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Doc. 87.-operations in Virginia.


General Dix's expedition.

headquarters Fourth army corps, in the field, July 2, 1863.
the object of the reoccupation of the Peninsula ground, rendered ever memorable by the battles of last year, is being now rapidly developed by the fresh events transpiring here. If not of so much passing interest and national importance to the casual observer as were those which culminated from time to time during the previous campaign, yet they may be fraught with advantages to the nation equal to those so ardently hoped for and confidently anticipated from General McClellan's operations against Richmond in 1862. The best efforts, the most single devotedness of purpose, with the practical experience of a patriot soldier, are strained to the accomplishment of the important duties intrusted to the general commanding the, operations of this department in the field.

The reoccupation of the Peninsula by General Keyes was determined on by the Government several week ago, and communicated to Maj.-General Dix, commanding the Department of Virginia. The Government at the same time selected Major-General E. D. Keyes to command the forces which it was intended to concentrate there, and to carry out those plans which are now being demonstrated to the country. No more prudent and judicious selection could have been made in view of the duty to be performed — operating in an enemy's country — for General Keyes commanded a corps under General McClellan from that able chiefs first occupation of the Peninsula till our evacuation of it. He participated in every action, and conspicuously distinguished himself at the battles of Fair Oaks and Seven Pines.

On being informed of the views of the Government, and his appointment to the command of the forces on the Peninsula, General Keyes set to work to concentrate the forces intended for him, and to a great extent superintended many of the details of disembarkation and location in camp of the various regiments as they arrived. A large number of troops having been concentrated at Yorktown, and supplies collected or the river, Colonel Spear, with the Eleventh Pennsylvania cavalry and some New-York and Massachusetts cavalry, made a sudden dash on the White House, and drove off the rebels who had been up to that time holding it. The troops collected at Yorktown were then hurried to the White House, and General Keyes then submitted the plan of operations to General Dix, which he is now carrying out, and which that General approved.

General Keyes, after due deliberation and much study of the subject, the chances for or against success, and after ascertaining as nearly as possible the strength reserved for the defences of Richmond and its approaches, determined to make a reconnoissance in force by two routes as near to the rebel capital as might be. For this purpose two separate forces were necessary at the outset only. For, according to the design of the General commanding, it was expected that both, acting on prearranged plans, would be able to join their forces at the point fixed for each as the limit of the march, on continuing the march forward or on returning to their encampments at White House, as might at the time be deemed most desirable, both forces at this time being supposed to have accomplished their separate undertakings. A mere outline of what they were will be enough at this point, especially as regards the expedition under General Getty, second in command. Your correspondent accompanying the expedition will give you full information on that head, and I will but refer to General Getty's instructions, in so far as it is necessary to explain General Keyes's movements.

General Getty, with a force consisting of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, probably to the amount of seven or eight thousand men, started from White House under instructions to proceed as far as Hanover Junction, and there, as completely as possible, destroy South and North-Anna bridges, and as much of the railway track as time and his strength would enable him to accomplish. This done, the rebels north of Richmond would be completely cut off from all railway communication with that capital — an imperative necessity to carrying into execution a more important project of General Keyes. In carrying out this preliminary plan the Commanding General selected himself what he expected and desired to be the fighting part of the programme. This was to start from White House with a force of some five thousand men, composed of the three arms, in military proportion, to demonstrate against whatever force might be found guarding the Chickahominy, if possible to bring them out, lure then for some little distance from their central position on Bottom Bridge, secure for General Getty clear and unobstructed roads, and, when an advantageous position offered, form in line of battle and attack whatever rebel foe might be opposed to him. [330] This latter alternative, however, to be adopted only in two contingencies--one in the event of the rebels attacking us; the other, should it be found desirable to. offer them battle even on their own ground, with a fair prospect of success, and in the event of General Getty's operations being in any way dependent on such action. This, briefly, was the plan laid down by General Keyes, and the object sought to be attained by the expedition which I accompanied.

