under Colonel Amory, arrived and a portion of the cavalry pressed forward to a point near Jacksonville and reported the enemy in force at that place. The object of the expedition accomplished, we left Smith's Mill on the morning of the 21st, passing through Pollocksville, and arrived at New Berne in the evening. A heavy rain during the preceding night made muddy roads and overflowing streams. William P. Kent, of Company I, who marched in a apparent good health, was taken suddenly ill and died in an ambulance on the route.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. B. R. SPRAGUE,
Colonel Fifty-first Massachusetts Regiment.
Lieutenant E. T. PARKINSON,
A. A. A. G., First Brigade, Dept. of North Carolina.
JANUARY 19, 1863.-Scout from Williamsburg and skirmish at Burnt Ordinary, Va.
Report of Major William G. McCandless, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Yorktown, Va., January 21, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to forward the following report of a scout made on the 10th instant by Major McCandless, of the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, sent out by Lieutenant-Colonel, Lewis, commanding that regiment, under orders from myself:
I left camp with a scouting party, consisting of 120 men, at 9 o'clock a.m., When, beyond the picket, at the point where the roads diverge, I divided my command, sending one party by the York River with orders to join the main column at the Six Mile Ordinary and another party up the Jamestown road to the Chickahominy River with instructions to go by way of Centreville and join me at the Burnt Ordinary, while I proceeded with the remainder of my force directly up the Richmond road.
At the Six Mile Ordinary the party reported having seen nothing of the enemy. My strength was now about 80 men. With this number I went on up the Richmond road, and when arrived at Mrs. Pickett's gate, 9 miles from Williamsburg, I came upon the enemy's first post 3 mounted men and at the brick church half a mile farther on discovered their reserve of 16 men, who were at once chased by my advance guard, under Lieutenant Vezin, as far as the Burnt Ordinary, at which point they were met by a force of the enemy's cavalry coming alongside the Centreville road, and who, dashing upon the head of the advance guard with a sudden swoop, succeeded in cutting off and capturing 4 of our men, who, in the excitement, had gotten 300 or 400 yards in advance, and then began instantly to draw up in line of battle. Lieutenant Vezin, seeing the fate of his men and perceiving that an instant's delay would give the enemy time to form, and notwithstanding that fact that he had but 13 men with him, ordered the rest of the advance guard to "draw saber and charge," which was done in the most gallant manner and in the face of a volley from the enemy's guns.
The flashing of our sabers in air and the shouts of the men as they charged upon the foe was more than the enemy could stand, and breaking at once in every direction they fled precipitately, about 20 returning up the Centreville road and the balance taking the Diascund road, which party being the larger we pursued and succeeded in retaking 3 of our captured men, with their horses and arms, and capturing 4 of the enemy, besides wounding one other, who, however, escaped through the woods, leaving his horses in our hands. I regret to have to report the loss by capture of Private McNeill and the injury of Private John Brown, who was shot in the side. We pursued the enemy 3 miles beyond the Burnt Ordinary, but their horses being fresh and fleeter than ours they all, with the exception of those above mentioned, made good their escape.
Having learned the force of the enemy to consist of one regiment of infantry, and 500 cavalry stationed at Diascund Bridge I returned to camp by the Centreville road, and was joined on the road by the party who went to the Chickahominy River. They reported no enemy in sight or either side of the river.