rapidly to the east, crossing the Nottoway again at Peters' Ford, near Littleton, about 1 p.m. As soon as the river was crossed the troops were allowed to rest, and resumed their march again at 6.30 p.m. for Blunt's Bridge, on the Blackwater. During the night the flankers of Chapman's brigade met the enemy's scouting parties and brought in prisoners who said that Chambliss' brigade had left Stony Creek that morning at 9 o'clock to intercept us on the Jerusalem road. This caused my column to expedite its movements. Its advance reached the Blackwater to find the bridge gone and the stream utterly unfordable. I immediately began the repair of the bridge, and, with the assistance of the advanced guard, soon had it fit for crossing by file, but the materials having been partly burned gave way. With the assistance of Colonel Chapman it was promptly repaired, but after crossing a few more men again failed. New string pieces were cut from the woods, and by 3 a.m. it was again covered with rails and ready for use. The whole command was over by 6,15 a.m., and the bridge destroyed. Shortly afterward a small force of the enemy made its appearance on the opposite side of the river. The command rested a few hours and then moved through Cabin Point to Chipoak Creek, where it camped.
Yesterday at 3 p.m. it arrived in camp at this place, having been gone ten days and a half and marched something over 300 miles, destroyed 60 miles of railroad and engaged in four combats. At no place did the troops rest longer than six hours, and during the last four days at no time stopped longer than four hours. The artillery, ammunition wagons, and ambulances were kept supplied with fresh horses and mules by parties under charge of Captain G. I. Taggart, division commissary of subsistence, acting chief quartermaster of the expedition. The work on the railroad was pushed during night and day, mostly by fire. The implements with which the expedition was to have been furnished had not arrived when the expedition started. The greatest credit is due to officers and men for the endurance, sleepless exertion, and gallantry. General Kautz, Colonels McIntosh, Chapman, Spear, and West did all in their power to make the expedition successful. Colonel Hammond, of the Fifth New York; Lieutenant-Colonel Purington, Second Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel Brinton, Eighteenth Pennsylvania; Major Wells, First Vermont; Major Pope, Eighth New York; Major Bacon, Fifth New York; Major Moore, Eighth New York; Major Patton, Third Indiana; Major McIrvin, Second New York, the last two wounded, and many other officers are specially worthy of commendation for their gallantry and uniform good conduct. My own staff - particularly Captain Whitaker, First Connecticut Volunteers; Captain J. N. Andrews, Eighth [U. S.] Infantry, and Captain E. B. Beaumont - did their duty with great intelligence and unceasing industry. The reports of division and brigade commanders will give more detailed accounts of the operations of different parts of the command. A full list of casualties will be furnished in a few days. The missing cannot yet be fully estimated, though it will be much less than I feared at first.
The country through which we passed seemed well supplied with supplied of wheat, ripening oats, and cattle; but scarcely an ablebodied man out of the army was seen during the whole march. The negroes everywhere showed the liveliest desire to follow us.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. WILSON,
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac.