War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0487 Chapter LVIII. EXPEDITION TO PETERSBURG, VA.

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of destruction on the canal was prosecuted with great vigor. All locks from Goochland to Duguidsville were destroyed during the time the command operated in this country; also immense quantities of rebel Government stores, tobacco, cotton, and subsistence stores were issued to the command or destroyed. The officers and men of the First Division worked with great energy, marching all day over the worst possible roads, and working early and late for the complete accomplishment of the object of the expedition. Great credit is due General Devin and his energetic brigade commanders for their untiring zeal in carrying out the orders given them at this time. Besides the locks, the aqueduct over the mouth of the The River was destroyed, and the canal cut down and injured for miles.

On the 10th of March the command moved to Columbia. The idea of crossing the James River and pushing still farther south was abandoned, for the reason that the enemy had destroyed the bridges on the James River, thus rendering the crossing impracticable, and the fact that, owing to the bad condition of the roads and the reduced condition of the reams and animals of the command, it was not thought feasible to pursue that route. Colonel Fitzhugh's brigade was detached on the night of the 8th of March to precede the command to Columbia, and thence send a force down the river as far as Goochland. His command made an elegant march to the point designated, fully accomplishing the objects for which it had been sent out. During the 11th of March the command remained at Columbia, resting and awaiting the arrival of the wagon trains. Reports were furnished at that time of the amount of property destroyed, captured, & c.

On the 12th of March the march toward the Virginia Central Railroad was resumed. The two divisions marched on different roads, the Third Division having orders to occupy the railroad in the neighborhood of Frederick's Hall Station by night. This was done by General Custer, who detached a brigade for the purpose. The fords on the South Anna River were very bad, but after some repairing the command was crossed without trouble, and reached the Central railroad, at Tolersville, on the 13th of March. Here the First Division commenced the work of destruction on the railroad, while the Third Division prosecuted the same work at Frederick's Hall Station and beyond. Quite a number of miles of track were effectually destroyed.

March 14, the command marched south for the purpose of destroying the bridges over the South Anna and Little Rivers. General Custer directed his march over Ground Squirrel bridge, while General Devin moved directly along the railroad to the South Anna. The bridges were taken possession of and destroyed after a brisk skirmish with the guards at the bridge, in which the Fifth U. S. Cavalry did splendid service. Three pieces of artillery and a number of prisoners were captured. The Third Division pushed south as far as Ashland, while the First Division, after completely destroying the bridges, crossed the river with a view to moving to Hanovere Court-House. As it soon became apparent that the enemy in considerable force (Pickett's division and part of Longstreet's corps) were moving to intercept us on our march to the army of the Potomac, the command recrossed the South Anna and moved on the north bank of the Pamunkey to White House Landing. This point was reached on the 18th of March. Here ample supplies were found for the command, and the time was busily occupied in refitting.

On the 25th of March the command resumed the march to the Army of the Potomac, which it joined on the 27th of March.