HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
In the Field, December 31, 1864.
Captain Sawtell was directed by me to go upon the expedition for the purpose of getting paving stones for the streets. His parole is not binding, and he will resume his duties.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
DECEMBER 6 - 10, 1864. - Expedition from Portsmouth, Va., to Hertford, N. C.
Report of Major Harrison G. O. Weymouth, First U. S. Volunteer Infantry.
PROVOST - MARSHAL'S OFFICE,
Portsmouth, Va., December 10, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that the command you were pleased to honor me with for the purpose of arresting a band of guerrillas was entirely successful. We left Portsmouth on the morning of the 6th instant. Captain Carroll, of the Twentieth New York Cavalry, the officer detailed to report to me, was to join me at Deep Creek at 9 a. m., but failed to arrive there until 10.30, which consequently delayed our march half a day. The command left Deep Creek at 10.30 a. m., reaching South Mills, N. C., at 2 p. m. There I halted the command, baited the horses, then took up my line of march direct for New' Brigade. Bivouacked for the night two miles and a half beyond South Mills and posted my pickets. We remained here until daybreak next morning and resumed our march. About 6 a. m. we captured a man, who claimed to belong to the ram Albemarle, and who stated that himself and fifteen others of the crew of that vessel came through that section of the country on a raid, their principal object being the capture of cotton. This man, being sick, had been hiding in the woods, while his companions, he supposed, had crossed the Chowan River, and it was his intention to do so also. I think he is worthy of the notice of the commanding general. Resuming our march, we went as far as the forks of the road this side of Newby's Bridge, where I detached Lieutenant Wilcox with twenty-five men to go down within half a mile of Hertford, on this side of the river, with instructions to remain there until I communicated with him at Hertford, while I, with the remainder of the command, crossed the Perquimans River. Went direct to Hertford and communicated with him. Here I remained during the night and made it the headquarters of the detachment. The citizens were very accommodating, readily furnishing us with forage and rations.
Next morning at daybreak I ordered Lieutenant Wilcox and twenty-five men to proceed to Elizabeth City with the prisoners and cattle that we had captured, while I, with twenty men, scoured the country between Hertford and Edenton, where I arrested most of the guerrillas. Returning to Hertford at 3 p. m., after baiting the horses, I recrossed the river at Hertford and took up my line of march to Elizabeth City to join Lieutenant Wilcox's detachment. I remained here until the following morning, and then started for Northwest Lock, arriving there at 9 p. m., where the command, with the prisoners, remained until 8 o'clock to-day.