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Va., Wednesday Morning, March 2, 1864. General Custer's reconnoitring expedition returned to camth his insignificant force being apparent, General Custer retired-his column up the Stannardsville r approach. Without a moment's hesitation, General Custer conceived and executed a plan for his extrnger of their friends' position, and believing Custer determined to cross at Burton's Ford, came dow the river to their support. It was then that Custer's tactics became apparent to the astonished enommand. The tactical ability displayed by General Custer, is spoken of in the most complimentary teess generally known that the reconnaissance by Custer, supported by infantry, was a simple diversioness southward. After a brief engagement General Custer retreated on the Stannardsville road. Finrear. The next morning about nine o'clock General Custer marched toward the right road, and having oceed. No intelligence had been received from Custer. His troops had consumed their scanty store[18 more...]
portant movements are made elsewhere. Another account. Washington, March 2, 1864. General Custer, with one thousand five hundred picked men, in light marching order, left Culpeper Court-House about two o'clock on Sunday afternoon. The Sixth and Third corps marched from their winter quarters earlier in the day. The former halted at Madison Court-House, and threw out a strong cordon of pickets, while the latter bivouacked in the neighborhood of James City, and held the line of Robertson's road. About two A. M., on Monday, the raiders left their resting place near James City, and took the road for Charlottesville. The men had been picked from Merritt's and Gregg's divisions, and were well mounted. When they marched up the steep banks of the Rivanna River their coming was unknown, and altogether unexpected. Before us, the correspondent says, was a large cavalry camp, the huts arranged with mathematical precision and soldierly regularity. On one side the horses were
lry were seen drawn in line across the road. This meant hostility, and for some time the officers of our little command were at a loss what to do. The object of their wearisome and dangerous raid was to draw the rebel cavalry away from the Central road to Richmond, and they had no intention of drawing him so far to their rear. All that bothered our troops was the section of Ransom's battery, and that slightly impeded their progress. In general council it was proposed to throw these two Parrott guns into the nearest and deepest ditch; but Ouster protesting, declared he would fight his way through. Indeed a charge was led by himself in person. The rebels stood their ground manfully, but our two guns now opened on them, and completed their discomfiture, that was fast causing their lines to waver. They fled hastily, and our men pursued them hotly till they reached another road, which afforded no means of egress. Three rebels were killed in this charge, and a considerable number
P. M. Hundreds (search for this): chapter 144
cuted, with the loss of five wounded. About twenty prisoners were here captured, and were brought in, the entire command reaching the infantry lines at Madison about four P. M. on Tuesday. The infantry were all immediately withdrawn to the north side of Robertson's River, and the south side left to the possession of the rebel cavalry who followed closely in small numbers without attempting to molest our rear. We started home again Wednesday morning, reaching our old camp at half-past 4 P. M. Hundreds of contrabands returned along with us, men, women and children, on horseback, in all conceivable sorts of vehicles, drawn by oxen, horses, or mules, as could be obtained for the purpose, or on foot where no conveyance offered. These were goin norf by de grace of God, having been in de souf long enough now. The ostensible purpose of the expedition was the destruction of military stores, of which Charlottesville is an extensive depot and the cutting of the railroads concentrating at th
Captain Ash's gallantry, and the bravery of his men in accomplishing this feat in the face of a rebel cavalry brigade (Wickham's) drawn up in the woods not over three hundred yards distant, are universally mentioned in terms of the highest commende afterward seen, however, moving on our right and left, and General Custer, having ascertained to his satisfaction that Wickham's brigade of cavalry, together with a considerable force of infantry, were in his immediate front, seeing the hopelessnehell killing three of the enemy. In the first charge, thirty rebel prisoners were taken, who stated that the whole of Wickham's brigade, commanded by Stuart in person, was in our front, the major portion being at Banks's Mills Ford awaiting Custenight in the woods, while he baited his horses and refreshed his men. General Stuart, with two thousand cavalrymen of Wickham's and Fitz-Hugh Lee's brigades, was marching toward his rear. The next morning about nine o'clock General Custer marche
David D. Porter (search for this): chapter 144
