Major Wagner, Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, with 250 picked men, was detached with orders to proceed to Salem, Va., and from that point to destroy the railroad bridges as far east as possible, and then rejoin the command wherever it might be. At 2 p.m. the march was resumed in the direction of Christiansburg, at which [place] we arrived at 12 p.m. On the morning of the 5th Colonel Palmer, commanding First Brigade, was ordered to destroy the railroad track east of Christiansburg, whilst Brown's brigade did the same to the west. The Eleventh Kentucky Cavalry was sent to take possession of the railroad bridge and ferries over New River, and the Tenth Michigan Cavalry to destroy the bridges over the Roanoke. Both these regiments performed the duty assigned them promptly and effectually. At this time at least ninety miles of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad was in our possession, viz, from Wytheville to Salem. During the 6th the command was actively engaged in destroying the railroad, and by 4 p.m. of that day the bridge over New River had been disabled by cutting away two tents. The iron and cross-ties for twenty miles east of the bridge were destroyed, as well as numerous bridges on the Roanoke River, and our horses had been refreshed by two days' rest. Colonel Miller reported that he had destroyed the bridges at Reedy Creek and Max Meadows, and a large depot of commissary, quartermaster's, and ordnance supplies, among which were a large amount of ammunition and 10,000 pounds of powder, and that in compliance with his instructions he had recrossed the New River at Porter's Ferry and awaited further orders. Colonel Miller reported that he had been attacked by the enemy with infantry and cavalry at Wytheville, but had repulsed, them and withdrew with a loss of thirty-five men killed, wounded, and missing. He was directed to move to Hillsville and thence to Taylorsville, Va. At 8 p.m. on the evening of the 6th the command moved out of Christiansburg in the direction of Jacksonville, at which place we arrived at 10 a.m. on the 7th. Colonel Palmer, commanding the First Brigade, had been directed to send the Tenth Michigan Cavalry directly from its position on the railroad to Martinsville, Va. By some misunderstanding of the order he marched by way of Kennedy's Gap with his entire brigade to Martinsville. At 2 p.m. the march was resumed, and at 10 p.m. we arrived at Taylorsville, Va. Remained at Taylorsville during the 8th. Miller's brigade joined at 10 a.m. Orders were sent to Palmer to move his brigade to Danbury, N. C. Marched to Danbury on the 9th. Found abundance of tithe corn. Palmer's brigade joined the Tenth Michigan Cavalry. On approaching Martinsville had found it occupied by about 250 of Wheeler's rebel cavalry, whom they attacked and drove out, killing and wounding several and capturing 20 horses, losing 1 officer killed and 5 men wounded.
On the 10th we moved south, arriving at Germantown at 12 m. The number of negroes who were following the column had increased to such an extent as to endanger the safety of the command in case it should become closely engaged with the enemy. Several hundred were sent from this point to East Tennessee under a sufficient guard for their protection. They all reached their destitution in safety, and most of those fit for military service, I have since learned, are now in Colonel Bartlett's One hundred and nineteenth, U. S. Colored Troops. From Germantown Colonel Palmer was detached with his brigade and instructed to proceed to Salem and destroy the large factories engaged in making clothing for the rebel army, and thence send out parties to destroy the railroad south of Greensborough, and that one party should attempt to cut the road between Greensborough and Danville, and after executing