War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0711 Chapter XXIII. HANOVER COURT-HOUSE,ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

which was occupied as a hospital, and though designated as such by the hospital flag, they had fired upon it. I hastened forward, hoping to be able to punish then suitably for so barbarous an act, but they had disappeared as suddenly as they came, without being able to take the occupants as prisoners, wich they attempted.

Encamping for the night on the field of battle, the next day (28th) the regiment was directed to perform picket duty to the front, and on the following day (29th) returned to this camp.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES BARNES,

Colonel, Commanding.

Captain CHARLES J. POWERS,

A. A. A. G., First Brigadier, Porter's Div., Prov. Corps d'Armee.

P. S.-The regiment collected and careffuly buried on the 28th 17 bodies of the enemy. As far as was ascertained, one was the body of a captain, 2 of corporals, and 14 of privates. On the 29th the body of another private was discovered in the woods and buried. Names of the enemy buried were not ascertained.

No. 20. Reports of Colonel Jesse A. Gove,

Twenty-second Massachusetts Infantry, of operations May 27-28.

HDQRS. TWENTY-SECOND MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT, Near Peake's Station, Hanover, Va., May 28, 1862.

CAPTAIN: Agreeably to instructions, at 10 o'clock this morning I left camp with my regiment and one company of the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry, under command of Captain Muirheid, for the purpose of making a reconnaissance in the direction of Richmond. Crossing the railroad in a westerly direction, I proceeded along teh Richmond and Ashland road about 2 miles, where the roads separate. The former turns to the left, while the latter keeps on nearly in a straight line. A sign-board nailed to a tree reads as follows: "Richmond 13 miles; Ashland 5 miles." Inquiries from several negroes in the vicinity confirm the correctness of these distances.

For more than 1 mile on either side of the road I found an innumerable number of huts and bough houses, with evidence at every step of their recent occupation and pricipitate evacuation. Before my arrival at the junction of the roads I found a company of the Fifth U. S. Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant Arnold. He informed me that he had been on both roads a considerable distance, and on the Richmond road had discovered the enemy's pickets within a mile. The Richmond road turns at an angle of 45 to the left, with a thick undergrowth in the timber, threby rendering it impracticable to retire except by the road. Ashland being within striking distance, provided I advanced a distance of 3 miles, it became an easy matter for the enemy to fall on my rear. I requested, therefore, Lieutenant Arnold to advance his company to the forks of the road and to throw out vedettes along the Ashland road and in the trails and woods roads leading out, and to communicate with me if the enemy made his appearance in that direction. He complied cheerfully with my request, while I advanced, throwing out skirmishers and flankers to the front and on the flanks.