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[366] Hungary, cut it, pressing thence to the Virginia Central road, near Meadow Bridge, doing there a little mischief; and thence pushing north-eastward across the Pamunkey near Hanover, and the Mattapony at Aylett's, to King and Queen Court House, and thence south-eastwardly to our lines1 at Gloucester Point, on York river. Lt.-Col. B. F. Davis, 12th Illinois, had meantime passed2 down the South Anna to Ashland, where he tore up some rails and captured a train of sick, whom he paroled, and crossed thence to Hanover Station on the Central, which was fractured, and considerable Confederate property destroyed. Davis then pushed down to within seven miles of Richmond, where he bivouacked that night, and set his face next morning toward Williamsburg on the Peninsula; but was stopped and turned aside by a Rebel force at Tunstall's Station, near White House; moving thence northward until he fell in with Kilpatrick near King and Queen Court House, and escaped with him to Gen. King's outpost at Gloucester Point. Stoneman, with Gregg and Buford, turned back3 from Yanceyville, recrossing the Rapidan at Raccoon ford, and the Rappahannock at Kelly's ford.4

Attempts were made to represent Stoneman's movement as successful, when it was in fact one of the most conspicuous failures of the war, though it might and should have been far otherwise. His force, if held well together, was sufficient to have severed for at least a week all connection by rail or telegraph between Lee and Richmond, riding right over any array of cavalry that could have been sent against it, and cutting the Fredericksburg road at or above its junction with the Central; as, below that point, cutting one of those roads, even permanently, was of little use; since communication between Richmond and Fredericksburg might be maintained by either. By keeping his entire force in hand, and thus going where and as he would, Stoneman might have destroyed the principal bridges on both roads, rendering them impassable for weeks; and brought away thousands of able-bodied negroes, mounted on as many serviceable horses. As it was, by dissipating his forces, he rendered them too weak at most points to effect any thing, and kept them running from the enemy instead of running after them; thus giving to his expedition the appearance rather of a furtive raid on smoke-houses and henroosts than that of an important movement in a great war. The few little gaps made in the railroads by his detachments were easily and quickly closed; while the 300 horses and mules he brought away would not half replace the horses broken down by his men — mainly in keeping out of the enemy's way.

While Hooker was preparing for and executing his movement across the Rappahannock, Longstreet, with a large force, was aiming a similar blow at the extreme left of our position in Virginia; where Gen. John J. Peck held the little village of Suffolk, with a force ultimately increased to 14,000 men, aided by three gunboats on the Blackwater. Suffolk being an important railroad junction, covering the landward approaches

1 May 47

2 May 3.

3 May 5.

4 May 8.

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