(Received 2.15 a.m., 5th.)
Upon being notified of the intended movement of General Kilpatrick, I ordered Colonel West to take 2,000 infantry, 1,000 cavalry, and a battery of artillery, and to march to New Kent Court-House, and remain there to render such aid as might be necessary to General Kilpatrick. Colonel West reports to me his return, as follows:
We captured going and coming a few guerrillas. Colonel Spear met General Davies at Tunstall's Station, and I met General Kilpatrick about 4 miles beyond New Kent Court-House. My outpost reported heavy musketry firing in the direction of the York River Railroad, and I was on my way out with cavalry, infantry, and artillery to render such assistance as I could when we met the two columns coming in. My instructions did not authorize me to go beyond New Kent Court-House, but as they were not very definite I thought the circumstances justified, me in exceeding them to the extent I did. Duncan's colored brigade* performed a march of 42 miles in twenty-two hours, the first part of which was made during a heavy rain-storm. The roads were thus rendered very bad for foot-men. No loss is reported save the slight wounding of 1 colored soldier by a bushwhacker. The cavalry did well. Colonel Spear reports the destruction by him of a large saw-mill, containing new engine and about 20,000 feet of lumber; also a large baggage-car, some trestle-work, and a portion of the railroad track. This at Tunstall's Station, on the York River Railroad, on the 2d instant.
ROBT. M. WEST,
B. F. BUTLER,
Major- General, Commanding.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
-The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.; Series 1- Volume 33
* the 4th, 5th and 6th United States Colored Troops