his entire command, and Col. S. D. Lee, Lieut. Col. John T. Thornton
(Third Virginia Cavalry), Captain Berkeley, and Lieutenant White, of
same regiment, behaved with conspicuous gallantry, handling their
commands admirably, but all deserve special praise at my hands. My
staff present rendered valuable service.
I submit herewith a sketch of this expedition by my engineer, Capt.
W. W. Blackford, C. S. Engineers, &c.*
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. B. STUART,
Major -General, Commanding.
Brig. Gen. E. H. CHILTON,
Adjt. and Insp. Gen., Hdqrs. Army of Northern Virginia.
AUGUST 5-8, 1862. Expeditions from Fredericksburg to Frederick s Hall
Station and Spotsylvania Court-House, Va., with skirmishes.!
No. 1. Brig. Gen. Rufus King, U. S. Army.
No. 2. Brig. Gen. John Gibbon, U. S. Army.
No. 3. Col. Lysander Cutler, Sixth Wisconsin Infantry.
No. 4. Capt. J. Albert Monroe, Battery D, First Rhode Island Light Artillery.
Report of Brig. Gen. Rufus King, U. 8. Army.
HEADQUARTERS KING S DIVISION,
Fredericksburg, Va. 7 August 6, 186210.30 a. m.
COLONEL : General Gibbon s column, which went out on the Tele
graph road, fell in with the enemy in considerable force, artillery and
cavalry, yesterday morning. Some skirmishing took place, the enemy
retiring as our artillery opened. The heat was so intense that it was
* To appear in Atlas.
t See also Stuart s reports of expedition from Hanover Court-House, etc., p. 18.
122 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. [CHAP. XXIV.
impossible for either horses or men to march fast or far. Only one man
was hurt on our side.
I apprehend that the alarm of Gibbon s advance has spread to the
rear, and that re-enforcements will be sent up to protect the railroad at
Hanover Junction. I have directed General Gibbon, in such an event,
to return to camp.
The other column, on the Spotsylvania Court-House road, had got
out 22 miles without seeing any enemy. They hoped to reach the rail
road this morning.
General Hatch, with a supporting column, moved out about 12 miles
last evening. He will fall back when Gibbon returns. I presum e the
whole force will be in camp again by to-morrow.
Two deserters came in from Gordons ville this morning. I transmit
their statements.* They were both sick of the service and ready to take
the oath. They reside near here, and were sworn and paroled.
General Eeno and twelve of General Burnside s regiments are here.
General Stevens, with seven more regiments, will be up to-day. Gen
eral Burnside telegraphs that he will be here himself this afternoon.
Captain McMahon s battery will be inspected to-day and the reports
transmitted to headquarters.
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
Chief of Staff, Third Army Corps, Culpeper, Va.
Report of Brig. Gen. John Gibbon, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS GIBBON S BRIGADE,
Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va., August 9, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that pursuant to General King s
instructions I left here on the 5th instant with a force for the purpose
of destroying the Virginia Central Eailroad. Dividing the party I sent
Colonel Cutler with his regiment (the Sixth Wisconsin), the Harris
Cavalry, and a section of Gerrish s (New Hampshire) battery out on
the Spotsylvania Court-House road while I proceeded out the Tele
graph road with the Second and Seventh Wisconsin, the Nineteenth
Indiana, and the Third Indiana Cavalry, and Monroe s (Rhode Island)
At Thornburg, 15 miles from here, the cavalry in advance was fired
upon with a 6-pounder gun and driven back by a cavalry force, whose
advance was stopped by a few shots from our skirmishers and four or
five shells from Monroe s guns. The day was intensely hot and many
of the infantry completely prostrated, so that I was unable to proceed
farther in the afternoon, as I intended.
The next day the march was resumed, some 60 or 70 disabled men
being left with General Hatch, who had come forward with the reserve.
After marching 7 miles I received reliable information that General
Stuart, with a larger force than my own, was moving up the Bowling
Green road. All prospect of surprising the enemy at the railroad was
* Not found.
CHAP. XXIV.] EXPEDITIONS FROM FREDERICKSBURG, VA. 123
over, even could I have reached it that day, which the condition of the
infantry and the intense heat rendered out of the question. The cav
alry could not be depended upon for making the attempt alone. I
therefore decided to return, first sending a part of the cavalry across
to a road on our right to get in the rear of a party reported to be there
by a cavalry picket I sent out on that road in the morning. I also sent
a company of cavalry across to examine the Bowling Green road. Just
before reaching our camp of the night before, the enemy s guns were
heard in General Hatch s rear, and I pushed forward and reported to
him for duty.
