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[605] them, and let them go, leaving the cars for the benefit of the poor fellows who were more seriously injured. The engine and tender of the train, together with another found in the town, were rendered completely useless by a mechanic from the ranks.

We found here a large stable filled with rebel horses and mules. Some of them we took with us, but were obliged to leave the most of them. We destroyed twenty wagons, with harness, etc.

We left Ashland at six o'clock P. M. A few miles from the town word was brought us that eighteen wagons was camped in the woods near by. I sent Captain Roder, with companies B and C, to destroy them, which he did. We struck the Central Railroad at Hanover Station, about eight o'clock P. M. Although wearied and exhausted by our day's labor, I thought it best to complete the duty assigned us, and break all the enemy's connections before resting. Not an enemy opposed us. We captured and paroled about thirty officers and men at the station; they made no resistance. Captain Shears was ordered to destroy the trestle-work, which reached about ten rods to the south side of the depot. The work was effectually done by the same process as at Ashland, and by its blaze we could clearly discern the confederate guards passively standing at the other end. We also burned a culvert, and cut the telegraph wires, and burned the depot buildings, store-houses, stables, and a train of cars, all belonging to the confederate government, and filled with property.

It would be impossible to give a precise statement of the damage here inflicted upon the enemy. It must have been great. There were more than a hundred wagons burned, a thousand sacks of flour and corn, and a large quantity of clothing and horse equipments. The buildings and cars were full of property, collected for the use of the Southern army. All private property we respected, and I believe that none whatever was destroyed.

By the light of the burning buildings we left the station and marched for the court-house, which had been previously occupied by Captain Fisher with companies A and G, who had placed pickets there and taken a captain and four men prisoners. We passed through the court-house and marched down to within seven miles of Richmond, where we bivouacked till eight o'clock the next morning, when we marched for Williamsburgh. At Tunstall Station (near the White House and the Richmond and Yorktown Railroad) a train of cars filled with infantry and a battery of three guns, was run out to oppose us.

I thought it best to make an effort to break through before the men could be got out of the cars, or the battery in position I therefore brought up my two foremost squadrons, and ordered a charge, which was executed by them, Charles Reanes, with companies D and F, taking the lead, and followed by Captain Sheares, with companies H and I. This charge was made most gallantly. The infantry filled the embankment of the railway, and poured upon us a severe fire, but my men dashed up to the embankments in splendid style, and, with carbines and pistols, responded to the fire with equal effect. It was, however, impossible to break through. There were formidable rifle-pits to the left of the road, and the enemy soon filled them, and we were forced to retire, with a loss of two killed and several wounded; among the latter, Lieutenant Marsh, who was among the foremost in the charge, and who received so severe a wound in the right arm, that we were obliged to leave him in one of the neighboring houses.

Failing to penetrate the enemy's lines at this point, I determined to cross the Pamunkey and Mattapony Rivers, and make for Gloucester Point. In this movement I had nothing to guide me but a common map of the State of Virginia, and I was in entire ignorance of the position of the enemy's force, except that the line before me was closed. My information was of that poor sort derived from contrabands. I selected Plunkett's Ferry, over the Pamunkey, and occupied it, after driving away a picket on the other side, with whom we exchanged shots. We crossed in a boat holding fifteen or eighteen men and horses, which was poled over the river. Our passage was not disputed. In the same manner we crossed the Mattapony, at Walkertown, after driving away a picket, two of whom we captured. Between these two ferries a portion of the command under Major Bronson, became detached, and did not join us until the seventh instant. They captured fifteen rebels and destroyed a quantity of saddles at King and Queen Court-House.

From Walkertown we marched to Gloucester Point, having travelled a distance of over two hundred miles, much of it through Southern homes, never disturbed by the presence of the enemy. Not far from Saluda we captured and destroyed a train of eighteen wagons, loaded with corn and provisions.

Our total loss in the expedition has been two commissioned officers and thirty-three enlisted men. We brought with us one hundred mules and seventy-five horses, captured from the enemy. We captured, in the course of our march, a much larger number, which we could not bring on. The amount of property destroyed is estimated at over one million of dollars.

Respectfully submitted,

H. Davis, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding.


Account by a participant.

headquarters Stoneman's cavalry corps, Friday, May 8, 1863.
I will commence the narrative at the time when it may be said the command first entered the enemy's lines by crossing Kelly's Ford. This was effected, without damage, on the morning of Wednesday, April twenty-ninth, the Eleventh, Twelfth, and Fifth army corps crossing on the same day. One division, however, of General Stoneman's command, that commanded by Gen. Averill, forded the river near the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and soon after crossing encountered a small force of the enemy's cavalry,


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