MARCH 11-13, 1865.-Expedition from Fort Monroe into Westmoreland County, Va., and skirmish (12th) near Warsaw, Va.
Report of Colonel Samuel H. Roberts, One hundred and thirty-ninth New York Infantry.
HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, THIRD DIV., 24TH ARMY CORPS, ARMY GUN-BOAT CHAMBERLAIN,
Point Lookout, Md., March 13, 1865.
GENERAL: In my report of March 9* I had the honor to state my intention of starting the next morning for the Potomac and the vicinity of Coan River. The Northerner, being too unwieldy for the service required, was exchanged for the Massachusetts and the Pioneer. This change, together with the coaling, delayed me until the 11th instant, at which date the expedition again left Fortress Monroe at 8 a. m. We reached Piney Point, just above the Saint Mary's River, at dusk, and waited there for the slower boats to close up. It was my intention to land at Machodoc Bay and march first on the village of Montrose, but there being no place where troops could be landed rapidly the plan was changed, and 5 a. m. the next day we sailed up the Yeocomico River, and landed at Kinsale. The first boat-load of cavalry was sent out at once, and met the rebel cavalry pickets a mile from the village. The second boat-load of cavalry were hurried out, and at about 10 o'clock were followed by the infantry and ambulances. The route agreed upon was through a place called The Hague, and thence to Warsaw. The rebel cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Chapman, of Mosby's command, were constantly hovering about our column, and being splendidly mounted and familiar with the roads, were able to avoid collision with anything more than our advance and rear guard. About a mile from The Hague they made a slight stand, but were driven by our charge and chased into the village. At every cross-road the enemy would separate, each squad taking a different path, until our cavalry found themselves pursing only three men. These were captured and sent back toward the main column, but were retaken, together with a portion of their guard, on the way. Nothing was found at The Hague of any value. At the point where the skirmish commenced there was a blacksmith's shop and quite an extensive wheel-wright's establishment. These, with a graduary containing 500 bushels of wheat, were burned. I now decided to return. I could have marched through in any direction, but it seemed unwise to continue the risk of occasionally losing a few men when the damage inflicted on the enemy was so trifling and the results secured so unsubstantial. Four small store-houses, filled with grain, tobacco, and bacon, were destroyed, and twenty-six head of cattle and fifty sheep were driven before us on our march back to Kinsale. Abundant rations of fresh meat were issued to the troops, and at 11 p. m. I ordered a portion of them to re-embark. By 3 o'clock all were on board, and we dropped down to the mouth of the river, the army gun-boats throwing a few shells as a farewell present to the rebels, who were concealed in the background of woods.
*See p. 542.