DECEMBER 2, 1862.- Skirmish on the Blackwater, near Franklin, Va.
Numbers 1.- Major General John A. Dix. U. S. Army, commanding the Department of Virginia.
Numbers 2. Major General John J. Peck, U. S. Army.
Numbers 1. Reports of Major General John A. Dix, U. S. Army, commanding the Department of Virginia.
FORT MONROE, VA., December 2, 1862.
An expedition sent out from Suffolk yesterday by Major-General Peck captured to-day the celebrated Petersburg Rocket Battery, which was taken from our army, and drove the enemy across the Blackwater at Franklin. We have thirty odd prisoners, and are picking up more in the woods. Many of the enemy killed and wounded; our loss trifling. I will furnish details by mail.
JOHN A. DIX,
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA, SEVENTH ARMY CORPS,
Fort Monroe, Va., December 4, 1862.
GENERAL: I sent you a message the day before yesterday, by telegraph, in regard to an action near the Blackwater between a party of the enemy and a portion of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, sent out from Suffolk by Major-General Peck the previous day. Colonel Spear, of that regiment, who commanded the expedition, returned last night, bringing back his entire force, in addition to a pat of his own regiment, of portions of the Thirty-ninth Illinois, Colonel Osborn; Sixth-second Ohio, Colonel Pond; One hundred and thirtieth New York; Colonel Gibbs; Sixth Massachusetts, Colonel Follansbee; One hundred and third Pennsylvania, Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell; two sections of Davis' Massachusetts Light Battery and one section of Howard's battery, Fourth U. S. Artillery; in all, about 3,100 men. The expedition was sent out in pursuance of the object, heretofore explained to you, of keeping a part of my force in constant motion, and also to ascertained the truth of information reported to Major-General Peck in regard to the movement of the enemy in the vicinity of Franklin. While Colonel Spear's force was breakfasting his pickets were driven in, and a charge was made by about 500 of the enemy's cavalry, with a section of a rocket battery. It was gallantry met by Colonel Spear, at the head of 300 of his regiment, and the enemy, thrown into confusion by hi impetuous attack, recoiled, and was driven over his floating bridge at Franklin, which is protected by a battery of heavy guns. Ten or 12 of the enemy were killed and 20 were taken prisoners. We also captured 14 horses, a quantity of harness, 7 saddles, 42 rifles, 70 rockets of 12 and 15 pounds, and other minor articles. We sustained no loss either in men or horses. General Peck speaks in high terms of the gallantry of Colonel Spear, who has distinguished himself on more than one occasion by his prompt and spirited movements; and the colonel mentions with commendation