JANUARY 7-9, 1863.-Expedition from Yorktown to West Point and White House, Va.
Report of Major General Erasmus D. Keyes, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Yorktown, Va., January 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of a successful raid up the country between the Pamunkey and Mattapony Rivers and at the White House.
A detachment of cavalry of the Fifth Pennsylvania and Sixth New York Regiments, under Major W. P. Hall, and another of the One hundred and fifteenth New York Infantry,under Captain McKittrick, 300 in all, left Yorktown on the evening of the 7th instant in steamers co-operating with the strong naval forces on this station.
It was concerted with Captain F. A. Parker,* commanding the gunboats on the York River, that he would clear out the Pamunkey and destroy the railroad station, &c., at the White House, while the infantry should hold West Point with the aid of a gunboat and the cavalry should sweep the roads and country on the left bank. Unfortunately, however, the water was too low to enable the vessel to reach the White House. Major Hall therefore crossed the river at that point in a skiff with a small party, burnt the ferry-boat, also a small steamer called the Little Magruder,two sloops loaded with grain, two barges, four pontoon boats, a storehouse containing a thousand bushels of wheat, &c., a quantity of whisky, soap, salt, &c.
The torch was then applied to the railroad depot, which contained freight for Richmond; the tank, the rolling stock, signal station, subtler's buildings, &c. When the destruction was complete the party recrossed the river.
On the left bank of the Pamunkey the cavalry captured and brought in 6 wagons and 2 carts, with 26 mules and 8 horses. The wagons were laded with "blockade goods," such as salt, black-lead, gum-shellac, buckles and rings, gutta percha belting, bars of tin and iron, brass wire 60 ounces of quinine, and a lot of gold lace, stripes and stars for rebels uniforms.
The expedition got off without its destination known or suspected by any person except Captain Parker and myself. The conduct of Major W. P. Hall, Sixth New York Cavalry, entitles him to special notice and praise. His success was complete, and he lost neither man nor horse.
It will not, I trust, be deemed out of place to say that the success of the land part of the expedition was largely indebted to Captain Parker's admirable management of his vessels. On this and many other occasions I have noticed the zeal and good judgment of that naval officer.
I have the honor to be,very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. D. KEYS,
Major-General, Commanding Fourth Army Corps.
Commanding Department of Virginia.
*For Commander Parker's report see Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, December 7, 1863.