Junction. I will say here that it was the Fourth and Sixteenth Pennsylvania cavalry regiments that destroyed the station, our brigade being in advance that day. It was our intention to go to Hanover Junction and destroy the station also, but for obvious reasons we changed our course and struck directly for Richmond. I will not take time nor space to describe all the incidents along the route; suffice it to say that we burnt another station on the Fredericksburgh and Richmond Railroad. On Tuesday, at noon, we passed within the first line of fortifications around Richmond. We took up a position near Old Church, threw out our skirmishers, and opened a brisk artillery fire on them of two hours duration. We lost one officer — a captain — killed. We now directed our course toward White House, but halted for the night at Bidnella Cross-Roads — threw out our pickets, and in a drenching rain, lay down to get a few hours' sleep, of which we all stood very much in need; but fate ordained it otherwise. General Kilpatrick had set his heart upon taking Richmond, and for that purpose he detailed Major Taylor with four hundred men of his (Taylor's) command, consisting of First Maine, Fourth Pennsylvania, and Sixteenth Pennsylvania, who were to lead the advance, and all the rest were to follow in due time. The preliminaries were all arranged and the enterprise ready to be carried into execution, when we were attacked. This, of course, knocked the project on the head, and it had to be abandoned. The night was awful dark. The rebs came down upon us with a yell that made us think of Pandemonium; but we soon got our lines formed and advanced upon them, when they hastily fell back, not, however, until they had killed the Lieutenant-Colonel of the Sixth Michigan, and captured about two hundred of the men of that regiment. We now directed our course in such a manner as to strike the Pamunkey about eight miles above White House. The next morning it was ascertained that the rebs were following us up. About ten o'clock we formed a line of battle. Two squadrons of the First Maine were deployed as skirmishers, the remaining two squadrons and the Fourth and Sixteenth Pennsylvania were drawn up for a charge. In about ten minutes our skirmishers attacked them, and almost immediately after, the devils saw our colors and came down toward us on a charge. Captain Cole, of the First Maine, was ordered to meet the charge, which he did in gallant style, completely routing them, and driving them like sheep before him. In this charge the rebs lost five killed and quite a number wounded and captured. We only sustained a loss of two captured from the First Maine. Our advance party of five hundred had not formed a junction with us yet, and we began to have some apprehension for their safety. We now pushed on for the Pamunkey, about four miles distant--the rebels had gotten all they wanted from us, and molested us no further. Our whole force now succeeded in crossing a branch of the Pamunkey. Lieutenant Grant, of the Fourth Pennsylvania cavalry, was in command of the skirmish-line. Just as they were in the act of crossing, they discovered a body of troops coming toward them. They were dressed in blue, and it was soon discovered that they were friends. Upon coming up they proved to be our advance party; there were only about three hundred left — they were surrounded at Frederickshall, lost all their field-officers, and about two hundred men, the remainder cutting their way through. The next day we were reenforced by three regiments of cavalry and a “nigger” brigade of infantry, from Williamsburgh; but we were completely worn out, as well as our horses; we needed rest, so the column was headed for Yorktown, which place was reached without any note-worthy incident. Our appearance created the utmost consternation wherever we went: had a thunderbolt fallen in amongst them, they could not have been more astonished. than to see a Yankee column galloping along with perfect impunity, so near Richmond. On the whole, I can't say that I regret the trip; but if we had known that we were coming on this raid we might have made some different arrangements about clothing and rations. Your sincere friend,T. W. B.
Rebel reports and Narratives.
Richmond, March 1, 1864.Yesterday afternoon intelligence reached the city that a heavy column of Yankees had made their appearance in the neighborhood of Frederickshall, on the Virginia Central Railroad, fifty miles from Richmond. The statement was somewhat startling, because of the known fact that the greater portion of the reserve artillery of the army of Northern Virginia was quartered at that point, and without an adequate force for its protection. Later in the afternoon, the report reached the city that the whole of the artillery, amounting to some eighty pieces, had been captured; but this, in turn, was contradicted by a statement that the enemy did not go to Frederickshall, but struck the railroad some two miles south of that point, where they tore up a portion of the railroad track. After inflicting this damage on the road, they left, taking a southerly direction. We are inclined to think, from all the information we can gather in relation to the affair, that this latter statement is, in the main, correct. The raid is no doubt intended to interrupt communication between General Lee's army and Richmond, but it is hoped that, like Stoneman's raid last spring, it may prove a failure. Passengers by the Fredericksburgh train, last night, state that the Yankee force consisted of one brigade of cavalry, and several pieces of artillery; that they crossed at Ely's Ford, on the Rappahannock, and passed through Spottsylvavia Court-House about eleven o'clock on Sunday night. A despatch was also received yesterday afternoon