War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0173 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

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drew out of range. In twenty minutes the bridge fell into the stream. Colonel Tabb, had he retained all his men in the redoubt, could have inflicted a very sever loss upon us before the bridge could have been burned. I anticipated a much heavier loss than actually occurred. I now found myself hampered by about 130 prisoners and about 30 wounded, among them several officers. A large portion of Beauregard's forces was on the way from Weldon, and it was reasonable to expect difficulties in the direction of Petersburg. The railroad was fairly cut, and my duty successfully performed, I therefore returned, via Allen's Bridge, to the Petersburg and Jerusalem plank road and thence to City Point, burning a culvert on the Petersburg and Norfolk Railroad on the way. I reached City Point on the morning of the 10th, without any serious interruption, with the command in very good condition.

I should not neglect to mention that I effected, through a flag of truce, and exchange of 3 or 4 prisoners of my command that had fallen into the hands of Colonel Tabb's command, but reflecting that the loss of ammunition probably necessary to do it, and the increased number of prisoners and the time lost, might seriously interfere if it did not altogether defeat my return to City Point, I reluctantly left him to guard where the bridge had been.

On the 11th the command crossed the Appomattox at Bermuda Hundred and was occupied in drawing rations and ammunition for an expedition against the Railroad and Danville Road. The night of the 11th it rained hard and materially interfered with this duty, and the command was under the necessity of moving before I should satisfy myself that it was fully equipped.

About 9 a. m. on the 12th the march began, moving out to the Chesterfield Junction. The march was continued on to Chesterfield Court-House; thence in northwesterly direction to Coalfield, which place we reached at about 11 o'clock at night. Here the station-house, wood-sheds, water-tank, some cars loaded with shells, and a good portion of the track were destroyed, after which the command bivouacked, in a heavy rain, some 4 or 5 miles distant on the Buckingham pike running parallel to the railroad. About 9 a. m. on the 13th the command reached Powhatan Station. Here we obtained a good supply of forage and bacon and destroyed the freight-house, station-house, water-tank, and a considerable portion of the track, and about 15 freight-cars. The command then moved upon Mattoax bridge. Here is an iron truss bridge across the Appomattox. The enemy were fortified with artillery on the opposite bank, and completely commanded all approach from our side. Leaving the advance regiment to keep up a front against the bridge and to bring up the rear, the column moved down the river to Goode's Bridge, where we were delayed until dark in the rain, repairing a span of the bridge which had been cut out by some of the country people. The depot was reached about 10 o'clock at night, when the command bivouacked, after taking up the switch on the track. We learned here that the force at the Mattoax bridge had been re-enforced, in the mean time, by three trains loaders with troops. Two of the trains had returned empty. The engine of the third came down to reconnoiter the depot and was captured by running off the track at the switch; the negro fireman came to us, but the engineer and conductor escaped back.