War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0612 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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At this point the Third Brigade, Bvt. Brigadier General C. H. Smith commanding, was sent to destroy the Nottoway railroad bridge. This was speedily accomplished, the enemy having fled upon our approach. The march was continued toward Jarratt's Station. As the rear brigade (Second), Bvt. Brigadier General J. Irvin Gregg commanding, was about turning upon the Halifax road an attack was made by the enemy's cavalry from the direction of Bolling's Bridge. The attacking force was the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, which regiment was driven back to the Nottoway by the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Major A. P. Duncan commanding. At about the same time a small body of cavalry moved down a road which my command had passed and picketed. The pickets were driven in and for a short time the road between the rear of my command and the head of the infantry column was interrupted by the presence of a small party of the enemy and re-established the connection. After this my command moved down the Halifax road two miles and began destroying the railroad, which was accomplished for a distance of about one mile. When the advance of the infantry, now fairly employed in the complete destruction of the railroad [sic]. My command continued to march along the Halifax road, making occasional halts, so as not to be too far in advance of the working parties of infantry.

At Three Creeks the enemy had posted upon the south bank two small field guns and about 200 cavalry. To prevent our advance the road bridge had been chopped down, the railroad bridge set on fire: all the ford had been obstructed by felling timber across them. After a short delay the Tenth New York Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Avery commanding, was crossed, dismounted, and the enemy driven away. A ford was soon cleared, the First and Third Brigades crossed, and the march continued to Hicksford. The Second Brigade, having effected a crossing some two miles above at Jones' Mill, advanced from that point upon Hicksford. The First New Jersey Cavalry, in advance of the First Brigade, drove a considerable force of the enemy's cavalry into the first line of works on the north bank of the Meherrin, and then, having been dismounted, continued to advance until in possession of the enemy's rifle-pits. A gallant charge was made by the First Massachusetts Cavalry, mounted. The regiments of the First Brigade speedily compelled the retirement of the enemy to the south side of the river. From three redoubts on the bank of the river the enemy opened a fire from nine pieces of artillery. Major-General Warren, commanding, having joined me at this time, it was directed by him that no farther advance should be made, but such of my command as could be spared should be employed in destroying the railroad.

At daylight on the following morning my command recrossed the Three Creeks. The Second Brigade was sent in advance of the infantry on the return march. On leaving Three Creeks, General Smith's (Third) brigade was attacked in rear by the enemy. A strong force, mounted and dismounted, with two pieces of artillery, pressed the rear guard for three or for miles, but a well organized rear, consisting of the Twenty-first Pennsylvania, First Maine, and a section of Dennison's Horse Battery (A, Second U. S. Artillery), was more than enough to prevent any advantage to the enemy. Five miles below Jarratt's Station, with the First and Third Brigades, I separated from the infantry column, continuing on the Halifax road, the infantry having taken a direct road to the right leading to Sussex. At Jarratt's Station