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Doc. 16.-battle of Hanover Court-House, Va.

A correspondent of the New-York World gives the following account of this fight:

Huntingdon, Hanover County, Va., (Sixteen Miles North of Richmond,) Wednesday, May 28.
One of the most brilliant movements and achievements yet accomplished by any of our armies was consummated with the setting of yes terday's sun. The rapidity which which it was done and the happy results following it, all combine to mark it as a living incident in the history of this army's work, which history shall fitly preserve and time never wipe out.

The outline of operations is briefly this: For some days past the enemy have been throwing forces upon our right flank, in the direction of Hanover Court-House, extending their pickets to Old Church, thus annoying our right and even threatening our communications with our waterbase. It became necessary to dispose of this force, as well as to cut the communications of the enemy by the Virginia Central and Richmond and Fredericksburgh railroads. A heavy force was therefore thrown suddenly between Richmond and Hanover yesterday morning, two spirited and even severe engagements fought, the enemy totally dispersed with heavy loss, our flank cleared, and the railroad disabled.

The force selected for this important work was Gen. G. W. Morell's division of Gen. Fitz-John Porter's Fifth Provisional Army Corps. I have in former letters fitly spoken of this spirited and admirably disciplined body of men. No words of adulation from my pen can add to the honor won by them yesterday. Every bosom breathes a fervent “God bless you” for the magnificent manner in which they not only proved their reputation but upheld their country's cause in an hour of severe trial.

Orders at midnight of Monday were issued to each regiment for preparations to march on Tuesday morning at four o'clock, in light marching trim, the men carrying nothing but their arms, canteens, haversacks, and rubber ponchos. Morning came. Reveille beat at three A. M. A drenching rain was pouring down. Fires were smothered as soon as built, and many could get no breakfast, not even a cup of the much-needed coffee, for the prospective march. Cold rations for two days were hastily crowded into haversacks; canteens filled with gushing spring-water; cartridge-boxes inspected, filled, and twenty rounds additional given to each man. “Bayonets brightly gleaming” was all unappreciated poetry, for as each brigade filed out into the deep and heavy roads, nothing but the spatter of mud and rain accompanied the tramp of the many hundred armed men. Cold, cheerless, discouraging was the weather. But something was ahead. Men, dismantled of all the usual luggage attending a regular move, felt that their march could not be very long, and knew that something would probably come of it. So despite all the combinations of the elements, the march was taken up at a lively step, and ere the neighborly but sleeping divisions knew of the departure the long, dark column of soldiery had disappeared and were already miles away.

The direct road to Mechanicsville was at first [68] pursued, and there were not a few who thought a demonstration directly on Richmond seriously intended. Five, six, and seven miles had passed; no enemy in sight and no Richmond in view. “Where are we going?” fled from mouth to mouth. Gradually but surely the division bore more and more to the right. Pocket-compasses were consulted, and the column was found to be heading now west, then north-west. Then came the responses, “ten,” “twelve,” and even “fourteen” miles to Richmond, as the wondering soldiers questioned the still more wondering inhabitants who crowded doors and windows to witness the passage of such a host. But few in the column, very few indeed, had any idea of the object or direction of the march. But no questions were asked. By ten o'clock the dismal, overhanging clouds had disappeared, and the moving column was sweltering in the rays of a sultry sun. Soon after the head of the column suddenly turned to the right, pursuing a course directly north. A battery was planted at the intersecting corner of the roads, a regiment detailed to support it, and the brigades again moved rapidly on.

A brief halt at the intersection gave time for a few questions. A pocket-map or two was consulted, and it was found that we were thirteen miles north of Richmond and five from Hanover Court-House, with the evident intention of moving on the latter place. The Virginia Central Railroad was here reported to be but a mile and a half west of us. The Twenty-second Massachusetts, Col. Gove, was ordered to strike the track, disable the road, and then march northward on it, joining the main body two or three miles above. The regiment obeyed, and as will subsequently be seen, did their work.