d, when the time employed and the numerical force engaged is considered, one of the most daring raids of the war. In my despatch of Monday I mentioned the fact that the expedition, which consisted of detachments from the First, Second, and Fifth United States, Sixth Ohio, Sixth Pennsylvania, First New-York, and First New-Jersey cavalry, in all, one thousand five hundred men, passed through Madison Court-House early that morning. One section of Captain French's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Porter, accompanied the cavalry. The troops were in light marching order, and moved rapidly toward Stannardsville, distant south-west from Madison twelve miles, crossing the Rapidan at Banks's Mills Ford. At Stannardsville the enemy's pickets were discovered, who retired precipitately before our advance. Meeting with no opposition, General Custer pushed forward to the Rivanna River, crossing at Berner's Bridge, a long wooden structure spanning the river at a point distant three or four m
e troops were in light marching order, and moved rapidly toward Stannardsville, distant south-west from Madison twelve miles, crossing the Rapidan at Banks's Mills Ford. At Stannardsville the enemy's pickets were discovered, who retired precipitately before our advance. Meeting with no opposition, General Custer pushed forward tbel prisoners were taken, who stated that the whole of Wickham's brigade, commanded by Stuart in person, was in our front, the major portion being at Banks's Mills Ford awaiting Custer's approach. Without a moment's hesitation, General Custer conceived and executed a plan for his extrication from his perilous situation. Orderingalmost instantly moving down the road with the speed of the wind toward the Stannardsville road, which striking, he wheeled to the left, and reaching Banks's Mills Ford, recrossed the river, thus completely eluding the mass of the enemy, who seemed confident of gobbling his whole command. The tactical ability displayed by General
G. H. Stuart (search for this): chapter 144
. In the first charge, thirty rebel prisoners were taken, who stated that the whole of Wickham's brigade, commanded by Stuart in person, was in our front, the major portion being at Banks's Mills Ford awaiting Custer's approach. Without a moment'a point about four miles north of Charlottesville a superior rebel force, consisting of one entire division of infantry, Stuart's and Fitz-Hugh Lee's cavalry, and twenty pieces of artillery was met, which permanently stopped further progress southwapossible to proceed further, bivouacked that night in the woods, while he baited his horses and refreshed his men. General Stuart, with two thousand cavalrymen of Wickham's and Fitz-Hugh Lee's brigades, was marching toward his rear. The next mornk General Custer marched toward the right road, and having found it and marched upon it a short distance, discovered that Stuart, with his ragged but indefatigable followers, had succeeded in getting into his rear. As they neared Stannardsville, abo
William H. French (search for this): chapter 144
to camp last night after having completed, when the time employed and the numerical force engaged is considered, one of the most daring raids of the war. In my despatch of Monday I mentioned the fact that the expedition, which consisted of detachments from the First, Second, and Fifth United States, Sixth Ohio, Sixth Pennsylvania, First New-York, and First New-Jersey cavalry, in all, one thousand five hundred men, passed through Madison Court-House early that morning. One section of Captain French's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Porter, accompanied the cavalry. The troops were in light marching order, and moved rapidly toward Stannardsville, distant south-west from Madison twelve miles, crossing the Rapidan at Banks's Mills Ford. At Stannardsville the enemy's pickets were discovered, who retired precipitately before our advance. Meeting with no opposition, General Custer pushed forward to the Rivanna River, crossing at Berner's Bridge, a long wooden structure spanning the
s whole command. The tactical ability displayed by General Custer, is spoken of in the most complimentary terms. There can now be no impropriety in disclosing the object of the late movement. It is doubtless generally known that the reconnaissance by Custer, supported by infantry, was a simple diversion in favor of Kilpatrick, who has not yet returned from his raid in the direction of Richmond. That the attention of the enemy has, to a considerable degree, been drawn to the left wing of Lee's army by Custer's demonstration, is confirmed by rebel prisoners, who report their officers to have been in a great state of trepidation, believing a monster raid in progress on their left. Confirmation is also had in the fact that a large number of troops were concentrated around Charlottesville to resist our advance. Among our captures are sixty prisoners and a number of valuable horses. Three flouring-mills, six caissons, two forges, a complete set of artillery-harness, and eight wag
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