discouraged at our failure, we marched back to the boat, shoved off, and drifted down within half a mile of town, again landed, reconnoitered cautiously, marched within sight of town, found everything quiet, lay down on the ground, and sent our guide to a house to ascertain with exact certainty the strength and position of the enemy; found it just as we expected and no more. We waited some two hours anxiously for the proper moment to arrive. The night was very dark and cold. Our men suffered considerably, having left their overcoats in the boat, but they bore it in silence, as not a murmur was heard among them.
Day just breaking, we crept cautiously into town, Company B in advance. Their only guard now espied us, and, calling "treason" at the top of his voice, started for the quarters. We soon secured him, sent a couple of men to their ferry, surrounded the houses, which we knew contained the men, dashing in the doors and windows, thrusting in our guns, and pointing them at the heads of the astonished, half-awake, and undressed occupants, demanding with loud shouts their instant surrender. Considerable resistance was shown in some of the buildings, but we bore down everything before us. Some thirty shots were fired; the SECOND one, I am sorry to say, disabled Captain Newell, stricken him in the leg, under the knee, making a painful, but not dangerous, flesh wound. Colonel Newsom had his right arm fearfully shattered and Lieutenant Shelby was struck in the shoulder, which were all the known casualties that occurred on both sides.
The command now devolving upon me, and the town being fully in our possession, I instantly mounted a few men, and [sent] them on the different roads to pick up runaways, and turned my immediate attention to getting the prisoners on the other side of the river, as I had reliable information that there was an Alabama regiment of cavalry camped at Ague Creek, only 7 miles east, and a strong force at Waynesborough, 17 miles distant. Some of our men left with the horses now made their appearance on the opposite bank, according to instructions, so I sent 50 over (in the ferry just captured) with a strong guard, commanded by Lieutenant Bigham, putting Captain Newell in the same boat; signaled our own boat, which the guard immediately brought down; loaded her with the rest of the prisoners, a party of our men, the captured saddles, guns, &c.
We plied both boats briskly for some time, carrying from four to six horses a trip. It was severe work, as the current would carry the boats a long distance down stream; consequently we had to haul them up along shore, so that they might reach the landing on the opposite side. In the mean time I had crossed over; and fearing the co-operation of the prisoners in case of an attack, I directed Lieutenant Drew to move them to Hughes' house, 2 miles distant. We were about getting over our last load of horses when we were most agreeably surprised by the appearance of a fleet of five gunboats. The Lexington, in advance, put out her guns, intending to shell us, but a cheer from this side and a white flag from the other checked her intention. Lieutenant Fitch, flag-officer of the fleet, gave our tired men a capital dinner, which they much needed, having eaten nothing since noon of the dy before.
Before the arrival of the boats, I had ordered the firing of the buildings that had been occupied by the enemy, as they were well filled up; with bunks, &c., and the hotel in which we found over 30 men contained a quantity of commissary stores, which I could not transport, so was compelled to destroy.
Our raid was entirely successful. The result was the capture of 8 commissioned officers and some 60 enlisted men, 40 splendid horses, some