A brief allusion as to what we hoped to find at or near Hanover is proper here. As late as Sunday, the twenty-fifth instant, a strong brigade of rebels had been posted there, believed to be composed of six North-Carolina regiments, commanded by Lawrence O'Brien Branch, formerly member of Congress, but more latterly brigadier-general, with the smell of defeat upon his garments, he having encountered Burnside at Newbern in March last, the retreat from which, it will be seen, did not prove to be his last march. His regiments are: Seventh, Twelfth, Eighteenth, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third, and Thirty-eighth North-Carolina State troops. Their strength is represented by members of the same to approach nearly to the maximum standard of one thousand men each. This force was certainly all at Hanover on Sunday. From secession, but reliable sources, we learn further that it was the intention of the enemy to reenforce the position strongly. By throwing a strong column between Hanover and Richmond, this force might be cut off, and possibly captured entire. This was our hope; now for the realization.

When the division reached a point possibly two miles north of the intersection of the roads, the advanced guard, composed of cavalry, the Twenty-fifth New-York infantry, Col. Johnson, and a section of artillery, the pickets of the enemy were discovered. The skirmishers opened fire, and the rebels slowly withdrew for a mile or so. They were rapidly pursued by the Twenty-fifth, who thus got some distance in advance of the main column, and even ahead of the protecting section of Benson's light battery, which was in front. Near the residence of Dr. Kinney, at the forks of the main road--one leading by the right hand to Richmond, and the other by the left hand, circuitously, to Mechanicsville — the rebels drew up in line of battle, in an open field, but behind a house and in support of two of their own fieldpieces, thus making a respectable show for a fight. Col. Johnson boldly pressed forward, and engaged them at close range, making hot work of it for both sides, for at least fifteen minutes before any supports arrived. The enemy were driven from behind their sheltering places, but suddenly a force of them appeared from the woods, on the right flank of the Twenty-fifth, and succeeded in capturing a part of company G, carrying them to their rear promptly as prisoners. Col. Johnson now anxiously looked for help, when a section of Marin's Massachusetts battery came up, followed by a couple of pieces from Griffin's regular battery, which soon fixed the earnest attention of the rebels who were firing grape and shell from their twelve-pound howitzers with great vigor. Here comes the surprise. From the cool and determined stand of the rebels, it was evident that they conceived the force in sight to be our total strength, and that it would,be an easy matter to repulse or capture it. But word had gone to Gen. Butterfield, who speedily ordered the Seventeenth New-York, Col. Lansing, and the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, Col. McLane, into the timber on the left of the road, to deploy, and come out well on the enemy's flank. With a burst of enthusiasm, in went both regiments, the Seventeenth covering the front with a strong line of skirmishers. In a trice they appeared in the wheat-field on the left, and with incredible rapidity formed line of battle, the Seventeenth coming up on the right with the regularity and coolness of a dressparade, supported by the Twelfth New-York, Col. Weeks, in column by division, while the Eighty-third took the left of the line, supported by the Sixteenth Michigan, Col. Stockton, in the same manner. The rebels at once perceived the vitality of this movement. They had not anticipated it. Surprised, then confused, a well-directed volley caused them first to waver, and then to fly with all the speed at their command, scattering, like a covey of partridges, in every direction. Another volley picked off most of their men at the guns, when forward went the Seventeenth with a yell, on the double-quick; the cannon were abandoned without even a spike, and the pursuit of the retreating enemy kept up for two and a half miles, to Hanover Court-House, before the regiments finally brought up. Prisoners at once began to be brought in. The men of the Seventeenth and Eighty-third regiments hunted them and dragged them from their hiding-places with great gusto; within an hour fifty to sixty had been brought [69] in and confined in a barn to the rear of the house where Col. Johnson was re-gathering his regiment, and bringing together the brave ones who had so gallantly fallen. Here it was found that all the casualties, about thirty, save one or two in the batteries, were in the Twenty-fifth. Lieut.-Col. Savage, Surgeon Weed, and Lieut. Halpin were wounded, while Capt. McMahon, Lieut. Fiske, and Lieut. Thompson had baptized their patriotism with their life-blood, falling upon the threshold of victory, fighting to the last, like the brave men that they were. Several of the most valued non-commissioned officers likewise fell here.

