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Doc. 154.-expedition to Beaver Dam, Va.

Official report of General Pope.

headquarters of the army of Virginia, Washington, July 21, 1862.
To Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
the cavalry expedition I directed Gen. King to send out, on the nineteenth, has returned. They left Fredericksburgh at seven P. M. on the nineteenth, and after a forced march during the night, made a descent at daylight in the morning upon the Virginia Central Railroad at Beaver Dam Creek, twenty-five miles west of Hanover Junction, and thirty-five miles from Richmond. They destroyed the railroad and telegraph-line for several miles, burned the depot, which contained forty thousand rounds of musket ammunition, one hundred barrels of flour, and much other valuable property, and brought in a captain in charge as a prisoner. The whole country was thrown into a great state of alarm. One private was wounded on our side. The cavalry marched eighty miles in thirty hours. The affair was most successful, and reflects high credit upon the commanding officer and his troops. As soon as full particulars are received, I will transmit to you the name of the commanding officer of the troops engaged.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John Pope, Major-General Commanding.

Richmond Dispatch account.

Richmond, July 28.
We have received a full and correct account of the raid made by the Harris cavalry upon the depot at Beaver Dam, Hanover County, on Sunday morning last. From the best information it appears that they left Fredericksburgh on Saturday evening about four o'clock, and came some fourteen miles of the way that night. Early Sunday morning they came on to Beaver Dam, where they arrived about eight o'clock. Here they found nothing to oppose them, and they at once set to work to destroy, by burning the depot-office, water-tank, and cord-wood. In the depot there were about one hundred and seventy barrels of flour belonging to the army, a few bushels of oats, a case of shoes, a small lot of ammunition and a few arms, some tents, and perhaps a few other things of little value, nearly all of which were consumed.

They also tore up the railway in several places, and cut down about a half-dozen telegraph-poles. The operator, Mr. Smith, was arrested for refusing to give them information, but succeeded in making his escape. They also obstructed the railroad-track, expecting to throw the train off, but luckily failed in their attempt. The up-train was signalled, and induced to turn to Richmond, by a servant named Dick, the property of Dr. Terrill of Hanover. Their stay at Beaver Dam was limited to some thirty minutes, at the end of which time the whistle of the up-train sounded, and some one having told them that there would [559] probably be some four or five hundred soldiers aboard, they hurriedly decamped.

At Beaver Dam, and on the route to and from, they captured some six or eight prisoners of war, sick soldiers and stragglers. Whilst returning they were pursued by three members of the Hanover cavalry, who were at home on a furlough. These succeeded in mortally wounding one of the Yankees, who has since died. Their love of horse-flesh was fully exhibited by their taking off some six or eight animals, “without the consent of their owners first had and obtained.” They had along with them any quantity of counterfeit confederate money, besides bogus city of Richmond and other notes. In one instance they gave a man forty-five dollars counterfeit bills for a basket of chickens. In another case they gave their bond, thirty-five dollars in counterfeit confederate money, and an old watch, for a horse. At every private house they demanded food, milk, and the latest papers from Richmond.

The Colonel (Davies) said he regretted the war; that it was now only a fight for boundaries; that they could not afford to lose the South-west. They numbered between five and six hundred, and were well equipped, but indifferently mounted, save here and there a good horse, which looked very much as if stolen. They were convoyed on this trip by several buck negroes who were mounted, uniformed, and armed. The principal of these seemed to be a negro well known as “Dabney,” the miller of J. C. Jerrold, at Thornsburgh, in Spottsylvania. Their general behavior was good. They interfered with no private property, save horses, and, as far as we can hear, carried off no negroes. At one place, on their return, they stopped and gave a gentleman a bottle of whisky, made in 1834, which the lucky recipient acknowledged to have been excellent.

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