five hours, my horses and men being very much jaded and the wagons had been sent off the day before, leaving no forage or rations. (I had received no orders to have any cooked rations on hand.)
Captain Zimmerman joined me here (McBride's), and the depth of water in Whippy Swamp again necessitated a detour to the left, and in addition the condition of the bridges over it delayed me for some time. I crossed the bridge here this morning, having reached the other bank at 10 last night, and found it in a most shattered conditiion. My command is very much jaded, and I would like to let horses and men have a little rest if consistent with circumstances. I shall at once try to familiarize myself with crossings of the river above this. I received some dispatches from you this morning. Captain Heyward had just gone, and I sent them on to him. Captain H. reached here yesterday at 12 m. Colonel Colcock ordered [him this] morning to report with his command to him at McTier's above Brailsfordville (which is above McPhersonville). He left with about forty of the squadron, so that now there is nothing here but my command. Captain Heyward sent the dispatch for General Wheeler directly on. I am informed by Captain Heyward that it is twenty-one miles from here to Midway on the South Carolina Railroad. Would it not be well to establish a line of couriers to that point? I am much in need of some stores from the ordnance department, for which I have required on Captain Smith; do have me informed so soon as they arrive. If they have not already been ordered to Green Pond would it not be better to order them sent to Midway? Do have this letter conveyed to Captain Brown; be pleased to read it.
The last information received from the enemy was through some scouts of Captain Heyward's, whom he left behind. They came to me yesterday at McBride's Store and told me [that at] 10 the night previous the enemy advanced at Coosawhatchie in considerable orce, both cavalry and infantry, and that they were chased for a mile, &c. I sent one of them on here to report to Captain Heyward and the other two back to obtain something definite.
I must request that scarcity of paper may be an excuse for writing upon so many subjects on the same sheet. I feel that the efficiency of command would be augmented very much by turning in the Blakely which Zimmerman has. It is useless with the ammunition we have or that can be made in this country, and the horses are much needed. He has four Napoleons. Can't I turn it in and send it to Midway?
I have, captain, the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. E. EARLE,
Captain, Commanding Battery Light Artillery
HEADQUARTERS HUMES'CAVALRY DIVISION,
Cypress Creek, S. C., January 16, 1865.
Lieutenant M. G. HUDSON,
LIEUTENANT: To-day about 12 m. about one regiment of Yankee cavalry drove my pickets back to Gilhsonville. I have sent to ascertain the particulars. A portion of Colcock's regiment came up this morning and reported that a Yankee raiding party-they did not know the numbers-came up from below Grahamville toward Grahamville. I do not think they will advance farther to-day.
Very respectfully, lieutenant, your obedient servant,
W. Y. C. HUMES,