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ly retired beyond the river. Lieutenant-Colonel Onderdonk, now in a cool and soldierly manner, proceeded to take measures to learn the enemy's position and forces as nearly as possible, a most difficult matter, as the opposite bank of the Blackwater River, where the enemy held position, was densely wooded. He sent a messenger back to report that we had found the enemy, deployed flankers and placed advanceguards, and ordered a private from squadron A, to advance and reconnoitre the position odge the footing was made sufficiently strong to enable the force to cros<*>, but the enemy had gained their point, and were now temporarily beyond our reach. Learning from a negro that at Joiner's Ford, on the Blackwater, a short distance below Zuni, a picket-guard of rebels was stationed, by order of Col. Dodge, Major Wheelan dashed forward to that point and succeeded in surprising the party, capturing five of the partisan rangers from Georgia, under arms, and dispersing the rest, who escape
Doc. 71.-fight at Zuni, Va. Suffolk, Va., December 13, 1862. On Thursday noon last, a column under the command of Brigadier-General Ferry, left here for the purpose of engaging the attention of the enemy at the Blackwater. The column consisted of cavalry, artillery, and eight regiments of infantry. A pontoon-train, made of old canal-boats, taken from the canal which runs through the Dismal Swamp, was also attached to the expedition. The column proceeded on the South-Quay road, a canister was opened upon the rebels, which soon drove them from the bank, and, the firing still continuing, they retreated and fell back out of rangel to the thick woods and undergrowth beyond. While the firing was going on, our pickets opposite Zuni, about a mile and a half up the river, reported that the enemy were attempting to cross at the railroad bridge, and that the Union pickets had been fired upon by both infantry and artillery, who were assembling at that point in large numbers, evid
of Capt. Wright's. The enemy's shell fell thick and fast in our immediate vicinity, but our boys stood manfully to their guns, and gave the vandals as much and as good as they sent. At daylight the artillery duel ceased, and the fight was then maintained with musketry for about one hour, when the enemy ceased firing and fell back. We held our position, but the enemy not advancing and showing no disposition to renew the fight, General Pryor retired to Carrsville, eight miles from the Blackwater River, where he remained undisturbed at last accounts. The following are all the casualties that we have been able to obtain: There were four killed in the Fifth Virginia regiment. Among the number is Colonel Poage, of Pulaski County, a gallant officer who distinguished himself in the Western Virginia campaign, under Gen. Floyd. Col. P. was struck in the thigh by a fragment of shell, which severed the main artery, and he bled to death in a few minutes. Capt. Dobbins, of the Twenty-s