No. 32. Report of Colonel Gouverneur K. Warren,
Fifth New York Infantry, commanding brigade.
HEADQUARTERS BRIGADE, Old Church, Va., May 30, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the result of the operations of my command in the country of Hanover Court-House, Va., on the 27th, 28th, and 29th instant:
The command consisted of about 630 men of the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry (Lancers), Colonel Rush; of Captain Weeden's Rhode Island battery, of six rifled field pieces; of 785 men of the First Connecticut Volunteers, Colonel Tyler; of about 725 men of the Fifth New York Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Duryea, and of 475 men of the Thirteenth New York Volunteers, Colonel E. G. Marshall. Colonel Marshall is the only officer that has yet submitted a report to me, and I herewith transmit it.
The command left Old Church for Hanover Court-House (distant 12 miles) about 6.30 o'clock a.m. on the 27th, during a drenching rain. The muddy state of the roads delayed us a good deal, and the swollen condition of the streams compelled us to make a bridge over Machumps Creek, at a point where it is usually fordable. I took the road crossing at this point, as it was the best, and I was informed the one crossing lower down was destroyed and the place occupied, so that I feared a long delay in forcing a passage.
Before we reached Hanover the battle had commenced between General Porter's main column and the enemy, and they were broken and routed just as we arrived, about 3 p.m. Being directed to pursue the enemy with my force to the east of the town toward the Pamunkey River, I went with Rush's cavalry (Lancers), Sixth Pennsylvania, rapidly to the river, and destroyed the wagon-road bridge, capturing a whole company (Captain Johnson's) of the Twenty-eighth North Carolina, just before they reached it. While engaged here, a distance of about 3 miles from the battle ground, a second fight occurred there. The infantry and artillery who were on their way to the bridge were faced about and marched back to the scene of conflict.
Colonel Marshall, having the rear of the column in the advance, now found himself in front, and became engaged actively in the conflict, supporting Griffin's battery, and had 7 off his men wounded.
The Fifth New York Volunteers and the First Connecticut were formed in line of battle and moved promptly forward under their respective commanders, as did Weeden's battery, but before they could reach the enemy he broke and fled under the fire of the other portions of our forces. Two of Colonel Rush's horses gave out and died from exhaustion on the pursuit toward the Pamunkey, and night put an end to our pursuit. Colonel Marshall's regiment bivouacked on the extreme advance of our left, and during the night brought in many wounded and prisoners. During the 28th working parties were engaged burying the dead and taking prisoners, and second wagon-road bridge across the Pamunkey was destroyed.
On the 29th a large part of my command moved up on the road to
Ashland, and the advance, consisting of two squadrons of the Lancers, reached there a short time after the force under General Emory, having been deployed somewhat in ascertaining the character and numbers of a mounted picket of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry, numbering 18 men, 8