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Doc. 81. expedition on the Potomac.

headquarters, 3D Brig., 3D Div., 24TH Army Corps, Army gunboat Chamberlain, Point Lookout, Va., [Md.,] March 13, 1865.
General: In my report of March ninth, 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 eleventh instant, at which date the expedition again left Fortress Monroe at eight A. M. We reached Piney Point, just above the St. 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 at five A. M. the next day we sailed up the Yocomico 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 ten 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 a 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-roads the enemy would separate, each squad taking a different path, until our cavalry found themselves pursuing 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 wheelwright's establishment. These, with a granary containing five hundred 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 storehouses, filled with grain, tobacco, and bacon, were destroyed, and [518] 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 eleven P. M. I ordered a portion of them to reembark. By three o'clock all were on board, and we dropped down to the mouth of the river, the army gunboats throwing a few shells as a farewell present to the rebels, who were concealed in the background of woods.

The casualties, which were all among the cavalry, were one commissioned officer and five enlisted men wounded. Five cavalrymen were captured from us, including two of the wounded, and two of the enemy's men were captured and retained by us. Four citizens of suspicious antecedents, were also taken and brought away. The enemy followed us closely on our return, and twice charged our rear-guard, but were repulsed. It is not supposed that their loss was equal to ours. My prisoners I have turned over to the Provost-Marshal at Point Lookout, and my force is now on its way to the White House, as ordered. In closing my report, I desire to call to the notice of the Lieutenant-General commanding, the services of Captain James, Assistant Quartermaster at Fortress Monroe, who rendered me important aid with the utmost alacrity.

I enclose the report of Captain Harris, of the Mosswood, who was sent to patrol the Rappahannock during our operations on the north side of the river.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. H. Roberts, Colonel One Hundred and Thirty-ninth N. Y. Vols., Comd'g. Brigadier-General J. A. Rawlins, Chief of Staff to Lieutenant-General Commanding.

U. S. A. Gunboat Mosswood, White House, Va., March 14, 1865.
Captain: In compliance with orders received from General Roberts, on the eleventh instant, I proceeded up the Rappahannock river as far as Urbanna, where I awaited the arrival of the other gunboats. During the night I picked up a darkey, who informed me that the enemy had three pieces of artillery near Lowry's Point. On the morning of the twelfth instant, I was signalled by the steamer Morse, that she had been attacked by a shore battery. I immediately got under way, steamed up the river, found the Morse out of range of the battery, but continuing a heavy fire with her 100-pounder Parrott. When within three quarters of a mile from the battery I opened fire, which they returned briskly, their shot going over and far beyond us. After a spirited engagement of one hour and fifteen minutes they were compelled to withdraw. I laid off and on, but finding that they did not reappear, I dropped down the river and anchored. The steamer Commodore Reed, Lieutenant-commander Hooker, then came in sight. Captain Hooker requested me to drop down the river and ascertain if there were any guns at Jones' Point, also to communicate with your forces if possible. During the night I received orders to report at this place; where I arrived at four o'clock P. M.

I am much indebted to the naval forces for lying by me while my vessel was ashore, and assisting me in getting afloat.

I am, Captain,your obedient servant,

Arnold Harris, Commanding.

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