reason to believe, Captain Stearns would secure in drawing into the trap which I had prepared for them, inasmuch as they had in considerable force on former occasions attacked me while I was engaged in procuring logs at points 7 or 8 miles below the mill. After landing Major Mudgett I proceeded back with the Planter, and on the following morning, having rounded the point of the peninsula, was on my way up East Bay or Blackwater River.
I did not find the other transport, the Lizzie Davis, 8 miles below the mill. It soon became apparent that Captain Stearns had failed to conform to my orders. Instead of landing as he was directed, he had gone 6 or 7 miles too far, and some time elapsed before I found the Lizzie Davis anchored in a small cove a mile or two from the mill. Thus the enemy was not induced to come far down upon the point of lands as I designed, and as would have been the case had my orders been fully carried out, and as my report will clearly show. On coming up with the Lizzie Davis, I directed Captain Lincoln, of the Second Maine Cavalry, to relieve Captain Stearns of his command, to land with all possible dispatch the 200 men on board, and march direct to Milton. By 11 a. m., Captain Lincoln had landed the troops from the Lizzie Davis. I proceeded with the Planter to Pierce's Mill and landed the cavalry and battery, which I had been holding in reserve, and immediately moved toward Milton, soon coming upon Captain Lincoln, whom I found engaged with a force of the enemy's cavalry. It seems that Captain Lincoln, after landing, before he had hardly taken up the march, was met by a considerable force of cavalry, with which he became engaged. He drove the enemy to the mill, and beyond it on the Milton road, where they made a stand under cover of some old buildings. On my arrival at this point the firing was quite rapid, and a brisk skirmish was going on. I immediately charged with the detachment of cavalry which I had brought up, and drove the rebels from the old buildings. They fled in wild confusion on the Milton road. At a bridge they attempted t make a stand, but all to no purpose. I pursued them through Milton and out on the Pollard road, a distance of over 8 miles, capturing 9 prisoners and wounding quite a number. Their route was complete. Their arms and equipments, and everything that could impede flight, were thrown away.
There were no casualties in my own force. The enemy's force consisted of a detachment of between 70 and 80 of the Eighth Mississippi Cavalry and a small force of militia.
Having kept up the pursuit as long as it was prudent, my horses becoming exhausted, and it growing late in the day, I returned to Milton, and leaving the cavalry to hold the place, went back to the Planter, which I ordered to be moved up to a place called Bagdad, less than 2 miles from Milton, and here I secured quite a large amount of lumber, about 85,000 feet. I dispatched a courier to Major Mudgett, with orders for him to move his force from the bayou to Pierce's Mill, and hold himself in readiness to embark at that point on the following morning.
On the following morning the pickets were taken in, and the Planter moved up the river to Milton, thus exploding, if not the torpedoes, the idea and belief that they are planted ion the river to obstruct its passage by boats. Here several flat-boats were secured, and the ferry across the river completely demolished. Quite an amount of commissary and quartermaster's property was found,