at hand, and had mistaken us for enemies. Captain Wilson, the efficient signal officer of the Second division, was sent to the front and made signals. No attention was paid to him, however, and continued firing was kept up, and one man killed. Captain Wilson was compelled to advance to the bank of the river, where he hailed the fleet. A boat was sent to the shore, the officers and crew having their pistols in hand and fully cocked, evidently mistrusting us. As soon as it became known who we were, the sailors gave us three hearty cheers, and our column advanced to near the bank of the river, our bands playing “The Lincoln gunboat's come.” Major-General Sheridan at once sent out to communicate with Major-General Butler, apprising him of our arrival and the scanty state of our forage and rations. Our immediate wants were promptly supplied, and a despatch boat instantly provided to start for Fortress Monroe to communicate with — the War Department. Our men, for three days previous to our arrival at the James river, had literally lived off the country, as many poor families who have lost the whole of their scanty supplies can testify. Our provost-marshals used their utmost endeavors to protect the families of citizens, but upon remonstrating with the men, they would refer you to acts of barbarity committed by the rebels at Fort Pillow and elsewhere. General Sheridan is eminently the right man in the right place. He is, without exception, the best cavalry commander the Army of the Potomac has ever had. He is quick to perceive and bold to execute, and has already won the entire confidence of his command. Brigadier-General D. McM. Gregg was General Sheridan's right-hand man. He consulted him on all occasions, and placed in him the utmost confidence. He knew that where Gregg was, with his fighting division, everything was moving along smoothly. All officers and men seemed to vie with each other in deeds of gallantry and daring, and were all actuated by the same feeling of determination to succeed or perish in the attempt. During the fight on the morning of the twelfth, prisoners captured from the enemy reported General J. E. B. Stuart mortally wounded. Our entire loss, from the time we crossed the Rapidan until we reached Haxall's Landing, on the James river, is, according to the statement of the Medical Director of the corps, about six hundred in killed and wounded, of which two hundred are estimated as killed. The missing will doubtless amount to one hundred and fifty to two hundred more. Most of our dead, and all of our wounded, with the exception of about thirty mortally wounded, were brought off by us. Our means of transportation were very limited. Having no ambulance train with us, we were compelled to carry the wounded in Government trains and wagons captured from the enemy. The suffering of the wounded during the slow and tedious march was necessarily great, but all of them preferred death itself to falling captives to our barbarous foe. Each and all the staff officers performed herculean labors, working night and day, regardless of personal comfort, and only intent on carrying out the plans of their generals. Many of them were exposed to great danger while carrying despatches, but all providentially escaped unhurt. Captain H. C. Wier, Assistant Adjutant-General of the Second division, had his horse shot under him while leading a charge. Our wounded received the kindest care and treatment, the surgeons working night and day in the performance of their painful duty. Among those who were most active were Surgeons Phillips, Rezner, Hackley, Hotchkiss, Tutt, and Surgeon McGill, Medical Director of the corps. Nothing was left undone to alleviate the suffering of our wounded officers and soldiers. The loss of the enemy is at least twice as great as ours, as we had a preponderance of artillery, and as they were, most of the time, the attacking party. The ground over which we drove them, both at Todd's Tavern and within the fortifications around Richmond, was literally covered with their dead and wounded. Their loss in officers was disproportionately large. The results accomplished by General Sheridan, by his splendid raid, are of the greatest importance and magnitude. It will, doubtless, compel Lee's army to fall back upon Richmond, which is an event wholly unlooked for by the Southern people, and for which they are totally unprepared. Both railroads have been destroyed in such a thorough manner as to render their repair at least the work of two weeks. The very morning we were occupying the road on the twelfth, the Richmond papers stated that the roads were only slightly damaged, and would be in running order on the next day; but no one who saw how completely General Sheridan had performed his work, will be deceived by these lying statements of the rebel press. The expedition was, upon the whole, the boldest and most successful of the war. Its very boldness made it successful. A large number of horses gave out on the march, and many were shot in battle. The dismounted men, as well as the recaptured prisoners, were compelled to walk the whole distance. This, toward the close of our trip, became a difficult matter, as the heavy rains had rendered the roads almost impassable. It is now demonstrated, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the rebel cavalry are no match for ours. I heard a rebel captain whom we captured say, that at the commencement of the war they could whip us, but that now we whipped them every time, no matter how they fought us. The new recruits, as a general thing, fought nearly as well as the veterans. General Sheridan is very proud of his new command, and expects to achieve great things with them during the summer campaign. If the Government could furnish
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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