Yesterday I sent a large force, cavalry and artillery, in the vicinity of Carrsville and Franklin, and from Colonel Spear, commanding, I learn that some 12,000 men are in that immediate locality. His force is still in that quarter.
Besides the movement toward Franklin I sent yesterday noon every available man to demonstrate near the crossing of the Petersburg Railway and the Blackwater River. The command in still in that direction and has occupied the attention of the enemy very much, who have been re-enforcing by railway, &c., all day.
JOHN J. PECK,
Numbers 3. Report of Captain J. H. Sikes, Company D, Seventh Confederate States Cavalry.
SIR: According to your order I have the honor to transmit to you a report of the engagement my command had with the enemy at Joyner's Ford, Blackwater River, Virginia, on December 12:
I was ordered by Colonel [W. C.] Claiborne to leave Ivor on the 10th and repair to Joyner's (distant 6 miles) with my company and take command at that place. About 1 o'clock on the morning of the 12th I received information that the enemy were moving in the direction of the ford in considerable force and to prepare for an early attack. My camp was about 1 mile west of the ford. I ordered my men into line. After inspection I marched to Joyner's house, 200 yards west of the ford. I there halted, dispatched to the guard (who were in the rifle-pit) the information I had received and that I had arrived at the house. After light sufficient had appeared we discovered the enemy had taken position in our front, and for 200 yards above and below the ford, behind trees, stumps, and logs, of which there are an ambulance, it being a cypress swamp. Their artillery were in position on an eminence in a field some 400 yards from the river. I divided my company, taking 15 men with me in the rifle-pit (which was rudely and hastily constructed) and ordered Lieutenant [P. A. S.] Morris [Company D], with 12 or 15 men, to deploy down the river below the ford to watch the enemy and report to me if they attempted to cross. I found 9 picket guard in the rifle-pit (Captain [F. E.] Burke, of the same regiment). immediately on my entering the rifle-pit the enemy opened upon us a heavy fire of small-arms. We replied with equally as good will, and, am proud to say, with a great deal better effect. After receiving their fire for some time and discovering superior numbers, I dispatched to Colonel Claiborne my condition. After an almost incessant fire for more than an hour from their infantry, and failing to dislodge us, they ceased firing for a short time for the purpose, as the New York Herald's correspondent states, of a novel cavalry charge. He states General Peck ordered two companies of infantry to be mounted behind two of cavalry, charge across the river, dismount the infantry, drive us from our position or force us to surrender. The formed in a field to our left and came down the public road (which runs at right angles with the river until within 200 yards of the ford, when it turns to the left and runs nearly parallel with the stream) in columns of fours on beautiful and almost perfect order. When they arrived opposite the rifle-pits and were in the act of forming platoons (as they could have crossed in columns of platoons,