Pursuant to general orders, the commanders of brigades, batteries, and detachments reported at corps headquarters, Tuesday evening, for special instructions for the order of march. On the following morning (Wednesday) the encampment was alive and busy with the hum and motion of preparation. A little before daylight the advance troops of General Getty's command were on the march, and the rear-guard was yet hurrying forward when trumpet and drum called the troops composing General Keyes's expedition into line. At the appointed hour, almost to the minute, the advance cavalry videttes took the road to Baltimore Cross-Roads, followed immediately by the head of the advanced column. The troops carried but two days rations and one hundred rounds of ammunition per man, the march, as much as possible, being unencumbered by baggage-wagons and trains, rapid movements and long marches being anticipated. Only one wagon was allowed to each brigade headquarters, one to each regimental battery, one to the New-York cavalry, and two to the Pennsylvania cavalry. A proper allowance of ambulances — so read the orders — were allowed to each column.

Scarcely had the head of the first column begun to move on the outskirts of the encampment when General Keyes and staff rode from Headquarters toward the front. The General's staff on the occasion was composed of the following officers: Medical Director Mulford, Major White-head, Major Jackson, Captain Howard, and Captain Rice.

Though the kindness of Captain Howard, I was mounted on a captured secesh horse, which kept me well up with the staff during the march and the many inspections personally made by the General during the two days of our operations. The usual line and order of march were observed during the expedition.

In this order the expedition took up the march for Baltimore Cross-Roads — the first designated halting-place on the route to Bottom Bridge. The morning, like many succeeding ones, was cloudy and threatening rain, and for the first mile the route lay through an opening in the woods, the road being in many places flooded, and in others very badly rutted and cut up. At eight o'clock the sun came out warmly, which seemed to increase the hilarity and good humor of the men, as they sang, joked, and laughed along the road. The first point of interest reached was St. Peter's Church, where General Washington was married. The memories attached to the sacred edifice from this circumstance appeared to be known to many in the ranks — men who served in the Peninsula campaign — and, from time to time, as the church came in view, the veterans pointed it out to their younger companions, with an explanation of the interest attached to it. Once or twice the columns had to be halted from the impediments on the broken roads; but these halts were of short duration, General Keyes not permitting the slightest relaxation of energy at any point or under any circumstances. When about half the distance between White House and Baltimore Cross-Roads had been gained, Brigadier-General Terry joined in with his staff, and the two generals rode on together, chatting on military matters. Precisely at twelve o'clock the head of the advancing column reached Baltimore Cross-Roads.

The whole force was then halted for dinner, and General Keyes, with his staff, rode to the front. Once on the road, inquiry was made as to the appearance of rebels, when the General was informed that rebel pickets had been seen within three or four miles of White House every day for several days, and that they had fallen back before our videttes that same morning. General Keyes, having gone to the extreme front, was informed by Colonel West that he had been chasing the bushwhackers from the woods around Baltimore Cross-Roads, and that he thought the enemy was in some force right in front of his line of videttes. Skirmishers were sent out to support the cavalry, with orders not to press the rebels till further orders. So matters stood while the troops rested.

A quartermaster of one of our regiments was seized by rebel scouts or guerrillas at Baltimore Store in less than fifteen minutes after the troops marched past. Straggling was by special orders strictly prohibited, invalids and bad marchers being enjoined to remain in camp. It was impossible, however, to prevent a few from dropping to the rear; but none, so far as I can learn, had been captured but the quartermaster, for whose disobedience of orders there can be no palliation. On learning the fact Lieutenant Duryea and a detail of men were sent off in pursuit; but some time after he returned unsuccessful, reporting that, from a curve of the road branching from the store to the Chickahominy, his party had been fired at, a soldier beside him at the time being hit with a slug shot, but fortunately not hurt.

General Keyes determined on making his headquarters at Baltimore Cross-Roads, for a few hours, it might be, or for the night, according to circumstances. For a couple of hours, therefore, he was engaged in disposing of his troops as they came up, selecting the regiments according to their experience in the field or his own knowledge of their reliability in any emergency. Mounted videttes were again sent out to picket the numerous roads that branch off in every direction toward the Chickahominy. The encampment was made to present to the eye ground prepared for a terrible resistance to an anticipated attack, rather than the halting-place for a few thousand men. Artillery, cavalry, and infantry were disposed [331] as in line of battle. Artillery in front on the ascents; infantry behind in line, with stacked arms, while in a little plain on the right of the ground were placed the cavalry, horses saddled and bridled, and the men ready to mount at the first trumpet-note. The horses of the caissons were kept harnessed and in their traces, and all betokened a fight on the ground thus selected and so strongly guarded, or else a move in order of battle As I looked upon the array and pondered, I asked myself, What can the General mean by a halt of this kind — intended for rest, and yet every thing betokening preparations for battle? The strategy of the great Theban general suggested itself to my memory — a strategy by which Leuctra and other famous battles were won, and which was unknown before his day — that was of always marching his army in the order in which he intended to fight it.

