march, and encamped at daylight within 15 miles of Hungary, remaining concealed through the day and a part of the night; reached Hungary, on the Fredericksburg Railroad, at daylight on the morning of the 4th; destroyed the depot, telegraph wires, and railroad for several miles; passed over the Brook turnpike, and drove the rebel pickets down the pike across the brook. I charged a battery, and forced it to retire to within 2 miles of the city of Richmond; captured Lieutenant [R. W.] Brown, aide-de-camp to General [John H.] Winder, and 11 men within the fortifications; passed down to the left of the Meadow Bridge, on the Chickahominy, which I burned; ran a train of cars into the river; retired to Hanovertown, on the Peninsula; crossed and destroyed the ferry just in time to check the advance of a pursuing cavalry force; burned a train of 30 wagons loaded with bacon; captured 13 prisoners, and encamped for the night 5 miles from the river.
I resumed my march at 1 a.m. of the 5th; surprised a force of 300 cavalry at Aylett's, and captured 2 officers and 33 men; burned 56 wagons, and a depot containing upward of 60,000 barrels of corn and wheat, quantities of clothing and commissary stores, and safely crossed the Mattapony and destroyed the ferry, again just in time to escape the advance of the rebel cavalry pursuit. Late in the evening I destroyed a third wagon train and depot a few miles above and west of Tappahannock, on the Rappahannock, and from that point made a forced march of 20 miles, being closely followed by a superior force of cavalry, supposed to be a portion of Stuart's, from the fact that we captured prisoners from the First, Fifth, and Tenth Virginia Cavalry. At sundown I discovered a force of cavalry drawn up in line of battle above King and Queen Court-House. The strength was unknown, but I at once advanced to the attack, only, however, to discover that they were friends, a portion of the Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, who had become separated from the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, of the same regiment.
At 10 a.m. on the 7th, I found safety and rest under our brave old flag within our lines at Gloucester Point. This raid and march about the entire rebel army, a march of nearly 200 miles, has been made in less than five days, with a loss of 1 officer and 37 men, having captured and paroled upward of 300 men.
I take great pleasure in bringing to your notice the officers of my staff: Capts. P. Owen Jones, [Frederick W.] Armstrong, and [Samuel] McIrwin; Dr.[Charles C.] Hackley, and Lieutenant [Lewellyn G.] Estes, especially the latter, who volunteered to carry a dispatch to Major-General Hooker. He failed in the attempt, but, with his escort of 10 men, he captured and paroled 1 major, 2 captains, a lieutenant, and 15 men. He was afterward himself captured with his escort, and as afterward recaptured by our forces. He arrived this morning.
I cannot praise too highly the bravery, fortitude, and untiring energy displayed throughout the march by Lieutenant-Colonel Davies and the officers and men of the Harris Light Cavalry, not one of whom but was willing to lose his liberty or his life if he could but aid in the great battle now going on, and win for himself the approbation of his chiefs.
Colonel, Commanding First Brigade, Third Division, Cavalry Corps.
Colonel A. J. ALEXANDER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Corps.