War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0746 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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the Malvern Hill road, near the locality where, on the 13th instant, I had before discovered them. He supposed their force to be about 100 men, with a force of 1,500 cavalry some miles farther back. I also learned from the negro that a white man, residing also on the estate, named Richard Bully, was in daily communication with the enemy. On questioning Bully, I had reason to believe the negro correct, and on his refusing to take the oath of allegiance I arrested him and took him on board the vessel. After scouting the neighborhood for some distance around without discovering the enemy, I, at 1.30 p.m., returned on board, and getting under way steamed down the river as far as Ward's Creek. At 3 p.m. came about, and proceeded up the river again as far as Wilcox's Landing, where I came to alongside the wharf, and taking Lieutenants Hart and Nelson, with a party of men, went ashore. After searching thoroughly the plantation, I discovered in the houses of the two Mrs. Douthat's a number of sabers, saddles, bayonets, &c., which they asserted had been picked up at the old camping ground of the Army of the Potomac. Both these ladies' husbands are prisoners at Point Lookout. At 4 p.m. I returned on board. At 6 p.m. got under way and started down the river, and at 7.30 came to anchor above Kennon's Marsh. As I was desirous of effecting a landing during the night at Herring Creek, I remained at anchor here until 10.30 p.m., when I weighed anchor and started up the river. At 12.30 a.m. came to alongside the wharf above Herring Creek, and with Lieutenants Hart and Parkinson landed eighty men, consisting of fifty sailors and thirty marines. Immediately on landing I threw out a party of ten sailors as advanced scouts and skirmishers. Forming my main body I advanced cautiously after them. Immediately in front of the house the skirmish line, 200 yards in advance of the main body and 800 yards from the beach, encountered the enemy, consisting of about fifty cavalry, who received them with a brisk [fire] to which my men as promptly and as briskly replied. The moment I found my skirmishers engaged I ordered the marines to the right at double-quick, in order to take the enemy in flank, and with the sailors charged at a run in front. I am proud to say that on this occasion, as heretofore, my officers, and men seconded me with a zeal and alacrity beyond praise. On arriving at the scene of action I found the skirmish line falling back slowly. Reforming, we advanced down the road, the enemy retreating at full speed. They being all well mounted I was unable to come up with them, and I was reluctantly compelled to discontinue the pursuit. I regret to say that in the action with the skirmishers I had one man wounded in the foot. I now threw out pickets all around the building and roads leading from it, and, drawing my men up under shadow of the house, awaited the attack of the enemy. In this position I remained until 3 a.m., when I returned on board with all hands, and, getting under way, steamed over to the other side of the river and came to anchor opposite the plantation. At 5 a.m. I got under way and came to alongside the wharf, and sent Lieutenants Hart and Nelson ashore with a party to bring on board some refugee negroes and scout the neighborhood. While on shore they discovered two boats, containing twelve torpedoes, with their anchors and equipments, drawn up under the bushes on the beach. The oars in the boat were muffled, and from the fact that only two of the torpedoes had been landed, I am convinced that the party I had engaged the night previous had been engaged in the debarkation of the torpedoes when we interrupted them and drove them off. I immediately had the boats launched, the torpedoes that had been landed put on board, and