rons of the Sixth New York were left to protect the bridge over the Hardware River, and were relieved two days after by Colonel Pennington's brigade, of the Third Division, Major Farmer, commanding the detachment, having captured and destroyed in the meantime three wagons loaded with commissary stores and a number of horses and mules. The march from Warminster to Columbia, a distance of fifty-six miles, was made in seventeen hours, and was a most severe one, owing to the rain and mud encountered. The loss in horses was less than the severity of the march might be supposed to cause, and this loss was more than made up by animals captured on the route. Before reaching Columbia Captain Blunt, brigade inspector, with two orderlies, succeeded in capturing three of Fitz Lee's scouts with their horses, arms, and equipments. Arriving at Columbia strong scouting parties were at once sent out on the Richmond and Palmyra roads, and a small party sent back to acquaint General Merritt with the progress of the brigade. This party captured two rebels, with horses, arms, and equipments, near Scottsville. The detachment on Richmond road, fifteen men and one officer, proceeded to Cartersville, eleven miles down the river, to the site of the old bridge, and returned at night without seeing the enemy, after destroying a canal boat and a large amount of commissary stores. The information obtained by this detachment, as well as that sent to Palmyra, was all to the effect that Fitzhugh Lee's division of cavalry was south of the James River, marching toward Columbia in anticipation of our crossing there. According to orders received from General Merritt there was no destruction of property at Columbia, with the exception of breaching the canal. The brigade remained at Columbia until the arrival of the rest of the cavalry on the 10th of March, and then destroyed two naval camps int he vicinity, containing the following property: 1 valuable steam-engine, a great number of workmen's tools, and a large amount of dressed timber.
March 11, in compliance with orders from General Merritt the brigade proceeded to Goochland Court-House, for the destruction of Government property there. The march was commenced at 6 a. m. and Goochland reached at 1 p. m., the distance made being twenty miles.
The advance into Goochland was disputed by a squadron of fifty of the Seventh South Carolina, Gary's brigade, which was charged by Major Dinnin, with one squadron of the Ninth New York, and routed, Major Dinnin capturing an officer and thirteen enlisted men. A strong scouting party sent out on the river road advanced to within eighteen miles of Richmond, without meeting any opposition. The brigade destroyed all the canal locks between Columbia and Goochland, 10 in number; also 15 canal boats, most of them loaded with grain and commissary stores; 2,000 pounds of tobacco, 4 hogsheads of tobacco, 1 large warehouse, 1 dredge, 1 grist-mill, and 1 saw-mill. The jail at Goochland, in which Until soldiers had been imprisoned, was also burned. The command left Goochland at 6 p. m. and rejoined the cavalry at Columbia at midnight.
On the 12th the brigade marched with the cavalry command to within a short distance of Tolersville, on the Virginia Central Railroad, and camped, and the next day assisted in tearing up the track, burning the ties, and bending the rails as far as Frederick's Hall. Marched on the 14th to Beaver Dam, twelve miles; on the 15th to Taylorsville and returned, crossing the North Anna at 4 p. m. at lower ford, and camped at Mount Carmel Church. Continued the march next day and reached the White House without further incident March 19.