on the morning of June fourth, arrived at Yorktown, on board the United States steamer Commodore Morris, Lieutenant Commanding Gillis; United States steamer Commodore Jones, Lieutenant Commanding Mitchell; the army gunboat Smith Briggs, and the transport Winnissimmet. The expedition proceeded to Walkerton, about twenty miles above West-Point, on the Mattapony River, where it arrived at two A. M. of the fifth. Here the troops were landed and marched to Aylett's, where the objects of the expedition were successfully accomplished, and the foundery, with all its machinery, together with mills, grain, etc., destroyed. The land forces also destroyed grain at other places, and captured horses, mules, and cattle, and at half-past 5 P. M. reembarked. The vigilant dispositions of Lieutenant Commanding Gillis kept the river below clear, and the rebels attempting demonstrations at several points on the banks were dispersed by the gunboats. The navy had no casualties. Admiral Lee thinks the entire success of the expedition owing in a great measure to our evacuation of West-Point only five days before, thus precluding the probability of any movement in that direction, and throwing the enemy off his guard. The following is
Lieut. Com. Gillis's report.
U. S. Gunboat Commodore Morris, off Yorktown, Va., June 6, 1863.. . . At eight P. M [on the fourth] . . . we started up the York River, passing West-Point at forty-five minutes past ten, without noticing any thing that would indicate the presence of the enemy. . . . We arrived at Walkerton at two A. M. The troops were landed with all expedition, and reached their destination (Aylett's) at eight A. M. At that place they found the information they had previously received was correct in every particular, and the work of destruction was soon accomplished. An immense amount of machinery of all kinds, and also a very large quantity of flour and grain, which was in a large flouring mill belonging to the rebel government, was soon rendered useless. Colonel Levis then started on his way back, stopping at different places to destroy grain, capture horses, mules, and cattle. . . . Having received information that the rebels were making preparations to obstruct the river at Mantapoke, I sent the Smith Briggs down at two P. M. to keep the river clear, and to remain at that place until my arrival. Captain Lee, of that vessel, reports that when he came in sight of Mantapoke there were about sixty or seventy rebels collected on the bluff at Indiantown, but a few shell dispersed them. . . . . . I am happy to state that so far as the naval portion of the expedition was concerned, every thing passed off in the most admirable manner, and without a single casualty. . . . The land forces were not so fortunate--one man being killed and two wounded, also one missing; but, in consideration of the fact that Longstreet's corps was at or near Newton, ten miles from Aylett's, and Pickett's division at the White House, twelve miles from where we landed, I think they were as fortunate as could be expected. . . .
A National account.
Yorktown, Va., June 6, 1863.We have just returned from one of those interesting little expeditions through King William County, Va., that are now termed raids. The whole affair was a perfect success. It was carried out in a soldierly way, and one of the most satisfactory features of the affair was the absence of plundering and pilfering, which on too many former occasions have been permitted to a fearful extent. While our forces were at West-Point, Major-General Keyes proposed the expedition, and the coast being clear for operations, an expedition was gotten up and put in execution during the past few days. The following orders were issued to guide those in command:
headquarters Fourth army corps, Fort Yorktown, Va., June 4, 1863.A combined expedition of land and naval forces will leave this place at six o'clock this P. M., for the purpose of destroying a foundery at a point on the Mattapony River, some ten miles above Walkerstown. The land forces will consist of four hundred infantry--one hundred each from the Fourth Delaware, One Hundred and Sixty-eighth New-York, and One Hundred and Sixty-ninth and One Hundred and Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania drafted militia — assisted by three gunboats and a transport under Lieutenant Commanding Gillis. The main purpose of the expedition is to destroy the foundery, where it is said that shot and shell and other instruments of rebellion are manufactured. In addition to that, all collections of supplies for the rebel army will be captured or destroyed. Horses and mules fit for the saddle and for draught, also sheep, cattle, and swine fit for slaughter, will be captured as far as practicable. It is strictly forbidden, however, to take any thing or to destroy and thing not useful to troops in the field. As the expedition is intended to penetrate far within the enemy's lines, the infantry are expected to set out with a determination to achieve success at any cost. Volunteers will be called for to move at thirty minutes notice, and the commanding officer will be designated at the moment of departure. The men will carry nothing but their overcoats, canteens and cartridgeboxes, with at least fifty rounds per man.
E. D. Keyes, Major-General Commanding Fourth Army Corps.