioned officer and one private with his revolver, and the rest fled into camp, crying out, "The Virginia House! The Virginia Horse!" The troops encamped on the outside of the trenches rushed into them in confusion, amid which he retired to his command and returned home. Since then Newport News has been re-enforced by at least one thousand men.
Yesterday, at 1 o'clock, I received a note from Colonel Hill, stating that a considerable body of Federal troops were advancing towards his post. The cavalry having been temporarily withdrawn to the Half-way House for forage, I immediately dispatched the Hampton Troops, Captain Phillips, to report to Colonel Hill, and proceeded to this place in person. On my arrival here I found that Colonel Hill had dispatched a portion of Company F, North Carolina regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, and a howitzer, under Major Randolph, and another detachment of Company E, same regiment, under Major Lane, and one howitzer, under Lieutenant Wight, by different roads, to attack, and, if possible, cut off this party. The Federal troops were robbing a house when the detachment first named came in sight of them. They fled, about eighty in number. Our party, gave chase. Not being able to overtake, Major Randolph discharged his howitzer into them, which appeared to take effect. They fled in great confusion, after having fired several shots, leaving one soldier, who was made prisoner, and who is now in camp. In the mean time, our other detachment, under Major Lane, met with a party of Federal troops, upon they fired, with what effect was not
58 R R-VOL II