Numbers 304. Report of Captain William H. Whitner, Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army, of operations July 30.
HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON'S DIVISION, August 31, 1864.
GENERAL: In obedience to your instructions, received yesterday afternoon, I have made inquiries on the various points, and respectfully report--
First. The mine sprung on Pegram's salient on the 30th ultimo did blow up a considerable portion of the main parapet-more than half. This is the concurrent testimony of the officers of Elliott's brigade. The two left guns of Pegram's battery were thrown by the explosion-one at least twenty yards and the other forty yards-from the point they were in position. The last still remains where it was thrown. This proves that the main parapet was blown up.
Second. The statement of the distance from the barricade erected by the Twenty-second and Twenty-third South Carolina Regiments on the right to the crater is, as ascertained by actual measurement, eighty-eight yards.
Third. There is a great diversity of opinion as to the time the first charge was made by General Mahone. But one officer of the division spoke with certainty-Colonel McMaster, Seventeenth Regiment South Carolina troops. His written statement* is inclosed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. WHITNER,
Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General.
Major General B. R. JOHNSON.
Numbers 305. Report of Major E. Pliny Bryan, Assistant Adjutant-General, C. S. Army, of operations July 14-17.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF N. CAROLINA AND SOUTHERN VA., July 18, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on Thursday evening last I started with a torpedo expedition from Chaffin's farm for the James River. At first I intended to operate on Harrison's Bar, near Berkeley (the place I selected sometime since), but finding Doctor Fretwell had selected the same place and for the same purposes, and being informed by him that he was ready to operate and was acting under the orders of General R. E. Lee, I made a reconnaissance lower down the river and selected Westover. Everything being ready, the expedition embarked Saturday at sunset from a point on Herring Creek, near Rowland's Mill, and reached the river at Westover about midnight, where a guard of twenty-five dismounted cavalrymen, under the command of Captain Caldwell, was stationed. About 1 o'clock, and just as the expedition was in the act of leaving the shore, a steamer was heard coming up the river. As several others had passed, no particular attention was paid to this one. The boats were, as previously, kept close to the shore in the shadow of some bushes. It soon became evident that the steamer intended making a landing at Westover, which she did, and immediately put a force on shore. Several shots were exchanged between the enemy and our men, when the enemy deployed a