The next day I crossed to the Spotsylvania Court-House road to pro
tect, if necessary, the retreat of Colonel Cutler. The command returned
to camp yesterday.
I refer to Colonel Cutler s report for information in regard to his part
of the expedition, which was completely successful.
I cannot refer in too high terms to the conduct of Colonel Cutler.
To his energy and good judgment, seconded as he was ty his fine regi
ment, the success of the expedition is entirely due.
Fifty-nine men are missing from my brigade, most of whom are be
lieved to have been captured by the enemy s cavalry while on their
way into town in wagons. They were the men disabled by the first
day s march, left behind by me, and sent back by General Hatch.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
Capt. E. CHANDLER,
Assistant Adjutant- General, King s Division.
Report of Col. Lysander Cutler, Sixth Wisconsin Infantry.
HDQRS. SIXTH EEGIMENT WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS,
Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va., August 9, 1862.
SIR: In obedience to a verbal order received by me from General
Gibbon on the evening of the 4th instant, instructing me to move with
my regiment, the Harris Light Cavalry, and a section of artillery at 2
o clock the next morning, and to endeavor to reach the railroad running
from Eichmond to Gordonsville and destroy the same, I moved from
my camp at the time indicated by him. At Fredericksburg I was joined
by a section of the First New Hampshire Artillery, under Lieutenant
Edgell, and after marching out on the plank road about 5 miles was
joined by eight companies of the Harris Light Cavalry, commanded by
Colonel Davies. I then turned over the immediate command of my
regiment to Lieutenant-Colonel Bragg, and took command of the force
above named. I then moved forward to a cross-road leading to Spot
sylvania Court-House, when I left the plank road and proceeded by
what proved to be a very serpentine road to the Court-House, arriving
there at 11 a. m., where I halted to rest, having marched about 19 miles.
I remained until 5 o clock p. m., when I moved forward 8 miles to Mount
Pleasant, where I went into camp for the night, having marched 27
miles from this camp.
Having been advised that the general would move on the Telegraph
road with a considerable force, and that a reserve would follow me the
124 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. [CHAP. XXIV.
next day to a point beyond Spotsylvania Court-House, I sent back a
messenger to the commanding officer, indicating to him the point where
the reserve should halt, and directing him to remain with and conduct
the force to the point indicated, viz, a cross-road from 3 to 4 miles south
of Spotsylvania Conrt-House. For some reason unknown to me they
halted and remained at Spotsylvauia Court-House.
At 11 o clock p. m. I received the dispatch from General Gibbon in-,
forming me that he had met a u large force of the enemy s cavalry and
some artillery," and advising me to move early and cautiously. I con
cluded that the only chance of success was to move at once, while the
general was keeping the enemy employed. 1 accordingly marched at 2
o clock a. m. on the 6th instant to reach Frederick s Hall Station, 7 miles
south of the North Anna River, at 8 o clock. Our guide made a mistake
in the dark, and, taking the wrong road, led us 10 miles out of our way,
so that we only reached Wallar s Tavern at 8 o clock, 9 miles short of
our destination, thus giving us 10 miles extra inarch, and causing us to
miss a regiment of rebel infantry which left for Gordonsville at o clock.
We rested at Wallar s until 1.30 o clock, and then moved forward
to the river at Carl s Bridge. We found the river not fordable, and
spanned by a bridge about 150 feet long and some 40 feet above the
water. I selected about 150 men of the Sixth Wisconsin from those
most affected by the heat, and left them with one company of cavalry
to guard the bridge until our return, placing the whole under Captain
Plurnmer, of the Sixth Wisconsin. I directed the balance of the men
to lay aside their coats, blankets, and haversacks, and fill their canteens
with water, and at 2.30 o clock moved* for the station at Frederick s
Hall, 7 miles, which we reached at 4.30 o clock. When within about 2
miles of the station I sent forward the cavalry (except the rear guard)
to cut the telegraph above and below the station, to picket the road to
Louisa Court-House, and commence the work of destruction. I moved
up with the infantry and artillery as rapidly as possible, and after
placing the guns iu position to command the village and cover our
retreat, in case of attack, I moved the infantry forward to the station.