Scarcely had the General made, as all supposed, his final dispositions for the evening, when Colonel West, whose brigade — he acting as brigadiergeneral — held still the front, was ordered to advance on the direct road to Bottom Bridge. Instantly the brigade was in motion. But a moment before it occupied a slight elevation over a plain which stretched away to the south for a mile and a half, a small opening in the woods in front, and which the eye, without the aid of a glass, could not discern, giving the only opening to the road. The artillery are moving down the plain, the cavalry are skirting the woods on West's left flank, a dark line of single skirmishers are seen cautiously approaching the woods in front. At that wood, from the copse on the extreme left and front, is seen a party of the enemy. They.dash on almost as quickly as the exclamation broke from the lips of several near me: “There they go!” The skirmishers fire, and right before them, yet some distance off, appears a line of rebel skirmishers. Stray pops of musketry tell that the skirmishers are engaged. Our boys keep going ahead; the others fall back into the gloom of the woods and disappear. Our skirmishers are called in, and take their places behind the line of battle, which was now formed. In front was Minks's battery, First New-York artillery, supported by the One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Pennsylvania, with cavalry a little to the rear and rather to the right of the line. The rebel fire on our left, from the woods, was at one time pretty brisk, when it would suddenly die away, to be renewed on our front.

The fire of the skirmishers drew General Keyes rapidly to the scene. Apparently a glance told him what was likely to come, and back he galloped to the ground occupied by the main body of his forces. Orders were despatched with surprising readiness and coolness, and order of battle was again formed. This was done by merely ordering the supporting forces to positions on readier supporting distance of the advance line than some of them previously occupied.

The ground here represented a greater inequality of surface than that where the front line was formed. On the rising ground, some six or seven hundred yards to the rear of these regiments, was posted McKnight's battery, supported by the gallant Fourth Delaware, Colonel Grimshaw, ready and eager for a grapple with the foe. Still on to the left of these, where the woods offered, ;I splendid chance to the rebels for a flank movement, were posted, in the same order, other troops. These dispositions were made with wonderful celerity, and almost in as short a time as is taken to explain them here, they were concluded, and General Keyes again appeared on the scene of conflict.

The rebels still sustained their fire, but not in such volume, or with the rapidity they did at first. Up to this time only one of our men had fallen. This was one of the cavalry videttes, watching the woods on the left of the line. He was shot in the head, the ball striking him in the left eye. He fell dead from his horse. Six others of the cavalry were wounded, but none seriously. The poor fellow fell in the discharge of his duty, in the presence of all in the field.

General Keyes having now returned, role to the front, attended by his staff. He passed first to the right of the line, and having surveyed the ground, rode quietly along to the extreme left, where the fire from the first was the warmest. Our guns now threw shot at longer intervals, the enemy's replies dying gradually away. For nearly an hour longer the line was preserved, when it opened from the centre and the cavalry advanced. The rebels, seeing themselves foiled in enticing our troops into the treacherous woods, evidently gave the hope up; and as they ceased to show themselves the troops were ordered back to the position first occupied by them as the advance. This was the rising ground overlooking the plain where the skirmishers first encountered The remainder of the forces also retired to their previous positions, and the excitement which the prospect of an imminent engagement always ereates gradually subsided. In an hour after ward General Keyes and staff for the first time that day sat down on the grass and partook of some refreshment.

