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 792 Chapter XLVIII. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

o'clock in the afternoon the remaining portion of the command crossed the Chickahominy and encamped at and between Walnut Grove and Gaines' Mill.

On the 13th the march was resumed, encamping at Bottom's Bridge. On the 14th we marched through White Oak Swamp, and went into camp between Haxall's Landing and Shirley, on the James River. Our casualties on the march were 425.* All transportable wounded and a large number of prisoners were brought along the this point, and the former, through the kindness of General Butler's medical offices, quickly cared for on arrival. From the 14th until the 17th we rested in this camp, sending out scouting parties as far as New Market, in the direction of Richmond. On the night of the 17th we commenced the return march, crossing the Chickahominy at Jones' Bridge, and went into camp on the 18th at Baltimore Cross-Roads and vicinity.

The uncertainty of what had happened to the Army of the Potomac during our absence made the problem of how to get back and where to find it somewhat difficult, particularly so as I knew that re-enforcements had come up from the south to Richmond; I therefore determined to cross the Pamunkey River at the White House, and sent to Fortress Monroe for a pontoon bridge to be used for that purpose. While waiting, I ordered Custer with his brigade to proceed to Hanover Court-House, and if possible, destroy the railroad bridges over the South Anna; Gregg and Wilson were sent at the same time to Cold Harbor, to demonstrate in the direction of Richmond as far as Mechanicsville, so as to cover Custer started it was found on examination that the railroad bridge at the White house had been but partially burned, and could be repaired, and General Merritt was at once put on this duty. By sending mounted parties through the surrounding country, each man bringing back a board, it was made passable in one day, and on the 22nd, when Custer and Gregg returned, we crossed, encamping that night at Aylett's, on the Mattapony River. Custer encountered a large force of the enemy apparently moving from the direction of Richmond to Lee's army, and was unable to accomplish his mission. Gregg occupied Cold Harbor and sent scouting parties, which encountered small squads of mounted men, to the vicinity of Mechanicsville, but nothing of great importance occurred.

At Aylett's we learned from citizens, and captives belonging to Lee's army, that the Army of the Potomac was at North Anna River, in the vicinity of Chesterfield Station.

On the 23rd the march was resumed, encamping at Reedy Swamp. On the 24th we rejoined the Army of the Potomac in the vicinity of Chesterfield. This ended the first raid, which occupied sixteen days. We lost but few horses, considering their condition when we started. The average distance traveled per day did not exceed 18 miles; the longest march being 30 miles. The horses which failed were shot by the rear guard, as they could have been easily recuperated and made serviceable to the enemy. I think the actual number lost would not exceed 300, perhaps not more than 250.

On the 25th General Wilson, with his division, was transferred to the right of the army, and made a reconnaissance south of the North

---------------

*For revised return of casualties during Sheridan's first expedition, see p. 184.

---------------


Page 792 Chapter XLVIII. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.
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