[C. C.] Wilbourn, were encamped, and where there was another main road leading to Port Hudson.
We reached this point at first dawn of day; completely surprised and captured the camp, with a number of prisoners. Having destroyed the camp, consisting of about one hundred and FIFTY tents, a large quantity of ammunition, guns, public and private stores, books, papers, and public documents, I immediately took the road to Baton Rouge. Arriving at the Comite River, we utterly surprised Stuart's cavalry [Miles' Legion], who were picketing at this point, capturing 40 of them, with their horses, arms, and entire camp. Fording the river, we halted to feed within 4 miles of the town. Major-General Augur, in command at Baton Rouge, having now, for the first, heard of our approach, sent two companies of cavalry, under Captain [J. Franklin] Godfrey, to meet us. We marched into the town about 3 p. m., and we were most heartily welcomed by the United States forces at this point.
Before our arrival in Louisville, Company B, of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, under Captain Forbes, was detached to proceed to Macon, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad; if possible take the town, destroy the railroad and telegraph, and rejoins us. Upon approaching the place, he found it had been re-enforced, and the bridge over the Okanoxubee River destroyed, so that the railroad and telegraph could not be reached.
He came back to our trail, crossed the Southern Railroad at Newton, took a southeast course to Enterprise, where, although his force numbered only 35 men, he entered with a flag of truce and demanded the surrender of the place. The commanding officer at that point asked an hour to consider the matter, which Captain Forbes (having ascertained that a large force occupied the place) granted, and improved in getting away. He immediately followed us, and succeeded in joining the column while it was crossing Pearl River at Georgetown. In order to catch us, he was obliged to march 60 miles per day for several consecutive days. Much honor is due Captain Forbes for the manner in which he conducted this expedition.
At Louisville I sent Captain Lynch, of Company E, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, and one man of his company, disguised as citizens, who had gallantly volunteered to proceed to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and cut the wires, which it was necessary should be done to prevent information of our presence from flying along the railroad to Jackson and other points. Captain Lynch and his comrade proceeded toward Macon, but, meeting with the same barrier which had stopped Captain Forbes, could not reach the road. He went to the pickets at the edge of the town, ascertained the whole disposition of their forces and much other valuable information, and, returning, joined us above Decatur, having ridden without interruption for two days and nights without a moment's rest. All honor to the gallant captain, whose intrepid coolness and daring characterizes him on every occasion.
During the expedition we killed and wounded about 100 of the enemy, captured and paroled over 500 prisoners, many of them officers, destroyed between 50 and 60 miles of railroad and telegraph, captured and destroyed over 3,000 stand of arms, and other army stores and Government property to an immense amount; we had l0 horses and mules.
Our loss during the entire journey was 3 killed, 7 wounded, 5 left, on the route sick; the sergeant-major and surgeon of the Seventh Illinois left with Lieutenant-Colonel Blackburn, and 9 men MISSING, supposed to have straggled. We marched over 600 miles in less than sixteen days. The last twenty-eight hours we marched 76 miles, had