Toward the close of the skirmishing in front Adjutant Frank Robinson, of the Fifth Pennsylvania, while executing some order of General Keyes, visited the extreme point of ground occupied by our videttes, members of his own regiment. While here he observed a rebel come out of the woods, having his musket at the aim and ready to fire. With a shout Robinson and his orderly made a dash at him, the former revolver in hand. The word was surrender or die, and the frightened rebel chose the former, gave up his gun, and was escorted within our lines. When brought before General Keyes he said that he belonged to one of the North-Carolina regiments that had been brought from the Blackwater to the defence of Richmond. He belonged to Hampton's Legion. He stated that there was a large force in our front, who were continually shifting their position on the Chickahominy. The bridges, he said, had been all repaired, and bodies of troops frequently crossed and recrossed them. [332] They were almost daily moved from place to place, evidently with the view of getting a knowledge of the country. The prisoner was a very intelligent young fellow, a corporal, who had served some considerable time in the rebel service. His uniform was quite new, a bright blue loose jacket and blue pants, with gaiters chasseur de pied fashion. After a brief examination of him, General Keyes had him and another prisoner found on the march, and who also had the rebel uniform on him, sent down to White House.

At an early hour the succeeding morning the troops were all in motion. General Keyes determined, from the information he received of the strength of the enemy in his front, and from the fact that during the night the rumbling of artillery on the march was heard on our right, to get his command clear of the network of roads branching from the Chickahominy, and which, within a mile or two of one point, converged on his position. He therefore fell back, and after a short march a favorable position was chosen for his purpose, and here the forces were halted and disposed of somewhat similar to the day before. The General's headquarters are at present at a place known as Tallowsville, four miles' south of the White House, and within a mile and a half perhaps of Baltimore Store. Our pickets, however, extended as far in the front as the ground occupied by us in the morning.

Baltimore Store, the grand debouching point from Bottom Bridge, and the key to his position, if he has left an entering wedge at all, is held by the brave Delawares, the Fourth, under their gallant leader, Colonel Grimshaw. This may be considered the post of honor and of danger, and no men in the army are more deserving of the honorable recognition of a commander for bravery and zeal in the cause for which they fight than the Delaware Fourth.

Our future movements will be altogether determined by circumstances. I may say, so far as I have had opportunity of ascertaining, that General Keyes has no desire to bring on a general engagement with the strong force that is evidently close before him, with the advantage all on their side, and all the disadvantage on his. Brave, skilful, and calculating, he is performing the main object of the expedition in holding a strong force in his front, and thus weakening the enemy at the point to be struck by General Getty; but while holding back his force, and declining to follow the enemy into unknown ambuscades, he is anxious to draw them out and give them a taste of his mettle.

General Keyes's headquarters are at Mrs. Green's farm-house, about a mile and a half from the advance under Colonel West. The locality is known as Tallowsville. The position is a very central one, in the midst of his forces. Since selecting it he. has not been a moment out of the saddle, as he imposes upon himself the duty of visiting every post, and assuring himself against surprise by the watchful foe that swarm in the woods around him. It was not till near two o'clock this afternoon the General returned to or rather took possession of his new headquarters.

About six o'clock this evening, the fire of musketry, quickly followed by the loud report of artillery, called the General and staff to their saddles. Leaving orders with colonels of regiments as he passed along, he dashed to the front and on to the field of the previous day's encounter. On the road we met some of our forces falling hastily back; but without inquiry the General rode on till he joined Colonel West, commanding the advance. From him he ascertained the following particulars: It was deemed proper before night came on, to scout the woods commanding our position, and Colonel West sent out skirmishers for that purpose. One hundred men of the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth New-York were selected for the duty, to whom were added some forty volunteers. A section of Minks's battery took up the same position it occupied on the previous day, supported by the remainder of the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth regiment. The skirmishers passed down the road past the woods on the left, some cavalry skirmishers guarding the road. They were thus between two woods, with but a small open space on their right. They had proceeded some two hundred yards when they received the enemy's fire. After some exchanges our men were withdrawn and a new line formed, the reserves and supporting bodies moving up. Again the skirmishers advanced, but had not got more than a hundred yards, screening themselves along the wood, when the enemy opened upon our two guns and line of battle from a masked battery. Minks gallantly returned the fire, maintaining his position for about half an hour, when the weight of the enemy's fire compelled him to fall back. The enemy continued shelling us for some time longer, preventing the doctor attending to the wounded on the field.

Our losses were eight skirmishers--one killed in the woods and six wounded, two seriously, four but slightly. The casualties to the battery and supporting forces I could not ascertain, for it was now dark and the continuation of the fight or the renewal of it on our side had to be put off till to-morrow.

