two brigades of cavalry, under W. H. F. Lee, were stationed at the Six-Mile House guarding the railroad. In order to place this force in our rear, I directed the head of the column south, crossing the railroad to the Boydton pike, along which we marched for four or five miles, and then turning westward reached Dinwiddie Court-House about noon. At Reams' Station we burned the depot and a train of platform cars. From the court-house we marched north, striking the Petersburg and Lynchburg Railroad, about half way between Sutherland's and Ford's Depots. We marched along the railroad, the advance reaching Ford's Depot about 6 p.m. Here we captured and destroyed two trains and engines. The command was engaged until late in the night burning the railroad track.
Between 1 and 2 a.m. on the 23rd the command marched and continued steadily on the road, reaching the junction near Burkeville at 3 p.m. without opposition. Here we proceeded at once to the destruction of the roads leading toward Richmond and toward Lynchburg. The brigade commanders charged with the duty report several miles thoroughly destroyed in every direction. During the night Captain Whitaker of General Wilson's staff, reached me and reported the enemy in between our commands, opposing his advance. At 3 a.m. I marched for Meherrin Station, on the Danville road, detaching parties at intervals to destroy the railroad, which was readily done by piling fence rails on the track lengthwise with the rail, which burned the string pieces and cross-ties so as to require the road to be newly relaid wherever it was destroyed. The advance halted early in the afternoon at Keysville, and continued the destruction of the road until late at night. The command was here joined by the Third Division.
Soon after daylight on the morning of the 25th the march was continued and the road destroyed to Roanoke Station. The depots at Drake's Station and Mossing Ford, and the large steam saw-mill at the latter place, as well as two other small saw-mills, were burned. A number of culverts and small bridges, the largest across the Little Roanoke River, were destroyed. At the Staunton River we found the enemy holding the large bridge on the opposite bank, strongly fortified with artillery. General Wilson directed me to make the attempt to burn the bridge. About 6 p.m. the First Brigade advanced on the right of the embankment leading toward the bridge, and the Second Brigade on the left. The attack was maintained for two or three hours, but failed with a loss of about 60 killed and wounded, among them a large proportion of officers. The bridge was strongly defended by a force quite as large as the assaulting party, with a river between them, a line of rifle-pits on the river-bank at the base of the bluff, another line below the crest of the bluff, and a line of redoubts on the summit of the bluff. Our forces had to advance on a double bottom land, commanded at every point by the enemy, and no shelter for our men. The heat was intense; a number of officers and men fell from sunstroke; the burning of the bridge was, therefore, reluctantly abandoned. My division held the position during the night, whilst the Third Division took the advance, moving eastward through Wylliesburg and Christianville. Roanoke Depot was destroyed by the rear guard. The enemy shelled the column after daylight without effect.
During the 26th, 27th and 28th the division was in rear, and was not molested seriously by the enemy, although small parties appeared and fired upon the rear of the column. About 1 o'clock on the morning of the 29th the division again took the advance, marching direct for