I found the cavalry busy at work destroying the road for nearly or
quite a mile each way. 1 immediately had details made from the in
fantry to destroy the public property and assist in the destruction of
the road. At 6 o clock the work was completed and we commenced our
return, arriving at the bridge across the river at 9 o clock p. m.
After getting the force across the river we destroyed the bridge and
moved 2 miles to Wallar s Tavern, where the men laid down from pure
exhaustion, having marched 32 miles under a burning sun, and destroyed
the road and bridge, the march from the river to and from being over
a light sand. At 11 o clock p. m. I received the dispatch of the general,
dated at 6 p. m., advising me of a second day s skirmish, and also that
a portion of the enemy had turned off in my direction. Supposing we
might meet the enemy on our return, we waited until 4.30 and started
for Spotsylvania Court-House. When within 2 miles of that point we
met General Gibbon with his command, where we halted until 4 o clock
the next morning and then marched back to camp, arriving at 1 o clock
p. m., having marched 90 miles in three and a half days under a broil
We destroyed about 2 miles of road; burned one small bridge; de
stroyed the turn-table, a warehouse containing several tierces of Con
federate whisky, and burned about 1,000 bushels of corn belonging to
the Confederate Army, and all the buildings belonging to the railroad.
I cannot speak in too high terms of the conduct of both the officers
and men on the expedition. They all suffered severely from heat and
CHAI-. XXIV.] EXPEDITIONS FKOM FREDER1CKSBURG, VA. 125
fatigue, but were all ready at any time to execute any order given.
The only murmurs I beard were those of disappointment at not meet
ing an enemy. I wish especially to notice Lieutenant-Colonel Kilpat-
rick and Major Da vies, of the cavalry, and Major Dawes, of the Sixth
Wisconsin, for the prompt and faithful manner in which they caused
all my orders to be executed, and also for valuable suggestions which
I received from them. We returned to camp without the loss of a
In conclusion, I wish to add that I twice sent to Colonel Sullivan to
send forward forces to points which I thought should be held for my
safety, and which he declined to send forward. I was therefore, when
at the railroad, 30 miles from any support, with numerous roads com
ing in my rear from Beaver Dam, Louisa Court-House, Tolersville, and
other points. Whether Colonel Sullivan was justifiable in withholding
from me the support I asked for I am unable to say, as I do not know
what his instructions were. I simply remark that another time I would
not like to be caught with a reserve whose commanding officer refused
to obey my orders.
I am, verv respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers.
Capt, J. P. WOOD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Gibbon s Brigade.
Respectfully forwarded. I eannot account for the refusal of Colonel
Sullivan to respond to Colonel Cutler s requisitions for support.
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
Report of Capt. J. Albert Monroe, Battery D, First Rhode Island Light
HDQRS. COMPANY D, FIRST RHODE ISLAND ARTILLERY,
Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va., August 10, 1862.
SIB: I have the honor to make the following report of the part my
company took in the reconnaissance from this place of August 5, 6,
and 7 :
The battery left camp at 2 o clock on the morning of the 5th, crossed
the Rappahannock, and proceeded out upon the Telegraph road where
it joined the brigade of General Gibbon, consisting of the Second and
Seventh Wisconsin and Nineteenth Indiana Regiments of infantry, to
gether with the Third Indiana Cavalry. The cavalry had the advance,
followed by the Second Wisconsin, which immediately preceded the
battery. At the village of Thoruburg, 14 miles from Fredericksburg
and 16 from camp, we came upon the enemy, who opened upon our ad
vance guard with artillery and small-arms." Hearing the rapid firing
in front, I halted the battery and immediately received an order to send
forward one section, which order was executed by Lieutenant Hark-
ness, whom I accompanied, in order to learn the nature of the position
126 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. [CHAT. XXIT.
and whatever else might be necessary. After tearing down a fence the
section was taken into a field at the right of the road and formed in
battery at the top of a little hill (the left bank of the Mat Kiver).
After the section was in position the remainder of the battery was
ordered forward. The enemy s cavalry could be distinctly seen descend
ing a road in the woods about 1,000 yards distant and to the left of
our front, while to their left about 100 yards was a field piece just get
ting into battery, directly over which our first shell exploded, causing
it to limber up and disappear without firing a shot. Our firing was
then directed upon the cavalry in the woods. The first shell was a lit
tle short, but the second was most admirable, which, followed by a few
others, cleared the wood. Quite a little force was then discovered in a
small clump of trees about 300 yards distant and to the right of our
front, but a few well directed shells soon dispersed them. The expedi
tion rested at this point until the next morning.