The guns captured were twelve-pound smoothbore brass howitzers, belonging to Latham's celebrated New-Orleans battery, and they were left in good order. The limber-boxes were nearly full of ammunition, though one of them had been blown up by a shell from Griffin during the first of the engagement. The charge of the Seventeenth New-York upon these guns was very handsomely done. The superior drill of the regiment was manifest in the solid and regular front which they preserved in moving forward. The officers behaved with coolness and unflinching valor. Major Bartram and Lieut.-Col. Morris, though both confined to their tents for several days previously, were in their saddles, and with Colonel McLane and Lieut.-Col. Vincent, of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, signalized their bravery by the capture of numerous prisoners single-handed. Gen. Butterfield complimented Col. Lansing very highly on his achievement.

The enemy fled beyond this point, his confusion becoming greater at every step. The cavalry pursued by each by-road, and helped to gather in the harvest of prisoners. The regiments halted briefly at the Court-House, finding it deserted of troops, the expected enemy having suddenly changed his tactics and moved off just in time to escape our net.

As elsewhere alluded to, the Twenty-second Massachusetts went out on the railroad and took up several hundred feet of the track, following up the road to the turnpike-crossing at Peake's Station, just below where the engagement took place. Here orders came back from Gen. Porter for the Twenty-second to continue to move up the railroad, and for all other regiments, the Forty-fourth and the battery below included, to move forward rapidly, as it was expected to meet the enemy in large force at or near Hanover. Col. Gove returned to the railroad, remarking that there were evidences of an attempt by the enemy to come upon our rear. The First and Second brigades then moved forward, but had not proceeded far before a cavalry picket rode in rapidly and informed Gen. Martindale that the enemy had brought up a force by rail, which was now coming swiftly forward for an attack upon our rear, with the very evident and confident hope of getting us between two fires, and chewing us up at their leisure. The Second Maine regiment, Col. Roberts, being in the rear, was immediately faced about and stationed by Gen. Martindale at the junction of the road by which the divisions had advanced, with the main turnpike to Richmond running parallel with the railroad. Between these two roads it was supposed the enemy would advance. They extended their flank, however, so as to cover both sides of the road by which we had come, advancing under shelter of the timber. The Forty-fourth New-York Col. Stryker, were here ordered into position on the left of Martin's battery, which was supported on the right by the Second Maine. The Twenty-fifth regiment was also sent for, it having halted at Dr. Kinney's house, the locality of their spirited engagement, and were attending to the wants of their wounded. Their brave colonel soon rallied them, having first thanked them in a brief speech for their gallantry, and, proceeding to the ground, took up a position on the left of the battery, before which the enemy had already appeared. The Forty-fourth was then ordered to deploy into the woods on the left and clear them of the rebel skirmishers, in order to protect one of our hospitals which was some distance in the rear. They started, but an attempt of the enemy on our right flank caused them to be recalled, and they returned to their position, engaging their opponents vigorously. The fight had now become hot. Six regiments of rebel infantry were in plain sight. Their especial attention seemed to be the right flank, where Col. Roberts, having taken a good position in the edge of the woods, was pouring into them volley after volley of the most terrible musketry. Col. Johnson was ordered to relieve Col. Roberts, and the Second Maine filed off to the right, changing front slightly, but keeping up its fire with telling effect. This movement, through some unavoidable circumstance, exposed both the Twenty-fifth and Forty-fourth to an enfilading fire, from which they suffered severely. But the Second Maine, though low in ammunition, still kept the enemy in check. He plied the left wing of the Forty-fourth desperately, but it was more than a match for him. Col. Johnson was here wounded, and subsequently had his horse shot under him. Adjt. Houghton, of the same regiment, likewise received a flesh-wound in the leg. Maj. Chapin, of the Forty-fourth, received two severe wounds, one in the chest and one in the leg. Adjt. Knox was wounded in the wrist; Lieut. Fox in the shoulder; Lieut.-Col. Rice had his horse killed under him, and his sword cut off the belt by a musket-ball. But in vain the enemy pressed; these three heroic columns, though losing severely at every discharge, stood their ground most nobly, never yielding an inch. The Second Maine finally got out of ammunition, when Col. Roberts appealed for a chance to use cold steel if he could not get cold lead.

