Iowa, and 300 colored troops), under Lieutenant-Colonel Spurling, Second Maine Cavalry, to Blackwater Bay, which left here on the 25th instant, returned to-day.
The rebels were driven through Milton by the cavalry, and 8 captured, besides 5 or 6 known to have been killed or wounded. My plans were to catch the whole gang of Confederates, about 100 strong, but failed, through a misconception of orders on the part of one of the detachment commanders. Eight cribs of Confederate lumber, containing over 85,000 feet, seasoned (1 inch or 1 1/4 inches thick, and 5 or 6 inches wide), 15,000 feet besides of seasoned lumber, and 130 logs were the proceeds of the expedition.
No casualties in my force. A detailed report will be sent.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Major JAMES E. MONTGOMERY,
Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Andrew B. Spurling, Second Maine Cavalry, commanding expedition.
HDQRS. SECOND MAINE CAVALRY VETERAN VOLS.,
Barrancas, Fla., October 31, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor respectfully to submit the following report:
Pursuant to orders from headquarters District of West Florida, I embarked on the morning of the 25th October, on steam transport at Barrancas, in charge of a force consisting of a detachment of the
Second Maine Veteran Cavalry of 100 men, 100 dismounted men of the First Florida Cavalry, and a detachment of the Nineteenth Iowa Infantry, Twenty-fifth, Eighty-second, and Eight-sixth U. S. Colored Infantry, and Company M (Captain Roberts), second Maine Cavalry, dismounted for battery purposes, and in charge of two howitzers, the whole amounting in the aggregate to over 700 men.
Captain Stearns, of the Eighty-second Colored Infantry, was placed in charge of one of the transports, Lizzie Davis, with 200 infantry, with orders to proceed up the Blackwater River, to land a force 8 miles below Pierce's Mill, and distant from Milton 13 miles to raft logs, which are numerous along the shore, and by other and all his actions endeavor to draw the enemy upon the narrow point of land or peninsula formed by Escambia Bay on the west and East Bay and Blackwater River on the east. I proceeded with the other transport, the Planter, to Pensacola, remaining there till late in the afternoon; from thence up Escambia Bay, and late in the night landed 300 infantry, under charge of Major Mudgett, of the Eighty-sixth Colored Infantry, at Bayou--, a point on the east side of Escambia Bay, opposite Pierce's Mill, with orders that he should march to the head of the bayou and remain there till he should hear cannonading on the other side of the narrow point of land, when he would deploy his force across to Pierce's Mill, thus cutting off the retreat of the enemy whom I expected, and had good