The following are the names of the wounded skirmishers: John Geerer, company K, neck, badly; Jacob Van Wickley, company F, leg; S. B. Howell, company H, scalp wound; Oscar Lockwood, company I, lower jaw and neck, badly; Corporal Louis A. Le Blanc, company D, leg; Denis McCabe, company I, mouth — all of the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth New-York.

To-morrow I expect a severe engagement on the same ground. General Keyes must fight and dislodge the enemy from their position in front, or himself fall back to White House.


headquarters Fourth army corps, Baltimore cross-roads, July 3, 1863.
In my previous correspondence from this point I had but time to state the fact that the gallantry of Colonel West, commanding the advance, had, [333] on Thursday last, the second day of our occupation of this place, drawn upon us an attack from the enemy in force, which unmistakably developed their strength to be considerable. In that letter I could not report particulars, as the last chance for the night from here to the White House was going down. I must again briefly state that the whole of Thursday, up to about half-past 4 o'clock, passed very quietly, little disturbing the monotony that reigned supreme around the encampment, beyond the visits of General Keyes, who rode from one headquarters to another several times during the day, closing with an afternoon visit to all the picket-stations encircling the ground he has guarded like a citadel. I had endeavored to make myself thoroughly acquainted with the position, and to glean from personal observation, if possible, the design and object of a halt which seemed to me premature, considering the avowed original purpose of the expedition — to aid and abet General Getty in his attempt upon the upper bridges of the Pamunkey, the North and South-Anna bridges, and the railroads which connect Richmond with the North. Indeed, I had deemed the demonstration of the rebels on the previous day but so much of an incentive to advance brave troops as a general might desire. The blood of the men was set coursing, the dispositions were admirable, and the coolness of the General, his officers and attendant aids-de-camp, such as to inspire confidence in the men. There was nothing which should deter the faintest heart from daring an advance.

But what at first seemed a questionable Fabian policy proved to be the result of an astute understanding and a perfect comprehension of what even a few hostile troops could do in a country checkered with woods and small open fields — too small for opposing troops to operate in, but large enough, if tempted or commanded to enter them, to make their deadly marks upon ambushed enemies and masked batteries against treble their number. This I at once saw and admitted, after a couple of hours' ride, taken alone within the lines, and with the view of forming a judgment upon a doubt which exercised me a good deal.

While on this particular subject, I may say, and as briefly as possible, that, unless against incontestably overwhelming numbers, the real defence of Richmond lies in the innumerable roads which permeate and intersect this portion of the peninsula, all debouching at numerous external points and converging at the very entrance to the city. With these preliminary remarks, dictated by a conviction of their necessity to enable the distant reader to thoroughly understand the present movement, I proceed to give you the details of the night attack upon our lines.

As I said, Colonel West, not “blue moulding for want of a beating,” but anxious for a bit of a fight, after a pleasant conference with a brother officer, Major Candless, on the subject, moved to feel the enemy in front. Colonel West thought he would exercise some men in skirmishing, and Major Candless that he would throw out a foraging party. Some one hundred and forty infantry of the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth, and a few cavalry, were almost immediately deployed as skirmishers on the plain which was the scene of the previous day's fight. The One Hundred and Thirty-ninth steadily advanced to the fringe of the woods without being once confronted; but scarcely had they done so when they were encountered by an opposing line of sharp-shooters, three deep, before whom our boys, after a second discharge of their muskets, fell back only in time, indeed, to save themselves from being surrounded. When the rebel skirmishers appeared on the plain in pursuit, they showed themselves to be at least one thousand strong. Colonel West, judging from the fire that we were strongly opposed, drew out his brigade in line of battle, Captain Fagan instantly advancing his section of artillery in front of the line. The skirmishers, being reenforced, again advanced, but before shots were exchanged a battery of heavy guns opened upon our line from the crest of the wooded knoll on our left. Captain Fagan, with his couple of six-pounders, blazed away in response, but his ineffectual fire paled before the thundering of eight heavy field-pieces, throwing shot and shell into the midst of the line. One great advantage the rebel skirmishers had over us was that, while they were armed with rifles, the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth had only smooth-bores, and thus, while our shot would not reach the rebels, they took down our men standing in line of battle hundreds of yards beyond the line of skirmishers. I saw the dogma thoroughly established: “Observe the first duty of a soldier.” The One Hundred and Thirty-ninth, last evening, knowing the disadvantage they were to labor under as. to arms, and that the rebel skirmishers were thirty to one of them, advanced to the fight with surprising readiness and coolness. The loss was eighteen left on the field, besides those taken away by the Medical Director, Dr. O'Reilly, whom no shelling deterred from his humane and noble duty.