While this hot fight was going on, the brigades which were in the advance were returning on the double-quick. They formed in line in the wheat-field near where the first engagement took place, then pressed through the woods vigorously, and were soon face to face with the enemy, who were evidently startled by the appearance of so strong [70] a reenforcement. Butterfield threw the Eighty-third Pennsylvania and Sixteenth Michigan in on the left. McQuade sent the Sixty-second Pennsylvania, Col. Black, in the timber on the extreme right, deployed mainly as skirmishers, and advancing rapidly; also the Ninth Massachusetts, Col. Cass, on the left of the Eighty-third. The Fourteenth New-York having relieved the Second Maine, was joined by the Thirteenth New-York, from Col. Warren's brigade, on our left supported by Berdan's Sharp-shooters, half of whom went in with their Sharpe's rifles, doing sure work at every shot, while the balance of the regiments were held in reserve. Griffin's battery now came thundering in, unlimbered and took position in a twinkling, and commenced throwing shell and shrapnel with excellent effect. The fresh regiments now pressed forward, the Eighty-third Pennsylvania advancing under several volleys, but reserving its fire for close quarters, losing but slightly. The enemy found the pressure of the Sixty-second on his left and the other regiments in front altogether too great, and, with several well-directed volleys, our advancing columns soon threw him into the direst confusion, and he at once beat a precipitate retreat, under the cover of the dense forest in his rear.

The victory was ours! All honor to the three noble bands who so long held the enemy in check without abating an iota of their foothold; and great praise to the vigorous and timely efforts of the brave regiments from Butterfield and McQuade, who drove from the ground a force superior to the whole of ours engaged at any one time. Butterfield's efforts, from first to last, were productive of the very best results.

The results are more than we expected. Up to this hour, over six hundred prisoners. Gen. Stoneman captured a railway-train.

Another account.

Butterpield's brigade, Porter's division, Fifth provisional army corps, camp near Hanover Court-House, Va., May 29.
Fort Donelson, Pittsburgh Landing, Williamsburgh, Hanover, and Fair Oaks illustrate in this war, what is a remarkable fact in the campaigns of both classic and modern times, that the most drenching storms and the deepest mud have not been able to deter energetic commanders and vigorous troops from making long marches or fighting hard battles.

The old division of Gen. Fitz-John Porter, now commanded by its ranking general, Brig.-Gen. Morell, received, on the night of the twenty-sixth instant, orders to move on the following morning, equipped for fight. Five o'clock was the hour appointed for starting. At three the officers of the different guards roused the men to find the rain falling rapidly, their tents overflowing, and pools of muddy water where their kitchen-fires had been the night before. The storm kept increasing, and many an officer and man hoped that before daylight a countermand would come. The kindest persuasion could not induce a fire to burn--“fall in,” was heard, for so near the enemy we no longer use the bugle for the general assembly and “color” --and our stout fellows, cut short of their morning cup of coffee, seized their arms, and the long dark regimental lines began to appear over the camp grounds at the first dawn of day. An hour passed, and still no order and no countermand. Yet another — and an orderly came galloping to our tent. We were sure the march for that day had been given up. “You will start with your command at once — the head of the column is moving. T. J. Hoyt, A. A. G.” Out we went, nobody knew whither. 'Twas enough we were going somewhere.