Leaving our bivouac at 5 a. m., we advanced about 8 miles, when,
learning that a considerably superior force of the enemy had been sent
by the Bowling Green road to attack us in the rear, the commanding
general deemed it prudent to return. Just as we reached Thornburg,
and the very ground of the skirmish of the day before, the enemy
made an attack upon General Hatch, who was at Thornburg with his
brigade, having been sent out to our support. As upon the day before,
a section was first ordered forward (Lieutenant Fiske s) and then the
remainder of the battery. The enemy, finding us in superior force,
fell back most hurriedly, followed by our cavalry and the battery,
except one gun, which was with the rear guard. We kept up the chase
for two and a half hours, the battery taking advantage of every avail
able position to harass the retreating force. We halted for the night on
the Massaponax Kiver.
The next morning (August 7) we marched to Spotsylvania Court-
House ; thence back to camp on the morning of the 8th.
The heat on the 5th and 6th was so intense that a large number of
the infantry became wholly ineffective one regiment which left camp
with upward of 700 men having but a few over 500 fit for duty on the
night of the 5th, all overcome by the heat but the men of the battery
stood it finely, not a single man giving out.
It is my pleasure to report that both officers and men behaved through
out most splendidly. Not a single gun was aimed by a commissioned
ofiicer or sergeant, all of whom attended to their appropriate duties
in a manner most praiseworthy. The gunners manifested the greatest
coolness and sighted their pieces with as much deliberation and as little
discomposure as I have ever known them to exhibit at target practice,
and the accuracy of their fire received the greatest praise from General
Gibbon. The men also did not manifest ordinary excitement, though
there was no -great danger at any time; still the affair was sufficient to
prove the men, who could not have behaved better nor with greater
J. ALBERT MCXNTROE,
Captain, Comdg. Company D y First Rhode Island Artillery.
Lieut. JEFFREY HAZARD,
Adjutant First Rhode Island Artillery.
CHAP. XXIV.] SKIRMISH AT PACERS FERRY, W. VA. 127
AUGUST 6, 1862. Skirmish at Pack s Ferry, New River, W. Va.
No. 1. Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox, U. S. Army, commanding District of the Kanawha.
No. 2. Col. E. Parker Scammon, Twenty- third Ohio Infantry, commanding First
No. 3. Maj. Gen. William W. Loring, C. S. Army, commanding Department of South
Report of Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox, U. S. Army, commanding District of
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE KANAWHA,
Flat Top Mountain, August 8, 1862.
SIR : I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 6th in
stant a heavy detachment of the rebel force in front, consisting of three
regiments of infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, and a battery of rifled
cannon, made an attack upon the detachment of my command at Pack s
Ferry, near mouth of Blue &tone, or New Eiver. My force there con
sists of four companies of the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers, under
Major Comly, with two mountain howitzers. The remainder of the
Twenty-third Eegiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hayes, is encamped
at Green Meadows, some 8 miles from the ferry, near the forks of the
road leading from Blue Stone Eiver to Ealeigh Court-House and to
The attack was evidently made for the purpose of destroying our
ferry (constructed in form of flying bridge), by means of which we keep
control of parts of Monroe County, and have the means of communicat
ing with the Third Brigade, stationed at Meadow Bluffs, in Greenbrier
The effort of the enemy entirely failed, Major Comly preserving the
ferry and holding his position without loss on our side. The attack
was made from the opposite side of the river, the rebel force coming
from The Narrows of New Eiver.
On receiving news of the attack and of the size of the enemy s force,
I dispatched Colonel Scammon, commanding First Brigade, Vith the
Thirtieth Ohio Volunteers and a section of McMullin s battery, to the
support of the detachment at the ferry, ordering the force at Green
Meadows to co-operate also. Before the re-enforcement reached the
river, however, the enemy had retired, moving off rapidly on the ap
pearance of a portion of our troops above them on this side the river.
I send herewith a copy of Colonel Scammon s report of his movement.
