War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0686 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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alry occupied the road to the Guiney's Station. I directed him to drive them away and see what was on it. This he did in handsome style, losing only 2 of his men. It resulted in the discovering of an infantry force in that direction, protected by woods. I left Captain Arnold to operate on General Martindale's left, the officer left by the general commanding to attack the force in that direction. Captain Benson very soon silenced the enemy's guns and completely unhorsed one piece, which was subsequently taken possession of by our infantry (Lansing's New York).

After the infantry fight which took place in front of Benson's battery was over, and it was supposed, in fact, that nothing of any consequence was on our left, my command, re-enforced by Colonel Lansing's regiment (Seventeenth New York Infantry), was moved forward in quick pursuit. One entire regiment (Twenty-eight North Carolina Infantry) was thus cut off and most of them subsequently captured. The pursuit had been continued 2 1/4 miles beyond Hanover Court-House and 5 miles from the field of battle, when received from the general commanding to return with all possible haste to assist the attack in the rear. i had some difficulty in withdrawing promptly my advanced parties, who had been directed by me over different roads and short-cuts to intercept the enemy.

Early next morning, still re-enforced by Colonel Lansing, I was ordered to go forward and destroy the South Anna railroad bridge and all the road bridges crossing the same river, which was done effectually. During this time it was necessary to hold in check and threaten the forces in Ashland, which were much superior to my own. For this purpose i sent Captain Whiting, commanding the Fifth U. S. Cavalry, with three squadrons of his regiment, toward Ashland, where he discovered the enemy to be in considerable force. in pushing forward Lieutenant Walker made a very handsome charge, driving the enemy's pickets 3 miles through a bad road. To destroy the bridges on the South Anna, Major Williams was detached with the Sixth U. S. Cavalry, a section of Benson's artillery, under Lieutenant Hains, and two companies of infantry (Lansings regiment.)

These objects being accomplished, I received urgent orders that night to push on and destroy the railroad bridge on the Fredericksburg road over the same river, and if possible to reach the railroad at or near Ashland and ascertain the enemy's exact force, and, if possible, expel him. To accomplish the first object I re-enforced Major Williams with two companies of infantry, and sent Captain Chambliss, of the Fifth U. S. Cavalry, to make a close reconnaissance of Ashland, and occupy the attention of the enemy while Major Williams destroyed the railroad bridge, that afterward my forces might be united to march on Ashland.

Major Williams' command halted 2 miles in advance of me in a well-selected position, and Captain Abert was sent forward whit his squadron, who destroyed the bridge, and the whole command returned to my reserve at 11. Captain Abert, Sixth U. S. Cavalry, in advance of his (Williams') command some distance, destroyed the communication on the Fredericksburg Railroad. Lieutenant Kerin of the same regiment, did the same thing on the Virginia Central Railroad, neither knowing what force they might encounter, but both pushed on by a desire to accomplish the object which the general commanding set forth in his instructions to be so important to the success of this army. Captain Chambliss pushed his reconnaissance with boldness and spirit, and found the enemy retiring from Ashland, and pushed his rear guard on the road to Richmond a mile and a half. He learned upon what he