Having made all necessary arrangements and left two regiments (the Eighteenth Pennsylvania and Third New Jersey Cavalry) to picket on the left of the army, at 3 a.m. of the 22nd the expedition, consisting of about 5,500 cavalry and twelve guns, began the march by the way of Reams' Station and Dinwiddie Court-House. The troops were supplied with five days' light rations, and about 100 rounds of ammunition in wagons. At 2 p.m. the advance, under Colonel Spear, of Kautz's division, struck the South Side road at the Sixteen-Mile Turnout. At Reams Station Chapman's brigade, covering the rear of the column, was attacked by the enemy's cavalry pursuing; sharp skirmishing was kept up till the by the enemy's cavalry pursuing; sharp skirmishing was kept up till the rear arrived at the South Side road. But the Advance, encountering no opposition, pushed on rapidly to Ford's Station, where it captured two trains of cars with locomotives, burned the depot, water-tanks, and wood piles. The First Brigade of my division was kept employed from the time it reached the road till late at night in tearing up and burning railroad track, and details from the entire command were kept at the work of destructions till a late hour at night.
At 2 a.m. the next day I ordered Kautz's division to push on with the utmost rapidity for Burkeville Junction, and followed with the balance of the command as rapidly as it could march and destroy the road. At Blacks and Whites, following the trail of Kautz's division, we were misled and marched several miles on the direct road to Burkeville. I soon discovered the error and returned to the main road, but the rebel cavalry in pursuit, having kept straight forward, were met at the crossing of the railroad track near Nottoway Court-House. Chapman's brigade, in advance, attacked them with spirit and drove them back some distance. The rebels were
re-enforced and in return compelled Chapman to fall back to the railroad. They attacked with great vigor, but were repulsed. Chapman was then re-enforced by the Fifth New York, but it being by that time quite dark, and the troops fatigued by their labor and marching, I determined not to renew the engagement till I could hear from General Kautz. The rebels having been severely handled by Chapman's brigade remained quiet during the evening and night.
Just before daylight of the 24th, having heard of Kautz's success at Burkeville through Captain Whitaker, of my staff, whom I sent to communicate with him, I withdrew from the position near Nottoway Court-House, and by a rapid march through Hungarytown struck the Danville railroad near Meherrin Station. Kautz having burned the depot and stores at the Junction, and destroyed the tracks for several miles in all directions, had just passed Prices' Station when I arrived there. I sent an order to him to halt his division and tear up the railroad track till the command could be united. After working with great perseverance the whole command bivouacked that night in the vicinity of Keysville.
Early the next morning the march was resumed, heavy details engaged in destroying the railroad. About 2 p.m. the advance arrived at Roanoke Station, near the Roanoke or Staunton River. The bridge was found well defended - 500 or 600 men and a battery of six guns strongly posted in earth-works on the south side of the river. The day was very hot, and the approach to the head of the brigade through a bottom field of growing grain. I posted the batteries on the hills, nearly three-quarters of a mile from the brigade, and directed General Kautz to dismount his division and endeavor to push close enough to the end of the bridge to set fire to it. After a most gallant and exhausting effort he was compelled to give up the task. Many of the men fainted from exhaustion, thirst, and heat. They had been hard at