eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XXXVI | Pages range from 1 to 1121

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
Page 20 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

with General Butler. This raid had the effect of drawing off the whole of the enemy's cavalry force, making it comparatively easy to guard our trains.

General Butler moved his main force up the James River, in pursuance of instructions, on the 14th of May, General Gilmore having joined him with the Tenth Corps. At the same time he sent a force of 1,800 cavalry, by way of West Point, to form a junction with him whenever he might get a foothold, and a force of 3,000 cavalry, under General Kautz, from Suffolk, to operate against the roads south of Petersburg and Richmond. On the 5th, he occupied, without opposition, both City Point and Bermuda Hundred, his movement being a complete surprise. On the 6th, he was in position with his main army commenced entrenching. On the 7th, he made a reconnaissance against the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad, destroying a portion of it after some fighting. On the 9th, he telegraphed as follows:


HEADQUARTERS,
Near Bermuda Landing, May 9, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Our operations may be summed up in a few words. With 1,700 cavalry we have advanced up the Peninsula, forced the Chickahominy, and have safely brought them to our present position. These were colored cavalry, and are now holding our advance pickets toward Richmond. General Kautz, with 3,000 cavalry from Suffolk, on the same day with our movement up James River, forced the Blackwater, burned the railroad bridge at Stony Creek, below Petersburg, cutting in two Beauregard's force at that point. We have landed here, entrenched ourselves, destroyed many miles of railroad, and got a position which, with proper supplies, we can hold out against the whole of Lee's army. I have ordered up the supplies. Beauregard with a large portion of his force was left south by the cutting of the railroads by Kautz. That portion which reached Petersburg under Hill I have whipped to-day, killing and wounding many and taking many prisoners, after a severe and well-contested fight. General Grant will not be troubled with any further re-enforcements to Lee from Beauregard's force.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General.

On the evening of the 13th and morning of the 14th, he carried a portion of the enemy's first line of defenses at Drewry's Bluff, or Fort Darling, with small loss. The time thus consumed from the 6th lost to us the benefit of the surprise and capture of Richmond and Petersburg, enabling, as it did, Beauregard to collect his loose forces in North and South Carolina, and bring them to the defense of those places. On the 16th, the enemy attacked General Butler in his position in front of Drewry's Bluff. He was forced back, or drew back, into his entrenchments between the works of the Jasmes and Appomattox Rivers, the enemy entrenching strongly in his front, thus covering his railroads the city, and all that was valuable to him. His army, therefore, though in a position of great security, was as completely shut off from further operations, directly against Richmond as if it had been in a bottle strongly corked. It required but a comparatively small force of the enemy to hold it there. On the 12th, General Kautz with his cavalry was started on a raid against the Danville railroad, which he struck at Coalfield, Powhatan, and Chula Stations, destroying them, the railroad track, two freight trains, and one locomotive, together with large quantities of commissary and other stores; thence crossing to the South Side road, struck it at Wilson's, Wellsville, and Blacks and Whites


Page 20 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon