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[573] While the command was engaged in this work of destruction, a picket reported the approach of a train loaded with troops from the direction of Richmond, and here commenced the first fighting. General Kilpatrick advanced a column to capture the train, if possible, but the enemy had seen the smoke of the burning station, and approached cautiously. They came on, however, to within two miles of the station, and a portion of the troops were disembarked. A small force was advanced to meet them, and in a charge our troops captured two officers and thirty men. The enemy then fled. Several parties were sent out from this point to destroy the railroad at other points, and bridges on important roads. Major Hall, of the Sixth New-York cavalry, with a party, went to destroy the Fredericksburgh and Richmond Railroad bridge, over the South-Anna, at Taylorville, but found the place guarded by the Maryland rebel battalion of rebel infantry, who had two pieces of artillery. This command was absent some time on important service, and did not rejoin the main column until the following day, in front of Richmond. Not returning at the time expected, a detachment under Captain Hull, of the Second New-York, was sent out on a mission, and to find out the whereabouts of Major Hall's party. Hull ran across a superior force and had a brisk skirmish, in which he lost five men, and was forced to retire. Another party under Captain Plum and Lieutenant Lord was also sent off and returned in safety. The main command, just at nightfall, Monday, moved forward and during the night crossed the South-Anna River. Here the advance had a skirmish with an infantry picket near Taylorsville, and dispersed them. The men crossed, a brief halt was made to feed, when the column at daylight moved “on to Richmond,” before which, and within the second line of defences, a position was taken at half-past 10 o'clock the same morning. On the way, Kilby Station, on the Fredericksburgh road, was destroyed, and Lieutenant Whitaker, of General Kilpatrick's staff, blew up a stone bridge near Kilby Station, and the track and culverts were destroyed all along in that vicinity. Lieutenant Boyce, of the Fifth New-York cavalry, with twelve men, cut the track and destroyed the telegraph at Guinea Station.

Tuesday, at half-past 10 o'clock A. M., found the command passing the outer earthworks on the Brook turnpike, within three and a half miles of Richmond. The arrival of Yankee troops was entirely unexpected, and the indignation of some very good-looking women, standing in front of houses at the roadside, excited much amusement. The advance captured several men on picket-duty belonging to the citizen soldiery of Richmond, without firing a shot; and while waiting for the main column to come up, citizens were stopped and questioned with the utmost freedom; they, of course, did not know who their questioners were. Here was obtained a copy of the Examiner and Dispatch fresh from the press that morning, announcing some rumors about a brigade of Yankee cavalry having crossed the Rapidan. What their astonishment must have been one hour later, to hear Kilpatrick's guns may be imagined but not described. Moving forward to Within the second line of defences going toward the city, the skirmishers encountered the first shots from near the third line, or what is known as Battery Number Nine. Guns were opened on both sides, and a strong line of skirmishers were thrown out. Captain Bacon, with others, charged the Johnnies, and drove them inside their works, and a desultory firing was kept up until between four and five o'clock in the evening, when, for some reason then unknown, the command of Colonel Dahlgren not appearing, General Kilpatrick decided to fall back. The enemy had burned the bridge across Brook Creek in rear of the command, and the column turned off upon the Meadows Road, crossing the Fredericksburgh and Richmond Railroad, and destroying every thing within reach. At night, the command went into camp at a place six miles from Richmond, and two miles from the Chickahominy; there was a slight fall of rain and sleet, and the men built fires, cooked their chickens and bacon, and had turned in for a few hours' sleep; but as all persons are doomed to disappointment at some time or other, so it was their lot on this occasion. At about half-past 10 o'clock, just as the command was fairly asleep, except those on duty, the rebels opened a two-gun battery upon the camp of General Davies's brigade, and immediately after charged the camp of the Seventh Michigan. The men, though taken entirely by surprise, seized their carbines, and under Colonel Litchfield, supported by the First Vermont, Colonel Preston, handsomely repulsed the enemy, who, owing to the camp-fires, had decidedly the advantage over our troops, owing to their occupying a position between the enemy and the camp-fires. After forcing the enemy back, the Commanding General decided to move his command again, so as to be ready for any emergency at daylight. In this affair a number of horses were killed, and a few were stampeded by the shrieking shell rushing through the midnight air. The scene, all things considered, was not a very fascinating one to a man of tender nerves. Several men were wounded, and Colonel Litchfield, who is missing, it is feared is also wounded. The enemy had the exact range of General Davies's headquarters, but he remained at his post during the whole attack, which lasted three quarters of an hour, and was loudly cheered by his command for the noble conduct he displayed on this occasion. The enemy did not seem disposed to follow the rear-guard, and the command moved forward, without interruption, toward the Pamunkey River. The enemy had burned all the boats in this river, so that if it had been desirable to cross, such a movement was entirely impracticable. General Kilpatrick, therefore, decided to move across the White House Railroad, and down the Peninsula. During the day, Captain Mitchell, of the Second New-York, with the bulk of Colonel Dahlgren's command, rejoined the main column, and great

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Kilpatrick (5)
Litchfield (2)
Hull (2)
R. M. Hall (2)
Davies (2)
Ulric Dahlgren (2)
Walker C. Whitaker (1)
John Preston (1)
Plum (1)
J. G. Mitchell (1)
George P. Lord (1)
William W. Boyce (1)
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