my request Commander Macomb, the senior naval officer in the Sounds, sent the gun-boat Whitehead, Acting Master Barrett commanding, with the command, which went up the river as far as Manning's Neck, almost communicating with our cavalry, which was at work on the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad. Lieutenant Ward succeeded in bringing away about 110 bales of cotton, nearly 200 boxes of tobacco, and 150 boxes of cotton yarn. In addition to this he destroyed all the rebel commissary supplies at Winton, with the exception of some thousands of pounds, which were brought away, and he captured the propeller Arrow, which was captured on the canal last year. The steamer is in good order. She had just landed a load of cotton at Gatesville, and this also was captured. The rebels brought a battery down to Winton, and they made some little fight at Colerain, but our people sustained no damage. The report to-day is that a boat expedition is being organized to come down the Trent River. If they come we will be prepared for them. Lieutenant Ward and the officers with him deserve great credit for the manner in which the affair was managed, and I shall take occasion to thank Commander Macomb for the assistance rendered on the occasion.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,
Major General B. F. BUTLER,
Commanding Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, Fort Monroe, Va.
I take leave to forward to Lieutenant-General Grant this report, which shows that sixty men and a little gun-boat went by water within twenty miles of the Weldon road. This will do good, as it will lead the enemy to think that any other expedition is only a cotton raid.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,