coming up to General Ayres' division, I massed in his rear until he moved off, then proceeded through Sussex Court-House to within about three-fourths of a mile of Freeman's Bridge, on the Nottoway River, when I received orders to mass and allow the trains and General Crawford's division to cross and to cover the same. Dispositions were accordingly made by throwing out the Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers as skirmishers on the Sussex Court-House road, and the Eighth New Jersey Volunteers on the Stony Point [Creek] road. Small squads of cavalry were seen on the flanks, evidently watching our movements, and for the purpose of picking up stragglers rather than with the intention of attacking. After passing all the command, with the exception of these two regiments and a section of Captain Stewart's battery, six shoots were fired as a parting salute, and by dark the last man was across the river without any hostile demonstration from the small force that followed our rear. Bivouacked at 8.30 about three miles north of Nottoway River on the Jerusalem plank road. Monday, December 12, moved at 7 a. m. along the Jerusalem plank road toward our old camping ground; reported at headquarters Second Army Corps at 2 p. m., and went into camp outside of the fortifications between the Halifax and Vaughan roads. As the division was not engaged with the enemy the operations were limited to forced marches of six days and nights, exposed to the most inclement weather of the season, the destruction of the railroad, and devastation of the country.
Officers and men performed the duty with alacrity, although at times suffering severely on account of extreme coldness of the weather. The first day's march was very severe on the command, being in the rear of the column, and having in one of my brigades many recruits and new men unused to marching caused many to straggle; consequently, they failed to arrive at the river before the bridge was taken up, and were therefore gathered up by the cavalry and returned to the headquarters of the corps.
My brigade and battery commanders, together with the officers of my staff, carried out all orders with promptness and zeal, and deserve commendation, as on many former occasions.
My loss, which was from straggling (as no casualties occurred where the men staid with their commands), was 2 killed, 2 wounded, and 25 missing; total of 29.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain F. T. LOCKE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifth Army Corps.
Numbers 78. Report of Lieutenant Charles F. Moore, Eighth New Jersey Infantry, Aide-de-Camp, of operations December 7-12.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, SECOND ARMY CORPS, December 16, 1864.
SIR: In compliance with instructions from the brevet major-general commanding, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this division from the 6th to the 12th instant:
About 3 o'clock on the afternoon of December 6, orders were received from headquarters Fifth Army Corps directing that the command be in