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Doc. 92.-Gen. Stoneman's reconnoissance toward Warrenton, Va., March 14.

A correspondent of the New--York Tribune gives the following account of this affair:

Washington, Monday, March 17, 1862.
On Friday last a grand reconnaissance in force was made by Gen. Stoneman, Chief of Cavalry, about fourteen miles beyond Manassas, toward Warrenton, to which place it was said the rebels had retreated. Gen. Stoneman was attended by the following staff-officers, regular and volunteer: Lieut.-Col. Grier, Inspector of Cavalry; Major Whipple, Topographical Engineers; Dr. McMillan, Division Surgeon; Capt. A. J. Alexander, Assistant Adjutant-General; Lieut. Sumner, Aide-de-Camp; Lieut. Bowen, Topographical Engineers; Duc de Paris, Duc de Chartres, Count Dillanceau, Dr. G. Grant, Assistant Division Surgeon. The force was composed of the Sixth United States cavalry regiment, Col. Emery; Fifth United States cavalry regiment, under command of Capts. Whiting, Owens, and Harrison; Third Pennsylvania cavalry, Lieut.Col. Griffiths; McClellan dragoons, Major Barker; and Fifty-seventh New-York volunteers, infantry, Col. Zook.

At Bristow's Station the retreating rebels had burned the railroad-bridge, and it was learned that a squad of twenty cavalry had been there that morning for the purpose of impressing every white man they could find into the service. One of the Union troops who had come this distance foraging, narrowly escaped with his life. A Mr. McCarthy, living near the station, hearing of the approach of the rebel scouts on Friday morning, secreted himself with five other men in the woods and underbrush. McCarthy escaped, but the others were captured by their own imprudence. Mr. Thomas K. Davis, a Union man living near Bristow's, was grossly insulted and rudely handled for refusing to join the rebel forces. Some of his houses were burned, and the chivalrous Louisianians endeavored to frighten him by firing a pistol and musket about his head.

Following the line of the railroad, it was also found that Kipp's Bridge, a structure of thirty feet span, had been destroyed by fire. The ruins lay in the bottom of the stream. About two o'clock in the afternoon the main body halted, the Fifth cavalry being sent forward to feel the enemy. When within a mile and a half of Catlipp's Station, this body of cavalry halted, when observations were made with field-glasses, and men on horseback discovered in the distance, both on the front and upon the hills to the right of the railroad. Capt. Whiting directly thereafter despatched two squadrons, under Lieuts. Custer and McIntosh, to drive in the rebel pickets on the front, and another squadron to accomplish the same on the right. The charge in front was beautifully made, and as the Fifth rode up the hill, the rebels took to their heels and retreated across Cedar Run, destroying the railroad-bridge by fire as they went along.

As our cavalry approached the run and were attempting to save the bridge, the rebels secreted in the forest fired two or three volleys upon them. Private John W. Bryand was shot in the back of the head, but not severely wounded. One horse was wounded, and several shots passed through the men's stirrups. The rebels had a flag bearing St. Anthony's cross, which they waved toward our troops. This body of our troops being armed only with revolvers beside their sabres, could not injure the skulking cowards who were hid among the trees.

Capt. Whiting sent for reenforcements, when the main body came up, and a position was taken upon the hill-top, where the troops bivouacked for the night. Pickets were thrown out, and a close watch kept upon the rebel movements. The Union troops suffered severely on account of the heavy mist and rain that fell, nearly extinguishing their fire. They were without any sort of shelter except their blankets.

At daylight on Saturday morning Gen. Stone-man received information that the rebels were endeavoring to surround him and cut off his retreat, and that they had several regiments of infantry and one or two of cavalry beyond Cedar Run. A close watch was continued, and about half-past 7 o'clock two companies of the Fifty-seventh regiment New--York volunteers, Major Parisen, marched toward the creek near the bridge, where they deployed. The woods on the other side were seemingly alive with the rebels, who from their hiding-places poured volley after volley upon our men. The Fifty-seventh returned the fire, but with what effect could not be clearly discerned, owing to the distance. One saddle, however, was emptied, and cries as if from wounded men were heard.

Gen. Stoneman having obtained such information as he desired, prepared to return, but previous [297] to starting toward Manassas, which was twelve or fourteen miles distant, he offered the rebels fight, and drew up his forces in line of battle. The rebels would not come out of their stronghold — the woods — and as their force was known to be vastly superior to ours, it was not deemed advisable to make the attack. The retirement of Gen. Stoneman was accomplished slowly and in good order, and though the rebels made several charges, they retreated upon the slightest demonstration by our troops. After a day's march through a drenching rain, General Stoneman and his men reached Manassas in safety.

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