YORKTOWN, December 12, 1863.
The movement spoken of is in progress. The infantry marched at 7 this morning by a circuitous route to seize the crossing at the forge. Cavalry marched this evening, and will be at same place about 3 o'clock to-night, whence they will make a dash with sabers only - carbines left behind. A colored regiment with ambulances and rations of bread for the returning troopos marches from here at 4 a.m. to-morrow, and will meet them to-morrow evening at Twelve-Mile Ordinary, where all will encamp.
I. J. WISTAR,
ELIZABETH CITY, Saturday, December 12, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that we occupy this place, and thus far without accident. Below South Mills we built a solid bridge on the piles previously standing, but partly burned, and marched hither.
Our two steamers, I. D. Coleman and Three Brothers, arrived beforehand, and lay off out of sight, but signals from our cannon soon brought them up. They are now unloaded, and in use for other purposes. A gunobat has made two calls here very recently, having quite a salutary influence in confirming our footing here. But I would be glad to keep one around us as long as we stay. At her last call she carried off a steam mill and machinery, some said for Roanoke, some of Fort Monroe. We keep hearing of considerable bodies of State partisan rangers, alias guerrillas but not strong enough to harm us. All we dread is the sending of a regular force from Suffolk, Winton, or even from Richmond.
I have sent out to-day four expeditions hence, one to Hertford for contrabands, &c.; one in search of guerrillas; one for forage for our cavalry and artillery; one for fire-wood, which we need much - this party takes the lightest steamer up the river. Also, I am just sending the other steamer down to Roanoke Island with a load of contrabands, including horses and carts, ona schooner in tow, to return with a load of coal for both steamers. Thus every man is employed.
I send this via Roanoke Island.
We are greatly favored with weather, but cool.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWARD A. WILD,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
P. S.- I shall have serious complaints to make against Colonel Ward, of General Getty's command, for his conduct in attempting to defeat the objects of our expedition. He sent out cavalry in advance to warn the inhabitants that "nigger-stealers were coming to plunder them of everything," and he interfered in other ways.