On same day a party of rebel cavalry made their appearance at Wy
oming Court-House. A detachment of the Thirty-seventh Ohio Volun
teers, which is stationed at Ealeigh Court-House, went in pursuit of
them ; but I have not yet received the report of the expedition.
Another strong reconnoitering party is out, under Lieutenant- Colonel
Hines, Twelfth Ohio Volunteers, with orders to penetrate as far as pos
sible by the ridge of Flat Top Eauge toward its junction with East Eiver
Mountain, in Tazewell County, to break up some stations of partisan
troops of the rebels in that vicinity, and acquire such information
as may be possible in regard to the present positions and forces of
128 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. [CHAP. XXIV.
the enemy iii that county. It will be gone probably two or three
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX,
Brigadier -General, Commanding.
Col. GEORGKE D. BUGGLES, Chief of Staff, Army of Virginia.
Report of Col. E. Parker Scammon, Twenty-third Ohio Infantry, com
manding First Provisional Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST PROVISIONAL BRIGADE,
August 7, 1862.
SIR : I have the honor to report my return to Camp Jones. I reached
Pack s Ferry, via Green Meadows, about dark yesterday. Before arriv
ing at Jumping Branch I was met by courier with information that the
enemy had fallen back. As the storm commenced about that time I
ordered the Thirtieth to halt and seek shelter at Jumping Branch and
to detain the artillery at that point on its arrival. I went to the head
quarters of the Twenty-third Eegiment, and after waiting there until
the storm began to abate, rode on to the ferry, and remained there un
til 7 o clock this morning.
I learn that the first notice that Major Comly had of the enemy s ap
proach was from his own pickets. The enemy commenced firing at 5.45
o clock a. m. The news sent from the Blue Stone Ford came while he
was actually engaged with the enemy. Acting under orders formerly
given, in case the enemy should appear in such force as to compel him
to fall back, he withdrew his main force from their exposed position,
leaving skirmishers to cover the party ordered to remove the ferry-boat
from its exposed position. The boat was removed under fire. Some
30 to 40 shots were fired from the two rifled 10-pounders with which the
enemy opened fire from a point above the cainp and on the east side of
the river. The enemy s infantry occupied the shore immediately op
posite the camp, but were soon driven off. As soon as possible three
companies were ordered up the river to a point opposite the position of
the enemy s artillery, and immediately thereafter they began a hasty
retreat. They moved off very rapidly. The enemy had 2 men shot,
supposed killed, in view of the men engaged at the boat.
On my arrival at the ferry I found everything quiet, a few shot-holes
in the tents, and the condition of the large ferry-boat being the only
visible signs of the contest. It is expected that the ferry will be in
running order again by this evening, by to-morrow at farthest. Three
regiments of infantry, a considerable force of cavalry, and three rifled
cannon made up the force which attempted and failed to break up the
camp at Pack s Ferry.
I have ordered one rifled cannon to remain for the present at Major
Comly s camp ; the other two pieces of artillery and the Thirtieth Beg-
imeut to return to Camp Jones.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
E. P. SCAMMOI^,
Colonel, Commanding First Provisional Brigade.
Capt. G. M. BASCOM,
Assistant Adjutant- General.
CHAI-. XXIV.] SKIRMISH NEAR SLAUGHTER S HOUSE, VA. 129
Report of Maj. Gen. William W. Loring, C. 8. Army, commanding De
partment of Southwestern Virginia.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA,
Camp Narrows, Va., August 6, 1862.
SIR : I have the honor to report that on the 5th instant Col. G. 0.
Wharton, with about 1)00 men and two guns, left Peterstown and pro
ceeded to Pack s Ferry, which place they reached before sunrise on the
morning of the 6th. The enemy, evidently ignorant of the approach
of our forces, was encamped on the other side of New River, and we
were enabled to plant the pieces and open upon them before he was ap
parently aware of our proximity. The fire was delivered with splendid
effect, causing him to destroy his flat-boats and throw his supplies into
the river and vacate his camp. We killed and wounded about 20 of the
enemy, 1 of our men being slightly wounded.
News of the approach of the enemy from Alderson s Ferry, in the
direction of Union, had rendered it necessary that Colonel Wharton s
command should be ordered away from its position. These orders were
received by him just as he had succeeded so far in his expedition as
above reported. $,
1 have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LOEING,
Major- General, Commanding.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
AUGUST 7, 1862. Skirmish at Wolftown, Va.