JULY -, 1863. - Expedition from Richmond to Mathias Point, Va.
Report of Lieutenant Colonel C. E. Lightfoot, C. S. Army, commanding expedition.
CAMP LETCHER, VA., August 1, 1863.
SIR: I am required by Major-General Elzey to forward to your office, through Colonel T. S. Rhett, commanding Richmond Defenses, 1st, a military report of the expedition upon which I was sent by General D. H. Hill; 2d, the orders received upon the subject; and, 3d, an explanation of the reasons why the orders were not communicated to the immediate commander. The report required you will find inclosed. As I have before stated, no written order was given me by General Hill, but the course pursued by me was fully justified by the verbal orders and instructions received from him directly, as 1 will be able to prove as soon as I can hear from him. In answer to the third demand, I will state that Colonel Rhett was informed by me on Saturday night, July 11, that I had been ordered upon an expedition by Major-General Hill, and would start immediately, but that the general desired that I should not say when I was going. It was a secret expedition, and one that required General Hill`s communication directly with me, and for this reason he sent to my camp for me on Saturday evening. I was not aware at the time of any obligation upon my part to communicate with Colonel Rhett under the circumstances at all. At it was, I told him all that I felt at liberty, under my instructions, to communicate.
I am, major, respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. E. LIGHTFOOT,
Major T. O. CHESTNEY,
CAMP LETCHER, July 27, 1863.
SIR: In pursuance of orders from General Elzey, commanding department, I have the honor to submit the following report of an expedition to the Potomac River, upon which I was sent, with a portion of my command, by Lieutenant General D. H. Hill: On Saturday evening, July 11, General D. H. Hill ordered me to take a portion of my artillery command, with a company of cavalry from Colonel [John A.] Baker`s regiment, and proceed with all dispatch to Mathias Point, for the purpose of intercepting the enemy`s transports, which he supposed would be going up toward Washington. I set off at once, carrying from my camp two guns, a rifle and a Napoleon, which, with the two guns that had been previously detached by General Hill and ordered to Colonel Baker, gave me a battery of four guns, two rifles and two Napoleons. I also took two extra horses for each piece and caisson. The importance of the movement, and a foresight of the circumstances which must attend the expedition, seemed to me to demand that I should not take fewer guns or horses. I took the shortest route to Mathias Point, crossing the Pamunkey at New Castle, the Mattapony at Dunkirk, and the Rappahannock