Headed by the General and his staff, the brigade filed into its place and the dreary march commenced. Men were dainty at first where they planted their feet, but in half an hour puddles to the knee and mud that was shallower were sounded alike with indifference. At each small stream, as we passed through the low swampy wood, you could hear the question and reply along the ranks, “This the Chickahominy, boys?” “Yes, here's New-Bridge!” “Big river, this!” “Let's jump it!” but after a ten-mile march it became evident we were not going to Richmond at least by New-Bridge.

The morning wore away and at noon the storm had departed with it. We were now some twelve miles from camp in a direction about north-westerly. The order of advance at a cross-roads here was changed a little. The Seventeenth New-York had led our brigade, followed by Griffin's battery, then the Forty-fourth New-York, Eighty-third Pennsylvania, Twelfth New-York, and Sixteenth Michigan. Here the Forty-fourth New-York was detached with two pieces of Martin's Fifth Massachusetts battery to guard against any attempt of the enemy to interfere with our rear. The regiments closed up, took the right-hand road, and forward we went for some three miles more. Sharp volleys of musketry were now heard, and then the heavy thunder of the larger guns. Evidently the enemy had been found. The Twenty-fifth New-York, Col. Johnson, was in advance of the division. The rebels had chosen an open space of large extent, flanked with woods, several hundred yards to the right and left of an orchard and dwelling-house, (Dr. Kinney's,) near the centre, where they had planted two guns, supported by a regiment of infantry. Col. Johnson's attack upon this position was brave and impetuous, but the superior numbers of the enemy in the field, and in the woods on his right, compelled him to withdraw with severe loss. The artillery had opened briskly, and the head of this brigade — of which I wish particularly to speak, because I know whereof I affirm — made its appearance.

Stripping off their wet blankets and tents, forward went the Seventeenth New-York and Eighty-third Pennsylvania in line of battle, led by their gallant General, and followed in column of division by the Twelfth New-York and Sixteenth Michigan. This movement was for the enemy's flank as well as front; to gain this, therefore, the woods to his right were taken and skirmishers [71] thrown ahead A slight reconnoissance revealed his position. The word came from Gen. Butterfield to advance, and forward out of those woods came the Seventeenth New-York and Eighty-third Pennsylvania in line, as compact and steady as in the many dress-parades they have made side by side. The skirmishers opened their fire and down bore the regiments upon the enemy, with the old Stars and Stripes flying high. No rebels could withstand this. The supports broke and fled, the gunners emulated their haste, and a twelve-pound howitzer of Capt. Latham's battery, abandoned in their flight, now attests the discipline and courage of the Third brigade.

The prisoners whom we took at this point were of the Twenty-eighth North-Carolina regiment, clad in the homespun “confederate grey,” and of an intelligence and manner far inferior to the same class of society at the North. There was none of the savage and brutal appearance about them, attributed to rebels of the Gulf States.

The enemy had fled and disappeared in the woods; a momentary halt and three rousing cheers from the regiments as Gen. Butterfield rode along the line, and thanked us for this spirited conduct, and forward we went again. The enemy's plan, as disclosed to us soon, and afterwards corroborated by a captured officer, was to lead the main body of our troops onward after the Twenty-eighth North--Carolina, if it escaped, while the rest of their forces, lying concealed in the woods, should, after our advance, come upon our rear, place us between two fires, and make us an easy prey. As the sequel showed, their bag was well made, but the material was hardly strong enough for such troops as Fitz-John Porter's.

Closely pressing the enemy, and capturing some thirty prisoners, among them a captain and half his company, the Eighty-third Pennsylvania hurried up the road in the direction of Hanover Court-House. There Gen. Butterfield received intelligence from Gen. Porter that the enemy was in our rear, and to return at once. Now commenced the marching such as no troops under the sun could have endured except those who had been subjected to their five months severe drill on the banks of the Potomac.

