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John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War., A family rifle-pit: an incident of Wilson's raid (search)
country all around was a dead and dusty level, scorching in the sun. The house had a yard, and in this yard was a well with a sweep, as they call it, I believe, in Dinwiddie, which is pronounced by the inhabitants Dunwoody, which sweep is a great beam balanced in the crotch of a tree, a bucket being suspended to one end of the beam by a pole, and hanging above the well, into which it is made to descend by working the pole downwards with the hands. In the small house lived Mr. — , from Gloucester, with his wife and family of small children-all refugees. For a long time it seemed that the amiable household would remain quite undisturbed; they had scarcely seen a single blue-coat. But suddenly, one bright June morning, the road, the fields, the woods, the yard, the porch, and the mansion, swarmed with Federal cavalry, coming from the direction of Prince George. It was soon ascertained that General Wilson was riding a raid, without the fear of Confederates before his eyes; and h
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, XXVII. June, 1863 (search)
an account of one of their raids on the Peninsula, below this city, as follows: Within the past three days a most daring raid has been made into one of the richest portions of the enemy's country, and the success was equal to the boldness of the undertaking. The expedition, which was conducted by both land and water, was commanded by Col. Kilpatrick. It started from the headquarters of Gen. Keyes on Wendesday, and returned yesterday. In the interim the Counties of Matthews and Gloucester were scoured. All the warehouses containing grain were sacked, the mills burned, and everything that could in any way aid the rebels were destroyed or captured. Three hundred horses, two hundred and fifty head of cattle, two hundred sheep, and one hundred mules, together with a large number of contrabands, were brought back by the raiders. The rebel farmers were all taken by surprise. They had not expected a demonstration of the kind. Not only were they made to surrender everything
lf of the Confederate States, with one of the oldest and greatest dynasties of Europe, and thus cement those relations of commerce upon which our future so largely depends. Yesterday forty-five contrabands were brought into Fortress Monroe. They came out of the Rappahannock in boats, which were picked up by the tug Rescue. Their story was, that they escaped in order to avoid being sent to Richmond to be sold South. To-day forty more contrabands were brought in, who had escaped from Gloucester, opposite Yorktown, where, according to their reports, great destitution exists.--National Intelligencer, November 5. Capt. Hunter of the Confederate steamer Curlew reports that on this day, when near the inner buoy at Hatteras Inlet, he was fired upon by two or three Union steamers and the fort; that he sighted a rifled gun at the Harriet Lane and fired, and that the fort and steamers continued to fire at him as rapidly as possible. We fired, he says, six shells and the stern gu
General Schofield, Military Commandant District of Missouri, this day issued a General Order from his headquarters, St. Louis, warning the rebels and rebel sympathizers in Missouri that he would hold them responsible in their property and persons for any damages that might thereafter be committed by the lawless bands of armed men which they had brought into existence, subsisted, encouraged, and sustained up to that time. The Third battalion, Fifth Pennsylvania cavalry, Col. Campbell, stationed at Gloucester Point, made a reconnoissance under the command of Major Wilson, into the counties of Gloucester and Mathews, Va., for the purpose of capturing a body of rebel cavalry, who were overrunning those counties, arresting deserters, and impressing others into their service who were unwilling to volunteer. On arriving at Mathews's Court-House, Major Wilson found he was a day too late. The rebel cavalry had been there, and arrested twenty-four men as being deserters from their army.
