War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0038 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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with four batteries of artillery, rationed for six days, was sent to destroy the Weldon railroad and interrupt the enemy's communications. By night-fall of the 7th Major-General Warren reached Sussex Court-House, having crossed the Nottoway at Freman's Ford. On the 8th General Warren moved on the railroad, striking it at the crossing of the Nottoway, where he destroyed the bridge, 100 yards in length. Keeping his command well in hand, General Warren then moved down the road, effectually and completely destroying it as far as Belfield, on the Meherrin River, a distance of over sixteen miles. At Hicksfors, opposite Belfield, where General Warren arrived on the 10th, he found the enemy strongly posted, with artillery in position, prepared to defend the bridge over the Meherrin, and dispute the passage of the river. His supplies not justifying any delay, General Warren made no attempt to dislodge the enemy, but returned to camp through Sussex Court-House, arriving here on the 12th, sending his cavalry on his left up the railroad as far as Jarratt's Station. These movements of General Warren were unopposed by the enemy, except by his cavalry, which hovered around Warren's command, and with whom Gregg had several skirmishes. The day after General Warren moved, on the 8th, I dispatched a small command of cavalry down the Vaughan road to endeavor to ascertain the movements of the enemy. On arriving at Hatcher's Run the crossing was found obstructed and strongly guarded. On the 9th a division of infantry, under General Miles, was sent to Hatcher's Run, who succeeded by noon in forcing the passage and permitting the cavalry to cross; who were then thrown forward as far as the intersection of the Vaughan and Quaker roads. From prisoners and the contents of a mail captured on its way from Stony Creek it was satisfactorily ascertained that the enemy's cavalry had followed warren, and that on the 7th Hill's corps had moved to Dinwiddie Court-House. On the 10th the cavalry on the left reported hearing continuous artillery firing in the direction of Warren, and on the presumption of his being engaged Brevet Major-General Potter, commanding division, Ninth Corps, was sent in the direction of Sussex Court-House to communicate with and be in support of Warren. General Potter reached the Nottoway at Freeman's Ford by daylight on the 11th, and soon afterward, receiving intelligence of the return on Warren's column, returned to camp. During the progress of these operations the weather was extremely unfavorable. A violent hail storm occurring on the 9th, and the weather being extremely cold, caused much suffering to the men, and necessarily interrupted the progress of the expedition. The march of General Potter-s command during the night of the 10th, and in a heavy rain, was conducted in a most creditable manner. The march of General Potter's command in almost creditable manner. The result of the expedition was the complete destruction of sixteen miles of the railroad, preventing its use beyond Hickford, which, unless the damages are repaired, is in effect depriving the enemy from using it beyond Weldon. The whole expedition was well managed, and reflects credit on Major-General Warren and his command.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT.