precarious, as the enemy were in front in large force with artillery. At this time, Captain Whitney, who, with 10 men in ambush, had been directed to guard a piece of woods through which our force must retreat, was attacked by another company of the enemy's cavalry. He opened fire upon them, killing, among others, the commander of the company and the remaining bloodhounds.
To these who doubt whether the negro soldiers will fight, this daring act of Captain Whitney and his little band of 10, opening fire unhesitatingly upon a full company, not less than 100 of the enemy's cavalry, and repulsing them, this will be a startling fact.
Captain Bryant reports that his men retreated fighting as coolly as if they had been on dress-parade. None of Captain Bryant's men were killed and but 7 wounded. Five of the enemy are known to have been killed, and it is supposed many more. It is admitted by the enemy that he had, 1,000 men in the vicinity of the fight. Of the 2 prisoners captured by Captain Bryant, 1 was killed by the enemy during the fight. I regard the expedition of Captain Bryant as a most daring one, and its whole conduct reflects great credit upon his bravery and skill.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major General Q. A. GILLMORE,
Commanding Department of the South.
Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General W. S. Walker, C. S. Army, commanding third Military District.
POCOTALIGO, November 26, 1863.
GENERAL: Early on the morning of the 24th some 30 or 40 negro soldiers succeeded in penetrating our lines, and took off about 20 slaves belonging to Mr. Daniel Heyward.
They were closely pursued by Captain [J. T.] Foster, with 25 men of Rutledge's regiment of cavalry. The negroes took shelter in a very dense thicket near Cunningham's Bluff (opposite Hall's Island). Captain Foster dismounted his command and charged them, in skirmishing order. The negroes broke into several parties, and, after a pursuit that resembled a fox chase, succeeded in getting off with Mr. Heyward's slaves. Other forces under Colonel Rutledge had come up, but were baffled in their pursuit by the dense thicket and the darkness of a misty morning. They captured 2 of our pickets, one of whom escaped during Captain Foster's attack. The picket reports that 2 of the negro soldiers were badly wounded at our first fire, 1, he thinks, morally. He judges that more must h ave been hit after he escaped. Three of our men were wounded, none seriously. This is the first time the men of this portion of the command have been under fire. Colonel Rutledge reports that the whole command moved with rapidity and showed commendable eagerness. I will send a detailed report of Captain Foster and Colonel Rutledte when sent in.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. WALKER,
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN, A. A. G.