The Yankee cavalry raid.
We gave yesterday such reports of the operations of Yankee cavalry upon the railroads above Richmond
as were then in our possession.
It appears that after having destroyed some portion of the track of the Central
road, a detachment of the same party moved on towards the Fredericksburg railroad, near Ashland
, reaching there on Sunday morning. There they remained in ambuscade, to wait for the trains which they knew must soon arrive.
In the afternoon an ambulance train came on from the direction of Fredericksburg
, and the engineer was somewhat startled by a sudden salute of fire-arms, while a number of bullets passed in unpleasant proximity to the locomotive.
The engineer fell as if wounded, when the Yankees
approached, and finding him unhurt compelled him to proceed on to Ashlend with the train; but soon after arriving there he effected his escape, and came on to Richmond
the same night.
Besides the sick and wounded on the ambulance train, there were a number of citizens of Richmond
, including Col. S. Bassett French
, Aid to Gov. Letcher
, and a few ladies.
They were treated with comparative kindness by the marauders, who were commanded by one Col. Davis
, claiming to be a native of King George county, Va.
It is stated that they did not disturb the invalid soldiers, but left the ambulance train unharmed, though they destroyed a wood train and the locomotives "Thomas Sharp" and "Nicholas Mills." We are unadvised as to the extent of the damage to the track; but since the raiders seemed to be in a great hurry to depart, it is presumed to be inconsiderable.
they proceeded to Hungary Station, nine miles from Richmond
, and passed the night in that vicinity.
Here they destroyed some railroad property.
It is believed, however, that the connection through by this route will be very speedily re-established.
Yesterday morning they made their appearance on the Brook Turnpike
, leading into Richmond
, and commenced a series of depredations on private property, though their chief object seemed to be to steal horses, to replace their own, which had become much jaded.
They took four horses and six negroes from Mr. John Stewart
, and some from others in the neighborhood.
Col. John B. Young
, Commonwealth's Attorney for Henrico county
, was visited by a strong detachment, surprising him while busily employed in the preparation of a legal document for Judge Gregory
They took from him three horses, but disturbed nothing else.
It appears that the expedition divided into detached parties, for we hear of them at various places about the same time.
We have been assured that less than 300 were engaged in the raid upon Ashland
, while those who reconnoitered their camps at different points express the opinion that the entire command was from 1,500 to 2,000 strong.
At all events, it would have been no very difficult task to have captured a considerable portion of the gang after their first appearance on the Central
road on Saturday.
They seem to have expected this; but the golden opportunity was neglected, and the thieves went on their way almost unmolested, though it is reported that two of them were shot yesterday morning by Wrenn
We observe, also, that three others, who had straggled from their command, were captured and brought to Richmond
At Hanover Court House they destroyed a considerable quantity of Government stores, a train of freight cars, and some buildings.--At Peake's Station, on the Central railroad, they cut the telegraph wires, and probably inflicted some damage upon the road.
They proceeded on yesterday morning to the famous Meadow Bridges
, on the Chickahominy
, a locality which their army evacuated in great haste on a former occasion.
it here crossed by the Central railroad, and it happened that about the time of their visit yesterday, the locomotive "Augusta
," with Conductor Phillips
and Engineer Crone
, was approaching the spot on a reconnoitering expedition.
had the locomotive nearly surrounded before they were discovered, but the conductor and engineer succeeded in effecting their escape through the swamp.
Two negroes remained with the locomotive, but afterwards escaped and got back to the city.
sat fire to the bridge, which is an inconsiderable structure, and as it burnt the engine was precipitated into the water.
" is an old engine, of small size.
, of Gen. Winder
's staff, while riding in the county yesterday morning, was captured by the Yankees
and immediately paroled.
was in command of the party who performed this exploit.
We hear that Col. Wyndham
was also one of the officers of the expedition.
The foregoing embraces all that we could gather of their operations in that neighborhood.
They are reported to have passed Old Church, Hanover county
, about 9 o'clock yesterday morning, and it is presumed that the whole expedition reunited yesterday, and is now far on the way towards the Yankee
That their intention was to have extended their operations further there is little doubt.
Indeed, we hear that they attempted to strike the York River railroad at Tunstall
's yesterday afternoon, but were met and driven back by a portion of Wise
Their damages to the railroads are by no means so extensive as at first reported, but that it should have been permitted to progress so far is a matter that puzzles everybody.
At a late hour last night we learned some official intelligence, that relieves this raid of some of its disagreeable features.
It is stated that a portion of the expedition in attempting to carry into effect their intentions upon the James river
canal, were met by the cavalry of Gen. W. H. F. Lee
, who, by a forced march, succeeded in reaching the point at exactly the right time.
were completely routed, and about forty of their number taken prisoners.