MAY 22, 1862-Reconnaissance to New Castle and Hanovertown Ferries, Va.
Report of Colonel Richard H. Rush, Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry (Lancers).
CAMP AT CROSSING OF COLD HARBOR ROAD AND PIPINGTREE LANDING ROAD,
May 22, 1862-8.30 p.m.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that your order to make a reconnaissance with my whole regiment was received at 2.30 o'clock to-day, and in obedience thereto I have visited New Castle Ferry and Hanovertown Ferry, and collected all the information in my power, the result of which is as follows:
I find that there are no troops of the enemy within the circuit of my march in passing on the near river road and the main river road, passing Rockett's Tavern, Old Church House, and crossing the country over toward Page's and Dr. Brokenborough's and the cross-roads from this point. I questioned by detached parties all houses within sight of the roads and find as follows: That on last Thursday "right smart cavalry went on the near road toward Richmond," but not as many as my regiment; that on Friday and Saturday detached bodies of the enemy left this section of country and went toward Richmond; that on Sunday they had all gone, but that one company of about 100 cavalry, rebels, had encamped at Old Church, but the approach of our cavalry had caused them to leave. On Monday no rebels were heard of in my circuit. On Tuesday a company of rebel cavalry, supposed to be Captain Newton's had passed over the road from Hanovertown Ferry toward Old Church. On Wednesday none of the rebels were heard of, but the people seemed to have expected the arrival of our troops; that this morning five wagons and a carriage, with one soldier as guard, had passed at an early hour toward Richmond over the main river road. i heard of the rebels being at Hanover Court-House, 12 miles from Old Church. As for Hanovertown, there is no town there. There once was one, but it is gone, and there is a ferry there, not fordable. The country I have passed through is very rich, and the farms are all stocked-sheep, cattle, &c., rich field of grain and grass, and the ladies and families at home. I also fell in with the son-in-law of Ed. Ruffin, of Virginia, a Mr. Sayres, and learned much from him. There is no indication of any troops of either party ever having been quartered in this section of country or of having passed much through it. Upon my return to camp I received the order from Colonel Tyler, and will move with his command to-morrow morning to Old Church and carry out the orders of General Porter.
I have a picket near the forks of the Pipingtree Landing road with vedettes on the three roads uniting at that point on duty to-night.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
RICH'D H. RUSH,
Colonel Regiment of Lancers.
General MARCY, Chief of Staff.