War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0782 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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Briggs in company, we started up the York River, passing West Point at 10. 45 without noticing anything that would indicate the presence of the enemy, and everything passed off quietly during our trip up to Walkerton, where we arrived at 2 a. m. The troops were then landed with all expedition, and reached their destination (Aylett's) at 8 a. m. At that place they found the information they had previously received was correct in every particular, and the work of destruction was soon accomplished. An immense amount of machinery of all kinds, also a large amount of flour and grain, which was in a mill belonging to the rebel Government, were soon rendered useless. Lieutenant-Colonel Tevis then started to return stopping at different places to destroy grain, capture horses, mules, and cattle, and did not get back to the landing place until 5. 30 p. m. I proceeded to get everything on board at once, and at 6 p. m. we were under way on our return. Having received information that the rebels were making preparations to obstruct the river at a place called Miantapike, I sent the Smith Briggs down at 2 p. m. to keep the river clear, and to remain at that place until my arrival. Captain Lee, of that vessel, reports that when he came in sight of Miantapike there were about 60 or 70 rebels collected on the bluff at Indiantown, but a few shells served to disperse them. There are many places along the river where sharpshooters can be advantageously posted, and advantage of them was taken by the enemy, but by shelling ahead on each side as we passed along, they were keep from firing at us, and at only one place did they remain to give us a shot; and I am happy to state that, so far as the naval portion of the expedition was concerned, everything passed off in the most admirable manner, and with but a single casualty; for which I cannot be too thankful, taking into consideration the fact that the whole country through which we passed had been aroused, the banks being lined with those who would have been delighted in taking the lives of the "invaders of their soil. " The land forces were not so fortunate, 1 man being killed, 1 wounded, and 1 missing, as far as I have heard. But in consideration of the fact that Longstreet's corps was at or near Newtown, only 10 miles from Aylett's, and Pickett's division was at or near White House, 12 miles from where we landed, I think that they were as fortunate as could possibly be expected, and I can only account for the success of the raid by supposing that the enemy was under the impression our small force was but the advance of a large body of troops. Skirmishing was kept up by the rear guard of our troops until they got under cove of the gunboats. Two prisoners were taken, and 2 deserters were taken on our way down. We arrived at this place at 2 o'clock this morning, all hands pretty well tired and worn out with their two days and nights of constant work and watching. I cannot, in justice to those under my command, omit mentioning the perfect coolness of every one, when at any moment a galling fire could have been opened upon us from the bluffs under which we had to pass. The only fact I have to find with Captain Mitchell is his unnecessary exposure of himself. Were he a common seaman, it would have been highly commendable, but where so much depended on him, it was recklessness. His management of his vessel and working of his battery were in the highest manner commendable.