Meantime the Forty-fourth New-York, when the enemy made his appearance a second time for the purpose named, had been ordered up with a section of Martin's battery, and soon found itself subjected to a cross-fire from a much superior force. Clearly the enemy thought his work easy.

A fragment of the Twenty-fifth New-York, the Second Maine, and the Forty-fourth New-York, lying in the open road, were exposed to the galling fire of an enemy concealed and protected by a close fence in the woods, not two hundred yards distant, and yet here they lay receiving and returning volley after volley, until many had expended their sixty rounds of cartridges, and were obliged to borrow of the dead. So near were the Second Maine and the enemy at one time, that the men on both sides actually thrust their guns through the same fence, which here made nearly a right angle, and fired on each other. The conduct of the Forty-fourth was gallant in the extreme. Four times was their flag struck by a bullet to the ground and raised again by an intrepid hand. When the name of one of these brave fellows was asked by the Lieut.-Colonel, then in command through the absence of the Colonel, in consultation with Gen. Martindale, he gave it, and remarked: “As long as I live, sir, you shall never see that flag in the dust.” In the fiercest of the fight, when it seemed necessary to make a charge to keep the enemy off, a captain replied to the question of the Lieutenant-Colonel, “How many men can you muster to follow you in a charge?” “Every man, sir, will follow, save the dead.” By a strange coincidence the flag of the Forty-fourth was pierced with just forty-four bullets. The horse of the Lieutenant-Colonel was killed, the Major wounded, and the arm of the Adjutant shattered while his blade was waving. For more than an hour consecrated by bravery like this, that mere handful of men held the enemy in check. At length the sound of distant cheers was heard. It was the Third brigade hastening to their relief.

In line of battle, Sixteenth Michigan on the left and Eighty-third Pennsylvania on the right, they were pressing through the ploughed fields, straight for the heaviest fire. Up lode General Butterfield, whose uncovered head at this moment struck you as more than ordinarily like Napoleon's. “Ah! Here comes the little General,” says one. “Now for the double-quick.” “Yes, my boys, now you see the use of double-quick.” “Oh! Yes; oh! Yes.” “Well, then, three rousing cheers to encourage our brave fellows yonder.” The effect was electric. Those men who had already marched eighteen miles through drenching rain and bottomless roads, and chased the enemy two miles more, took up the double-quick, caught the General's cheer and sent it increased many fold through the ranks of the enemy, to gladden the hearts of our friends. As a prisoner stated to us afterwards, these cheers told the enemy his game was lost. His fire slackened perceptibly, and on went the regiments into the woods. The marks of a terrible battle were all around us. Dead and dying were at the foot of every tree; the trees themselves, splintered and torn by the bullets, were as mangled as the bodies beneath them. The sulphurous smoke made the air strangely blue. Here we captured, from the enemy falling back, more prisoners than we dared detach men to guard. One poor fellow jumped from the ground, evidently to deliver himself up, but unfortunately brought his piece too near a horizontal line; one of our skirmishers dropped on his knees and fired. The rebel whirled completely round, pierced through both sides. Two others came forward displaying a dirty handkerchief, once white — bearing between them a small pale-faced fellow, a mere boy, badly wounded — and asked us to spare their lives.