The medical director testifies to their bravery. Dr. O'Reilly, on the first intimation that ambulances were required, took that especial duty into his own hands, without any circumlocution whatever. “General,” he said, “Colonel West is engaged; let me have those ambulances of yours to take to the front.” “Take them off, doctor, at once,” was the reply. And I must say that this promptitude saved eight men from imprisonment and some others from death, for under the kind care of their nurses the more seriously wounded are now out of danger.

Colonel West and Captain Fagan made the best fight they could against the forces opposed to them, but were eventually compelled to fall back upon our next line.

Here the brave Grimshaw and the Fourth Delaware were stationed ; but before their services were required Colonel Porter had pushed forward to the support with two regiments, and Colonel West, after two days fatiguing marches in the front, and two skirmishes against greatly superior numbers, retired within our main lines. Colonel [334] Porters orders were: “Fight them to the last extremity. Don't fall back till ordered.” Two miles now intervened between the ground where the skirmish opened and where Colonel Porter stood ready to receive them, yet the rear of our column had scarcely reached Baltimore Store when the rebels, by another road, dashed upon Colonel Porter's command, hoping to cut it off; but the gallant Colonel had received his orders and knew his duty. The attack was repulsed, and, true to their system, the rebels, instead of musket and bayonet, again plied us with shot and shell, while their perfect knowledge of the country enables them to move from one point to another with almost magical celerity.

General Keyes now rode to the front, and Colonel Porter and Colonel Grimshaw were withdrawn from their positions. Their line of retreat was a divergence from the line of battle conceived for the occasion. Our troops fell back in the direction of the New-Kent road, and were most persistently and hotly followed up by the rebels, who shelled them every yard of the road. The design was to draw them after our retreating forces until they came in front of our line of battle, now drawn up in a most advantageous position upon the very ground occupied as headquarters. Our right was toward the woods, and the line of retreat and pursuit, while facing the woods, was a strong place, which the falling night completely shut out from the view of the rebels. The latter force had most positive orders not to fire a shot or in any way to expose our position. In the mean time Grimshaw and Porter skirted the large field on which our line was formed, Captain Fagan, of the artillery, and a squadron of cavalry, under Major Candless, protecting their rear, Captain Fagan sending a random shot occasionally into the woods.

The General's plan was working admirably; the retreating forces were now traversing the road in our front, the enemy's shell tore through the woods on their right or passed over their heads, and in a few moments more we hoped to have them before us. Captain McKnight's battery was on the right of our line, ready to fire upon them; a strong force, directed to cut off their retreat by throwing itself into the woods, was on the spring, when, strangely and perversely enough, the rebels ceased the pursuit just at the very point or turn of the road, their occupation of which would have left them at our mercy. The most exciting few moments of my life passed here, while I looked upon the deadly disposition of our forces, and hoped, with a savage hope, for the accomplishment of our purposes. But no; the rebels suddenly ceased firing and halted in their pursuit. In vain was our net set for their catching, even at the moment we deemed their entanglement most certain. General Keyes was at first delighted, thinking that perhaps they were closing up for a dash upon the road. My own and the feeling of those near me favored the same idea. Whispered. orders for the strictest silence passed down the line, and all was profound quiet, save the chirping of myriads of insects, before almost unheard, but which now burst painfllly and spell-like upon the ear. After a few anxious minutes, the silence was first broken by General Keyes himself, who remarked: “There is a regularly trained soldier opposed to me there, whoever he is.” Whoever he was, he halted at the right time, and we heard no more of the rebels for that night. We unfortunately left some eighteen dead and wounded men in their hands, Dr. O'Reilly having just carried off eight wounded men, who are all doing well.

an anxious night.

Very little sleep was enjoyed at headquarters that night; and although General Keyes had but an hour or two previous to the firing in front made his headquarters at Dr. Tyler's house — a relative of ex-President Tyler--he preferred to remain on the field till morning. Colonel Porter, who commanded a brigade, occupied Dr. Tyler's abandoned house as headquarters--Colonel Grimshaw holding the advance and protecting our front.