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., The Peninsular campaign. (search)
ing Fort Monroe and its vicinity the base of operations. The plan first adopted was to commence the movement with the First Corps as a unit, to land north of Gloucester and move thence on West Point; or, should circumstances render it advisable, to land a little below Yorktown to turn the defenses between that place and Fort Modivisions as fast as vessels arrived, and I decided to land them at Fort Monroe, holding the First Corps to the last, still intending to move it in mass to turn Gloucester. On the 17th of March the leading division embarked at Alexandria. The campaign was undertaken with the intention of taking some 145,000 troops, to be increasat he could not protect the James as a line of supply, and that he could furnish no vessels to take an active part in the reduction of the batteries at York and Gloucester or to run by and gain their rear. He could only aid in the final attack after our land batteries had essentially silenced their fire. I thus found myself wi
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., Manassas to Seven Pines. (search)
is decision, he did not ask to be relieved. . . . [II., 87]. Not being in command, I could not be relieved. My assignment was included in the order to oppose McClellan at Yorktown; that order added to my then command the departments of Norfolk and the Peninsula. It is not easy to reconcile this increase of my command by the President, with his very numerous disparaging notices of me. General Keyes, before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, confirmed my opinion in saying that Gloucester must have fallen upon our [McClellan's] getting possession of Yorktown, and the York River would then have been open. Mr. Davis expresses the opinion that General McClellan certainly might have sent a detachment from his army, which, after crossing York River, could have turned the position at Gloucester Point [II., 90]. That would have been needless; the driving us from Yorktown would have compelled us to abandon Gloucester Point. Then [Vol. II., p. 91] he says: Whether General M
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., The navy in the Peninsular campaign. (search)
was decided to advance from Fort Monroe as a base. The detailed plan of General McClellan comprehended an attack by the navy upon the batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester, on opposite sides of the York River. It was upon the navy that he chiefly relied to reduce these obstacles to his progress and to clear the way to his propose he performed every service in connection with army operations which was requested of him by General McClellan. It may be that the naval attack on Yorktown and Gloucester was not pressed because McClellan learned in this interview that it was impracticable. On this point Fox said: Maps of the monitor and Merrimac fight [see al 692], and of operations in the York and James rivers. In the Turret of the monitor. Wooden vessels could not have attacked the batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester with any degree of success. The forts at Yorktown were situated too high, were beyond the reach of naval guns, and I understand that General McClellan never ex
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 14: movements of the Army of the Potomac.--the Monitor and Merrimack. (search)
ation of the remnant of the naval force in Hampton Roads in the reduction of the Confederate water-batteries on the York and James rivers, and Flag-officer Goldsborough had offered to extend such assistance in storming the works at Yorktown and Gloucester, provided the latter position should be first turned by the army. He was reluctant to weaken his force, for the Merrimack was hourly expected, with renewed strength, and the James River was blockaded by Confederate gun-boats on its bosom and Clleged, his preparations for the attack were not completed when they arrived. He afterwards complained that the lack of McDowell's corps to perform the work he had promised to assign to Franklin, namely, the turning of Yorktown by an attack on Gloucester, was the cause of his failure to attack Yorktown, and made rapid and brilliant operations impossible. Another and more restraining reason seems to have been the inability, during that fortnight, to decide whether to attempt to flank his foe or
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 15: the Army of the Potomac on the Virginia Peninsula. (search)
it had so great a dread of the watchful little Monitor that it remained at Norfolk. Already some war-vessels, and a fleet of transports with Franklin's troops, as we have observed, were lying securely in Posquotin River, well up toward Yorktown. These considerations caused immediate action on the resolutions of the council. The sick, hospital stores, ammunition, and camp equipage were speedily sent to Richmond, and on the night of the 3d of May, the Confederate garrisons at Yorktown and Gloucester, and the troops along the line of the Warwick, fled toward Williamsburg. Early the next morning May 4. General McClellan telegraphed to the Secretary of War that he was in possession of the abandoned post, and added: No time shall be lost. I shall push the enemy to the wall. Yorktown presented to the victors evidences of great precipitation in the final departure of the troops, as well as deliberate preparation for a diabolical reception of the Nationals after the flight of the garri
rong batteries which the Confederates had erected at Yorktown and Gloucester. But he had hardly landed upon the Peninsula when he was doomemy a suitable force to attack the water-batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester. This was contrary to what General McClellan had been led to expn the left bank of the York, or on the Severn, so as to move upon Gloucester and West Point, in order to take in reverse whatever force the enwo-thirds of the guns of the water-batteries, and all the guns of Gloucester, bore on our right batteries, though under disadvantageous circumoyed for some days. It was General McClellan's purpose to act on Gloucester by disembarking this division on the north bank of the York Rivertable force to attack the enemy's water-batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester; and this delayed the army before the lines of Yorktown, and gavesease, and garrisons had been left at Yorktown, Williamsburg, and Gloucester, so that now he could not confidently rely upon more than eighty
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