March 9, at 1 p. m. the First and Second Brigades marched in rear of the train by the river road, via Warminster, to a point near Howardsville, where the command crossed the canal by a bridge and advanced upon the towpath to Scottsville. This was a most harassing and fatiguing march to the already hard-worked command. The wagons were greatly impeded by the horrible state of the roads, and the men were alternately halting and marching until daybreak, when the command reached Scottsville.
March 10, after resting two hours to feed and groom the animals the First Brigade was ordered to follow the train on the towpath to Columbia. The Reserve Brigade, with division headquarters, marched by the Back road, and the command encamped at Columbia at 10 p. m. While en route the First Brigade destroyed all the locks between Scottsville and Columbia, 8 in number, together with 13 canal bridges, 4 flouring mills, 5 warehouses, lumber-yard, tobacco, cotton, & c.
March 11, at 3 p. m. the division crossed the Rivanna River and encamped beyond Columbia, on the road to Louisa Court-House. The Second Brigade here joined the division, having marched and
returned from Goochland Court-House, destroying all canal locks, 10 in number, between Goochland and Columbia, 15 canal boats loaded with grain and commissary stores, 4,000 pounds of tobacco, 1 saw-mill, 1 grist-mill, 1 dredge, 1 warehouse, and the fail at Goochland, and capturing, in a charge, 1 officer and 13 men of the Seventh South Carolina Cavalry. While at Goochland Colonel Fitzhugh scouted to within eighteen miles of Richmond.
March 12, the command marched by Yanceyville to the north bank of the South Anna and encamped, the First Brigade fording the river and the Second and Reserve Brigades, with the wagon trains, crossing the bridge two and a half miles east.
March 13, the division marched to Tolersville, on the Central Railroad. Nearly the whole available force of the command was at once set to work destroying the railroad by ripping up and burning the ties, and heating, bending, and twisting the rails. The road was rendered useless from Tolersville to near Frederick's Hall, where the division encamped at 10 p. m. A large tannery at the former place was also destroyed by the Fifth U. S. Cavalry attached to division headquarters.
March 14, I was ordered to march with the First and Second Brigades and strike the Central Railroad bridge over South Anna. I reached Taylorsville, eighteen miles distant, at 4 p. m., and immediately ordered the Second Massachusetts Cavalry to advance and destroy the bridge, which was three miles to the left. I ordered the Fifth U. S. Cavalry to follow and cover the Second Massachusetts and charge the bridge, if there was any opposition, and if it could be crossed. I at the same time directed the Sixth Pennsylvania to advance to the long bridge on the Fredericksburg railroad, which was directly in my front, and to destroy that structure. The Sixth U. S. Cavalry was ordered to cover the work. Major Drew, of the division staff, accompanied the Fifth U. S. Cavalry, and Major Dana, assistant adjutant-general, the Sixth Pennsylvania. The Fifth U. S. [Cavalry], taking a different route, reached the bridge before the Second Massachusetts, and the advance, under Lieutenant Hastings, dismounting, charged across the bridge, routed the enemy from behind his works, capturing three 3-inch rifled guns, with caissons, & c. The enemy rallied 800 yards in front and attempted to charge, but the gallant Fifth loaded and turned his own guns upon him, and a few rounds sufficed to drive him from the field.