Before dawn this morning (Friday) Captain Howard, with a strong body of pioneers from various regiments, visited the outposts and barricaded all the roads debouching upon or contiguous to our lines, strengthening our position very much. Colonel Suydam, Adjutant-General of the corps, arrived in camp last night.

the captured Quartermaster.

The name of the quartermaster captured by the rebels on the march is Morgan Kupp, of the One Hundred and Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania regiment. He was detained on duty at our rear and had not yet joined us, but was hurrying forward when seized. He is very highly spoken of indeed, and his loss is much regretted by his brother officers.

Sergeant John Jones, company H, Sixth New-York cavalry, who was fired at by a bushwhacker when in pursuit of Mr. Kupp and struck in the belt, received no injury from the shot. He, of course; feels happy at his luck, as who would not, and retains the slug, which remained in his belt, as a memento of his escape.



Richmond Dispatch account.

Richmond, June 29, 1863.
For a city besieged, Richmond presented a very quiet and composed appearance yesterday. The sky was overcast, and the day was not a very cheerful one; but nothing seems to dampen the spirits of our citizens. The men generally seem to have become possessed with the idea that they are regular troops, and have been in the army since the war commenced. They obey the summons to the militia with the promptness, coolness, and that imperturbable stolidity which characterizes old soldiers. The ladies, too, deserve as much credit as the men. They are the commissaries of the militia, and prepare the inevitable rolls with legs of fine chickens inserted, and the sliced ham, with which the married men particularly are well supplied. The single men are, of [335] course, not so well supplied, being forced, as a general thing, to raid on their boarding-house tables and take the chances, while the proprietor is looking the other way, of surreptitiously putting their two days rations into their haversacks. Saturday afternoon the following notice was posted in the city:

To the citizens of Richmond: The President and the Governor of Virginia, deeply impressed with the necessity of a speedy organization of all able-bodied and patriotic citizens for local defence in and around the city of Richmond and throughout the State, urgently appeal to their fellowcitizens to come forth in their militia organization and to commence and perfect at once other organizations by companies, battalions, and regiments. An imperious necessity for instant action exists, and they trust that this appeal will be all that is necessary to accomplish the result. No time is to be lost — danger threatens the city.

Therefore, with a view to secure the individual attention of all classes of the citizens of Richmond, and to impress upon them the full importance of the crisis, it is hereby ordered that all stores and places of business in this city be closed to-day at three o'clock P. M., and daily thereafter until further order, and the people be invited to meet and form organizations for local defence. They will be armed and equipped as fast as the companies are formed. By command of the Secretary of War.

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector-General. By order of the Governor of Virginia John G. Mosby, Jr., A. A. A. General.

A great many rumors had prevailed throughout the city during the day, all placing the Federal force at about three times its actual strength. The city troops, as we may call the militia, rapidly armed, and in an incredibly short time regiments were assembled on the public square. While this gathering was going on another notice was posted, of which the following is a copy:

my fellow-citizens, to arms.--I have just received a message direct from the highest authority in the Confederacy, to call upon the militia organizations to come forth, and upon all other citizens to organize companies for the defence of this city against immediate attack of the enemy. They are approaching, and you may have to meet them before Monday morning. I can do no more than give you this warning of their near approach. Remember New-Orleans. Richmond is now in your hands. Let it not fall under the rule of another Butler. Rally, then, to your officers tomorrow morning, at ten o'clock, on Broad street, in front of the City Hall.

Jos. Mayo, Mayor of Richmond. Saturday Afternoon, June 27, 1863.

The regiments which assembled in the square were notified to be in readiness at the same place yesterday morning at ten o'clock, and assembled at the time appointed, with ranks very much increased. It was the general impression on the part of those who witnessed the parade that the city troops of Richmond were numerous enough, and well drilled enough, to defend the city without the aid of the very large body of regulars who are in and around the place. While there was no need for them yesterday, yet we have the satisfaction of knowing that an organization has been effected which will, with the addition of a little drilling, render Richmond perfectly secure against any raids or even regularly planned attacks of the enemy.