“We've been forced into this we're conscripts,” [72] they cried. Their piteous begging showed how fully their unprincipled leaders had deceived them with the idea that they were to be murdered at once. They, like the others, were sent to the rear. Here we found from the prisoners that two regiments of the enemy were just to the right of us, in line of battle at right angles to our own. Here we flung out our right skirmisher with his company — a burly captain, whose weight before the war was always a good three hundred, but now reduced by hard marching and harder eating to the size of common men — up the railroad-track, to feel the enemy there. He soon found them and received their introductory volley, returning the salutation. He turned to see where his supports were, and discovered Gen. Butterfield close behind him. “They are here in large force,” said he to the General. “Pitch into them all you know how,” was the prompt response. “Aye, Aye, sir,” and away went the captain at the double-quick. The boldness of the flank attack surprised the enemy and he fell back. Pressing through the woods, the Eighty-third Pennsylvania came out just in front of the enemy, as two sections of Griffin's battery were unlimbering. Here again Gen. Butterfield appeared, and calling for a horse, shouted, “Where is Stockton? Give me a horse and Stockton too, and the day is ours!” and at once ordered the Eighty-third Pennsylvania forward through the battery, to engage the enemy now in the open field. The enemy was wavering, but this demonstration decided him at once; his face was turned and we followed. Just as the Eighty-third was crossing the railroad, excavated some ten feet in the field here, and mounting the opposite bank, the enemy opened upon them a terrific fire. Nothing but the protection offered by the bank, and the position of the men as they lay and sat firing, saved them in this fifteen minutes from severe loss.

Here an incident occurred not to be soon forgotten. A sergeant, who had but just rejoined his regiment after a two months sickness, had managed after great exertion to keep in his place through the trying march, but now was almost exhausted. An officer stopped to encourage him. “A few minutes more, sergeant, and we shall be on them.” “Yes, I'll be with you,” said he, and pulling out a miniature of his wife and two children, “That is what I have to fight for.” The next instant a ball shattering his leg had borne him to the ground.

Advancing now in compact line, and firing as they went, the Eighty-third Pennsylvania and Ninth Massachusetts drove the enemy some five hundred yards through the open field. No retreat could have been more handsomely made than was this. He retreated a short distance, came to the right about, and with colors steady, delivered his volley and again retreated. His pursuers were gaining on him, however, and others following fast after their steps, when near the edge of the woods his line gave way, and he fled in confusion. The enemy began his retreat in the morning under the fire of this brigade, and our bullets in the evening closed the success of the day. Darkness had now come, and gathering up the honored dead and the sufferers who yet lived, we sent them to the hospital and returned to bivouac on the field.

The next morning Butterfield's brigade turned into the guard over two hundred and fifty prisoners, two hundred stand of small arms, wagons, tents, cannon, etc., etc.--among the prisoners a major, six or eight captains, a batch of lieutenants — and were ready for another fight, with one regiment on the march toward the South Anna, to accomplish, what I had forgotten to state was the object of our expedition, namely, the cutting the enemy's lines of communication with the forces in front of Banks and McDowell.

There were many noteworthy incidents of the day that have not made part of my description. A ball struck at the foot of Gen. Porter's horse. “Did you see that?” asked an aid. “I see that Butterfield is driving them handsomely,” was the quiet reply. An Irishman of the Seventeenth New-York came up to the General, tugging under a load of three guns on one shoulder, his own at a trail in the other hand, driving three prisoners in gray before him--“Sure Gineral, and I have three of them; what'll I do wid em?”

The kindness shown the wounded and captured was an evident surprise to them, and affected them much. They had no desire to be exchanged. The battle-field brings out man's nature in its strongest and truest light.

One of our colonels is said to have been absent from his command at a most critical moment, improperly, and it is reported that he will be cashiered. Time must prove this. One of our generals is said to have cried and lost his mental balance completely for a time during the fight, but the instant the fight was over, was laying down to the newspaper reporters, his deeds of valor, over the table where the surgeons were amputating the wounded. I might add a hundred incidents, but what I have told you is enough to give you an idea of the affair.

Gen. McClellan came up the next morning and was most enthusiastically received by the men. He grasped Gen. Porter by the hand most cordially and congratulated him. Turning to Gen. Butterfield, who was near, he put one hand on his shoulder and said some words that we on the outside could not hear. That they were well merited compliments for brave and gallant deeds, the faces of both showed most plainly. Our brigade was satisfied and confident that under fire, as well as elsewhere, we have the right man in the right place.

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