War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0017 Chapter XXX. SKIRMISH ON THE BLACKWATER.

Search Civil War Official Records

injured. Within a day or two the enemy has been disposed to hold our pickets away from the river. Yesterday he occupied Windsor with about 300 cavalry and some infantry. At dawn I pushed Dodge's cavalry in there, and to-day we have recovered nearly all the territory.



General DIX.

SUFFOLK, October 4, 1862.

My troops are in, but they have had service, being out two nights and a day, and need rest.

Colonel Spear left the vicinity of Franklin after midnight. No firing has been heard to-day, and I conclude boats did not reach that place. My last telegram may give some information not at hand when your last was received, and I wait your reply.



General DIX.


Suffolk, Va., October 9, 1862.

COLONEL: On the 2nd instant I was advised that the rebel pickets had been advanced nearly to Carrsville at points some 4 or 5 miles from the Blackwater. This information, in connection with the possibility of the appearance of our gunboats, in consequence of certain propositions made by Major-General Dix, but not perfected, induced me to dispatch Colonel S. P. Spear, of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, with a section of Follett's battery and about 1,700 men, in the night to Carrsville, with instructions to make a thorough reconnaissance in the direction of Franklin hand the Blackwater. He moved a 9 a. m. and reached Carrsville before daylight. Early on the 3rd he commenced his advance and soon met the enemy's pickets. Some skirmishing ensued, the rebels falling back upon their support a view of checking his advance. This was of no avail, and pickets and supports were all driven confusedly down to the bank and over the river.

Colonel Spear advanced cautiously, and was soon opened upon by a 32-pounder and other heavy guns in battery across the stream. After looking to the immediate safety of his command the colonel made a careful examination of the position, placed Whitney's section and two small howitzers in action at favorable points proper supports, and sent out parties for observation on his flanks.

A furious cannonade continued for an hour, when the enemy ceased his fire and fell back to a new position where he could act in concert with newly-arrived and fresh troops.

At this juncture Graham's celebrated Petersburg battery and a rocket battery arrived, and the action was renewed on his part with great vigor. Shot, shell, grape, and rockets were fired in great profusion, but with little or no damage to our well-posted troops. The Thirteenth Indiana Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Dobbs, was moved down to the bank on the right, where it opened so sharp and close a fire upon the rebels that they terminated the action by falling back out of range.

On learning that Colonel Spear had proceeded with less than 1,300 men, instead of 1,700, and that his ammunition was nearly exhausted, that the river could not be crossed, and the object of the expedition