the advance was delayed for some time. The woods were so dense and the ground so difficult to reconnoiter that I could not plant my cannon so as to reach and silence the enemy's. Leaving the Twelfth Missouri Volunteers and the SEVENTEENTH Missouri Volunteers(Major F. Romer commanding) to guard the front and occupy the enemy I threw the THIRD Missouri Volunteers(Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Meuman commanding)through the woods to the right, with direction to cross the creek by any practicable mode and advance as skirmishers to the road occupied by the enemy. I sent the Twenty-FIFTH Iowa Volunteers(Colonel George A. Stone) to support the THIRD Missouri, in case it was too severely pressed. The latter regiment crossed the creek and soon engaged the enemy's skirmishers; they kept advancing through a corn-field toward the road. I then ordered the Twelfth Missouri to cross by wings under and to the right of the bridge, which was done. they enemy fell back as the THIRD Missouri advanced. and hastened in the direction of Canton. I occupied the creek bank next to Canton, and caused a bridge to be constructed. this was finished by dark.
I am informed that the enemy's force was 2,000, with two pieces of artillery.
In the skirmishing in forenoon, 2 men in the Seventy-sixth Ohio Volunteers were slightly wounded. The Twelfth Missouri lost. in skirmishing on Bear Creek, 5 in killed and wounded. the THIRD Missouri, in advancing through the corn-field on the Canton side of Bear Creek, had 2 men mortally wounded. I append a list of their names, &c. *
Early in the morning of the 18th, I moved my command into Canton. The whole infantry force was occupied during the day in destroying railroad tracks, iron, buildings,&c. There were destroyed 5 locomotives, 30 cars of all kinds, 2 turn-tables, 13 railroad buildings, including engine-house for 7 engines, with repair shops, filled with fine machinery, attacked; 1 machine-shop, depots, offices,&c. ; 300 feet of trestle and bridge work, and 2 miles of rails burned and bent. Much more of the track was torn up.
The works and materials in the Dixie Works were effectually destroyed, but the building was so connected with a block of buildings that its destruction would have involved the destruction of the whole. Colonel Winslow, of the cavalry, who had been sent out with part of the cavalry force to destroy the railroad bridge over Black River, returned after night, with the report that he had effectually accomplished that work.
At 7 p. m. the troops were marched out of Clinton about 2 miles, and bivouacked.
On 19th, marched to grant's Ferry, and on 20th returned to Jackson. During the expedition 12 prisoners were taken. I attach a list of their names, regiments,&c. * I respectfully request that some disposition may be made of them.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. R. WOODS,
Colonel Seventy-sixth Ohio Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.
Captain R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps.
P. S. -Some sick and wounded prisoners taken in the town were paroled by Colonel Bussey.
The above report does not include the operations of the cavalry, concerning which Colonel Bussey will report in detail.