War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0459 Chapter LVIII. EXPEDITION TO SMITHFIELD, VA.

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wounded, which they carried off with them. I have strengthened the picket-lines, and sent a strong force to re-enforce the reserves. I will render a good account of them if they come again. All is quiet at present.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JULIUS C. HICKS,

Major Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, Commanding Post.

FEBRUARY 11 - 15, 1865. - Expedition from Bermuda Hundred to Fearnsville and Smithfield, Va.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Franklin A. Stratton, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, KAUTZ'S CAVALRY DIVISION,

In the Field, Va., February 16, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of the Second Brigade, Cavalry Division, while under your command during the late expedition:

In obedience to your instructions, received through Lieutenant Benson, aide-de-camp, at Bermuda Hundred, I embarked my command at that place on the 11th instant, and proceeded to Fort Powhatan, where I disembarked and went into bivouac for the night.

On the morning of the 12th I left Fort Powhatan for Burwell's Bay, where my instructions directed me to communicate with the gun-boats. My force consisted of 460 officers and men. I arrived at Burwell's Bay at sundown, and failing to find the gun-boats bivouacked for the night. I waited there until 10 o'clock the next morning, and was then about to proceed to the lower point of the bay to search for the expected boats, when I received your orders, through Lieutenant Benson, dated the 12th, directing me to proceed to Fearnsville and thence to Smithfield. I immediately started on the route indicated. At Fearnsville I found no indications of the enemy. There were no pickets on the Blackwater River in that vicinity. I marched thence to Smithfield, where I arrived about an hour after dark. The inhabitants reported to me that you had been there but had left some hours previous. The late hour at which I received your order at Burwell's Bay rendered it impracticable to reach Smithfield sooner than the time mentioned.

On the 14th I marched to near Cabin Point; on the 15th to Fort Powhatan, and thence, in obedience to further instructions received from you, via Point of Rocks, to the camp of the Cavalry Division, where I arrived at midnight, having been five days out.

During the entire expedition nothing was seen of the enemy, excepting a few men who were observed at a distance by the rear guard on two or three occasions. I am satisfied that no body of the enemy had crossed the Blackwater up to the 14th instant. Careful observations of the roads and inquiry among the negroes failed to discover the least evidence of any rebel force, except what is called the signal corps. This consists of about thirty men scattered along the James from Burwell's Bay to Smithfield, for the purpose of watching the river. They were reported to have left early on the morning of the 14th for the right bank of the Blackwater. I was unable to capture any of them. One