tion, which was entirely abandoned. I sent forward a portion of the cavalry to reconnoiter, but no enemy could be found for miles. At the fork of the road several pools marked the spot where the rebels fell, but all their wounded and dead-if they had any-were carried off into the woods.
Captain Street, of the navy, who again landed at Union Wharf on the 20th, was informed by Captain Braxton's overseer that the rebel loss was only 2 wounded, but a colored woman reported that she saw 4 corpses, besides 1 covered up in a cart, and that the "chief captain" was wounded.
In this affair at Pierson's farm not one of my men received a scratch, the rebels firing too high, their balls in most cases passing directly over the head of the mounted officers. The gallantry of the colored troops on this occasion could not be excelled. They were as steady under and as fire and as accurate in their movements as if they were on drill.
After giving nine rousing cheers on the rebel ground we recalled the cavalry and marched to Union Wharf, where we assistant in embarking the captured property. A little after dusk a long cloud of dust announced the enemy on a road skirting the edge of the wood three-quarters of a mile from the wharf. I immediately recalled a portion of the troops who had commenced embarking, and made preparations for defense. The rebels for a long time remained stationary, and for a time disappeared. I, therefore, resumed the embarkation and notified Lieutenant-Commander Hooker of the direction in which the enemy had been seen, whereupon he opened upon them with his 100-pounder Parrott and his 9-inch Dahlgren guns. We completed the embarkation without molestation, taking in all 4 prisoners of was from the Northern Neck.
From Union Wharf we sent two more steamer loads of captured property to Point Lookout, with orders to return to the Rappahannack. We then steamed to Layton's Wharf, opposite Leedstown, where we were informed that two rebel regiments-the Fifty-ninth Virginia Infantry, numbering 680, and the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, numbering 440-had the night before crossed the Rappahannock three miles above Layton's, for the purpose of helping to chastise our party.
We landed on the 18th and marched to Loyd's, seven or eight miles, besides sending the cavalry out three miles on the Layton road. Four miles from Layton's we found a large grist-mill, belonging to Robert M. T. Hunter, which had been turning out flour for the rebel army ever since the beginning of the war. This we burned to the ground. In this section we found an abundance of fine horses, mules, and beef-cattle. At Loyd's we received information from so many different sources that we were forced to believe it reliable, that General Sheridan, after passing up the country on a raid with 8,000 men, had the night before passed through Newtown and crossed the Mattapony at Dunkirk bridge, and that Hampton's cavalry division was in full pursuit. Our informant stated that Hampton's pickets were within five miles of Loyd's.
Throughout the day small parties of rebel cavalry were watching our movements. I, therefore, deemed it prudent to return to Layton's Wharf, where we arrived in the evening. Spent the night in embarking horses, mules, and cattle, and sailed on the morning of the 19th for Tappahannock, where we landed and resumed our labor. Here we heard that the rebels were assembling and moving up the country in the expectation of meeting us above at Tappahannock;