previous next
[574] then at White House; so that, while there was doubtless much suffering from privation as well as from wounds, it was always within a short distance of posts to which abundant supplies were forwarded from Washington and from the great commercial cities, under the efficient direction of Gen. Rufus Ingalls, its chief Quartermaster.

On emerging from the Wilderness, Gen. Sheridan, with the better part of our cavalry, led by Merritt, Wilson, and Gregg, was dispatched1 on a raid toward Richmond. Crossing next day the North Anna, Sheridan carried the Beaverdam station on the Virginia Central, destroying the track, three trains of cars, a million and a half of rations, and liberating 400 Union prisoners captured in the Wilderness and now on their way to Richmond. Stuart's cavalry here overtook and assailed his flank and rear, but to little purpose. Crossing the South Anna at Ground Squirrel bridge, Sheridan captured Ashland Station at daylight;2 breaking up the railroad, destroying a train and a large quantity of stores. He then resumed his march to Richmond.

Stuart had meantime passed him and massed his cavalry at Yellow Tavern, a few miles north of Richmond, where he proposed to stop the raid. A spirited fight ensued, wherein Stuart was mortally wounded (as was Brig.-Gen. J. B. Gordon) and his force driven off the turnpike toward Ashland, leaving the road to Richmond open. Sheridan pressed down it; Custer carrying the outer line of defenses and taking 100 prisoners. But Richmond was no longer to be taken on a gallop, and our assault was repulsed; Sheridan crossing the Chickahominy at Meadow bridge, beating off attacks both front and rear, burning the railroad bridge, and moving to Haxall's;3 where he rested three days, and then, moving by White House and Hanover C. H., rejoined the Army of the Potomac.

Gen. Butler, commanding at Fortress Monroe, had been reinforced in pursuance of a programme suggested by him and concurred in by Gen. Grant: Gen. W. F. Smith's (18th) corps and Gen. Gillmore's (10th) corps (from South Carolina) having been sent him, raising our effective strength in his department to some 40,000 men, of whom perhaps 30,000 were disposable. Having sent4 a small force on steamboats up the York to White House, to move out and menace Richmond so as to draw the enemy's attention to that quarter, the day after Gillmore's arrival his real movement commenced,5 in cooperation with General Grant's, and with others. Embarking his infantry and artillery, 25,000 strong, Gen. Butler proceeded up James river, while Gen. Kautz, with 3,000 cavalry, moved out from Suffolk, crossing the Blackwater and cutting the Weldon road at Stony creek; Col. R. West, with 1,500 more troopers, simultaneously advancing from Williamsburg up the north bank of the James. The armed transports moved up the James by night, the unarmed following next day,6 pioneered by the iron-clads and other naval forces under Admiral Lee. Wilson's wharf, Fort Powhattan, and City Point, were seized without resistance; 10,000 men being at once

1 May 9.

2 May 11.

3 May 14.

4 May 1.

5 May 4.

6 May 5.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 14th (1)
May 11th (1)
May 9th (1)
May 5th (1)
May 4th (1)
May 1st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: