Tye River has its source. Lieutenant-Colonel Root joined me with his force near this place. Near this camp I caused to be burned an extensive furnace for the manufacture of pig-iron which had just been refitted to be used for the benefit of the rebel Government. From this camp I sent a communication to department headquarters at Midway, twenty-two miles distant. I also sent out two small parties across the mountains toward the railroad with orders to burn bridges and tear up the track. These parties, however, were unable to accomplish the object, the country being infested by the enemy.
On the morning of June 11, having awaited for some time to receive orders from department headquarters, I moved forward my command over the mountains and through Tye River Gap into the valley of the Tye River, leaving one regiment to picket the gap. From this point I again sent an officer, with an escort of fifteen men, bearing a communication to the major-general commanding the department. On the morning of this day having ascertained from a dispatch which was captured that a rebel wagon train, on its way from Staunton to Lynchburg, was moving some twelve miles ahead of my column, I sent forward a squadron, under Major Daniel, of Second Maryland Cavalry [First Maryland Potomac Home Brigade Cavalry] to capture the train. He succeeded in overtaking the train, driving back to guards and capturing a considerable number of wagons; also in capturing about 40 prisoners, including 7 commissioned officers, 3 of whom were rebel quartermasters. Major Daniel brought off some six or seven wagons, loaded with hams, flour, and other stores, but was obliged to destroy the remainder of the train, the horses having been taken off and the harness cut to pieces. From the quartermasters captured, I learned that property was destroyed in one wagon. Hundreds of thousands of Confederate money and bonds were burned, and all the books and papers belonging to the several quartermasters. One quartermaster remarked that the damage could only be estimated by millions. A considerable number of horses were also captured. On the afternoon of this day I sent a party of ten men and one sergeant from Captain Rennison's pioneers to destroy the railroad at Arrington. During the night they returned, having burned Arrington Depot, containing a large quantity of boots, shoes, and other quartermaster stores; also destroying four small bridges and tearing up the railroad for a distance of three or four miles. This work was very brilliantly executed by the sergeant in charge.
Failing to receive any communication from department headquarters or to ascertain the whereabouts of General Hunter's command, I moved forward my whole command on the morning of the 12th in the direction of Amherst Court-House, intending to strike the railroad near the place, destroy bridges and the track, and push a force across to the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, east of Lynchburg, with the purpose of destroying the railroad bridge over the James River about eight miles from the Court-House, I received General Hunter's communication, dated Lexington, June 11, and ordering me to report with my command at Lexington, with as little delay as possible. I immediately changed the direction of my column toward White's Gap. Arriving near the point where the road crosses Piney River, my distance encountered a force of the enemy's cavalry, numbering some 300. I supported the advance