Our scouts were busy during the day in the country below the city, but did not gather much information that we have had access to. At one time the report was that the enemy were at Diascund bridge and numbered twenty-three thousand. The report, it was said, might be relied upon. We conversed with an intelligent gentleman, who was a prisoner within the enemy's lines on Friday, but, after being paroled, made his escape and walked to Richmond. He was captured Friday morning while within a short distance of the Pamunkey River, near Cumberland. The Dutch Yankees who arrested him carried him to the headquarters of Keyes, who was in command of the division which landed at the White House. The division was drawn up in line of battle. He reached the headquarters near New-Kent Court-House, and upon being carried before the Commanding General was closely questioned. During the examination General Keyes spoke several times in a very boastful manner of the ease which he would enter Richmond. He said that Wise was “a damned old coward;” that Wise had challenged him for a fight anywhere between Williamsburgh and Richmond, and that now he had come, Wise had run away. The officers at headquarters participated in the confidence of their braggart chief, with the addition of the lie that they had fifty thousand men. Our informant, who is a soldier himself, says he thinks they had about fifteen thousand men — cavalry, artillery, and infantry. He counted sixteen pieces of artillery. They claimed to have a brigade of cavalry, but he only saw two regiments. The infantry was composed chiefly of foreigners, the Dutch predominating. After being paroled, the prisoner was allowed to go at large, and escaped by way of Charles City County, arriving in this city yesterday morning.

By the evening train on the York River road, we have the latest intelligence of the movements of the enemy. Saturday evening the force from Disacund bridge, in James City County, arrived at the White House, after a march of fifteen miles. That evening a lieutenant-colonel, who was with McClellan while he occupied that point, made a visit to the farm of a lady near by, and stated in conversation that the Federal force on the peninsula numbered about eleven thousand, and was under the command of General Keyes and Gordon, the former being chief. Persons who saw them at the White House do not think they were over eleven thousand. A scout of ours who had been to Diascund bridge reported that there are none of the enemy now at the bridge. Since their arrival at the White House they have not advanced at all, and their pickets are not thrown out even as far as Tunstall's Station, four [336] miles off. There were gunboats in the river, and the move is probably made with the view of embarking again for Yorktown.

The Yankees have committed very few depredations in New-Kent, but on Friday a raid was made by them across the Pamunkey into King William, during which they destroyed a good deal of property and carried off a large number of negroes. The soldiers making this incursion into the country were carried over from the White House in gunboats, and returned with their plunder by the same conveyance.

A report was in circulation here on Saturday that a body of Federals had been seen on the Mechanicsville road, nine miles from Mechanicsville.

From all the facts, we conclude that Keyes, with about five thousand men, came up the Pamunkey, landed at the White House, and proceeded to the vicinity of New-Kent Court-House, from whence his cavalry raid on the Central Railroad at Hanover Court-House was made. Gordon marched from Yorktown and took up his position at Diascund bridge, with about the same number of men, and on Friday advanced and formed a junction with Keyes's division, after which, on Saturday, both divisions marched to the White House. What will be their next move it is of course impossible to know; but the general opinion of those who came up on the York River train yesterday evening was that they intended to embark for Yorktown.

A report “got loose” yesterday morning that a fight had occurred below Chaffin's Bluff, between the confederates and Yankees, in which the latter were defeated. No such fight had occurred, and the rumor died out with the setting of the sun.

When the bridge over South-Anna River, on the Central Railroad, Friday, was burned, the position was defended by Lieutenant Rice and fifty-one men of company A, Forty-fourth North-Carolina troops, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hargrove, of that regiment. The defence was most gallant and obstinate, though against such odds as to be unsuccessful. They were attacked from all directions by one thousand cavalry, two hundred dismounted men, and two pieces of artillery. We give the list of killed and wounded. Killed--Privates John W. Newman, Joseph Cash, and Burton Nevis. Wounded--Sergeant John Buchanan, mortally; private John Pitland, mortally, (both since dead;) Sergeant Alexander Pearce, J. G. Hays, and William Strum; privates Stephen Knott, William Sherron, James Ladd, James Sanford, Dennis O'Brien, J. Satterwhite, Thomas Clopton, William Morgan, D. Buck, James Emory, and Isaac Jinkins. Lieutenant-Colonel Hargrove received a sabre-cut. The desperate courage of the defenders of this bridge against such odds may be understood when it is stated that out of fifty-three men, twenty-two--nearly half — were killed or wounded before it was captured.


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