War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0874 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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rear were so unusually high, have some difficulty in withdrawing. His views coinciding with mine, I determined to withdraw, but, before leaving, fired upon a boat which, passing down the river, had grounded near the Maryland shore. Although it was nearly two miles from me, it was struck several times, and was deserted by the crew; had it been night, I could easily have burned it. It was a large steamer, and had been used as a transport. I regret very much that I was not sent ten or fifteen days sooner to Mathias Point. I feel sure that I could, from the position selected, have destroyed any transport attempting the passage, in spite of the opposition presented by the gunboats. The march to Mathias Point was a forced one, averaging 35 miles per day. The men bore the fatigue and hardships attending the expedition well, and were at all times in good spirits and hopeful of success. My horses suffered a good deal, and but for the extra ones, I could not have made the march. I am, major, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Expedition.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

JULY 13-16, 1863. - Reconnaissance from Newport Barracks to Cedar Point and White Oak River, N. C.

Report of Brigadier General Charles A. Heckman, U. S. Army.


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of a recent reconnaissance to Cedar Point and White Oak River: In obedience to orders, I started from Newport Barracks at 10 a. m. 13th ultimo, with my command, consisting of the Ninth New Jersey, Colonel A. Zabriskie; nine companies of the Twenty-third Massachusetts, Captain Brewster; one section Company I, Third New York Artillery, Lieutenant Thomas, and one company Twelfth New York Cavalry, Captain West, taking the Cedar Point road to Broad Creek. Built a bridge over Broad Creek, at or near Dennis` plantation, and proceeded as far as Saunders`, where I ordered my command to bivouac; distance from Newport Barracks, 12 miles. At 5 a. m. 14th ultimo, had the column in motion an route for Cedar Point, where I arrived at 8 a. m. ; distance from Saunders`, 9 miles. Having previously ordered the gunboat Wilson, with one company of the Eighty-first New York Volunteers, Captain Raulston, to proceed down Bogue Sound, and communicate with me at Cedar Point upon my arrival there, and not finding them, we encamped on Hill`s plantation, and awaited the arrival of the Wilson. Ordered Captain West, with his command of cavalry, to make a reconnaissance to Peletier`s and Smith`s Mills, and report. He returned at 4 p. m. 5th ultimo, and reported the bridge at Smith`s Mills, on the road leading to Onslow, partly torn up; found no pickets of the enemy until he arrived at the bridge, where he found a small party, which he routed. In company with my staff, I proceeded as far as Peletier`s Mills; found the bridge over Pettiford`s Creek in fair con-