ment of Twelfth New York Cavalry, the whole under command of Colonel Lehmenn, One hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers, to move at once in the direction above indicated. The detachment arrived at Jamesville on Sunday, the 26th, but finding the bridge destroyed on the direct road, was compelled by a circuitous route to pass around the head of Gardner's Creek. On approaching the Sweetwater, the crossings were found to be destroyed and the enemy occupying a secure position higher up at Foster's Mills, behind an unfordable stream, and the bridge removed. The country was thoroughly alarmed in every direction, and artillery was freely used to convey the impression that a serious attack was contemplated. Three cavalry soldiers were wounded in attempting to cross by swimming. Believing the enemy to have been detained so as to render it impossible to reach the railroad in time to interfere with the cavalry movement, Colonel Lehmann returned to this post on Tuesday, the 28th. His report is herewith inclosed. In order, if possible, to ascertain the effect of the expedition, I directed a detachment of cavalry on the following morning to proceed by the same route to Forster's Mills, and, taking a detachment of infantry on board the Massasoit, I proceeded up the river to Williamston, and, landing below the town, took possession of it, a small force of the enemy having left there a few hours before. There seemed to be no information as to the movement toward Weldon. The Sweetwater was still occupied by a portion of the Seventeenth [North Carolina Infantry], under Major [Thomas H.] Sharp, while Lieutenant-Colonel [John C.] Lamb, with another detachment, was said to be at Tarborough, having gone there gone there since the raid to Rocky Mount. Having threatened their central position in this manner, I dropped down the river after dark, and returned to Plymouth the same night. The cavalry detachment surprised the small outpost from Foster's Mills, and captured one private, the others escaping into the woods. The enemy was found to be still posted in the same position, and also occupying a point on the creek higher up, and, as far as the prisoner knew, without any knowledge of the operations against the railroad. The swollen condition of the streams at this time, the removal of the bridges, and the violent and almost incessant rains, flooding the flat country for the time being like a lake, presented very serious impediments to the rapid movements of infantry. Even on this short march the troops suffered severely, and many of the men were badly broken down.
Respectfully, your obedient servant.
H. W. WESSELLS,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
Lieutenant Colonel S. HOFFMAN,
Numbers 2. Report of Colonel Theodore F. Lehmann, One hundred and third Pennsylvania Infantry, commanding Brigade.
PLYMOUTH, N. C.,
July 29, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from the commanding general of this district, I proceeded with the effect-