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 XI | Pages range from 1 to 1077

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 1 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 1038 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

able near Forge Bridge. I was 14 miles from Hanover Court-House, which I would have to pass. If I returned, the enemy had a much shorter distance to pass to intercept me there; besides, the South Anna was impassable, which still further narrowed the chances of escape in that direction; the enemy, too, would naturally expect me to take that route. These circumstances led me to look with more favor to my favorite scheme, disclosed to you before starting, of passing around. It was only 9 miles to Tunstalls Station, on the York River Railroad, and that point once passed I felt little apprehension beyond. The route was one of all others which I felt sure the enemy would never expect me to take. On that side of the Chickahominy infantry could not reach me before crossing, and I felt able to whip any cavalry force that could be brought against me. Once on the Charles City side, I knew you would, when aware of my position, if necessary, order a diversion in my favor on the Charles City road, to prevent a move to intercept me from the direction of White Oak Swamp. Besides this, the hope of striking a serious blow at a boastful and insolent foe, which would make him tremble in his shoes, made more agreeable the alternative I chose. In a brief and frank interview with some of my officers I dis- closed my views, but while none accorded a full assent, all assured me a hearty support in whatever I did. With an abiding trust in God, and with such guarantees of success as the two Lees and Martin and their devoted followers, this enterprise I regarded as most promising. Taking care, therefore, more particu- larly, after this resolve, to inquire of the citizens the distance and the route to Hanover Court-House, 1 kept my horses head steadily toward Tunstalls Station. There was something of the sublime in the implicit confidence and unquestioning trust of the rank and file in a leader guiding them straight, apparently, into the very jaws of the enemy, every step appear- ing to them to diminish the faintest hope of extrication. Reports of the enemys strength at Garlicks and Tunstalls were conflicting, but generally indicated a small number. Prisoners were captured at every step, and including officers, soldiers, and negroes. The rear now became of as much importance as the front, but the duties of rear guard devolving upon the Jeff. Davis Legion, with the howitzer attached, its conduct was intrusted to its commander, Lieu- tenant-Colonel Martin, in whose judgment and skill I had entire con- fidence. He was not attacked, but at one time the enemy appeared in his rear bearing a flag of truce, and party, 25 in number, bearing it, actually surrendered to his rear guard, so great was the consternation produced by our march. An assistant surgeon was also taken. He was en route and not in charge of sick. Upon arriving opposite Garlicks I ordered a squadron from the Ninth Virginia Cavalry to destroy whatever could be found at the land. ing on the Pamunkey. Two transports loaded with stores and a large number of wagons were here burned, and the squadron rejoined the col- umn with a large number of prisoners, horses, and mules. A squadron of the First Virginia Cavalry (Hammonds) assisted in this destruction. A few picked men, including my aides, Burke, Farley, and Mosby, were pushed forward rapidly to Tunstalls to cut the wires and secure the depot. Five companies of cavalry, escorting large wagon trains, were in sight and seemed at first disposed to dispute our ~)rogress, but the sight of our column, led by Lee, of the Ninth, boldly advancing to the combat, was enough. Content with a distant view, they fled, leav- ing their train in our hands. The party that reached the railroad at Tunstalls surprised the guard at the depot (15 or 20 infantry), captured


Page 1038 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 1 (Peninsular Campaign)
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