the command of Captain Magee, supported by two others sent on his flanks, accompanied by Lieutenant Dean, of my staff. His detailed report will give the general commanding full particulars of all the facts.
Captain Magee is entitled to the highest commendation for the prompt and perfect execution of the orders given him. He, with his whole command, was over five hours in the water. The perseverance of his men and officers is only surpassed by their perfect success.
Lieutenant Dean volunteered to company the expedition. Captain Magee speaks in the warmest terms of his gallantry and zeal.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. A. M. DUDLEY,
Colonel and Acting Brigadier-General.
Captain GEORGE B. HALSTED,
No. 10. Report of Captain James M. Magee, Second Company Massachusetts Unattached Cavalry, of expedition to Hermitage Landing.
BIVOUAC, OPPOSITE PORT HUDSON,
March 24, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit, of the information of the commanding officer, the following report of an expedition made to-day by my company, in accordance with the orders received this morning:
I left the bivouac of the command at 10 a. m., and under the guidance of a creole, a prisoner in our hands, formerly a resident of this region, proceeded to the Hermitage Landing, a point at the head of the lower mouth of the False River, and nearly opposite Port Hudson. The route for about 3 miles was through a dense forest, overflowed with water belly-deep for horses, intersected at many points by bayous form 10 to 20 feet deep and distance across from 30 to 50 yards, which our horses had to swim. On arriving at the main road, which runs parallel with the south levee of the False River, myself and Lieutenant Dean, who accompanied me on the expedition and rendered me most valuable aid and who contributed much toward our success, rode to the Point to reconnoiter. On discovering no enemy at the Point, where a considerable force was found two days before, I moved my command forward to the dike where the rebel steamer Hope, loaded with 600 barrels of molasses, lay, which, on the execution of your order, I burned with its freight. I them left a portion of my men on the rear nd proceeded with the balance to the junction of the False and Mississippi Rivers (Hermitage Landing), where I found over 1,000 barrels of molasses, all of which I destroyed or rolled int the river.
At this point I found a rebel machine-shop, at present used as a repair-shop for guns. This was burned, with its contents, together with Government granary, containing 15,000 bushels of corn, intended for Port Hudson. After destroying all the property, including a drugstore, having a large assortment of valuable medicines, and some out buildings, one the post-office, I then proceeded to two or three different points on the Mississippi, where I had a full view of the river 4 or 5 miles above Waterloo. Neither the Hartford nor Albatross were in sight, and no accurate information could be obtained from either whites or contrabands of their whereabouts.