War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0153 Chapter XXX. SKIRMISH AT OLIVE BRANCH CHURCH, VA.

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Williamsburg. At Olive Branch Church, 1 mile below the Burnt Ordinary,my advance guard came upon a detachment of the enemy's cavalry. The position being favorable I immediately disposed my force in ambush and awaited their approach. When they had come within close range, I ordered a volley of musketry and taking advantage of their confusion charged them with my cavalry. They were easily routed. The pursuit was continued as far as the Six Mile Ordinary.

The enemy lost 7 killed, 2 wounded, and 36 captured, with their horses, arms, and equipments. In my command there are no losses or casualties to report.

My original object was to penetrate the enemy's lines and gain the rear of the guard force in Williamsburg. My intention having been discovered, I decided to abandon it for the present and returned to my intrenchments.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier General H. A. WISE, Commanding, &c.


FEBRUARY 8,[1863]-7.30 p.m.

I respectfully forward this excellent report of a successful skirmish with the enemy without the least loss. Colonel Tabb deserves more than a word of approval.* May I not send another battalion to re-enforce him?


FEBRUARY 12-13, 1863.-Expedition from Batchelder's Creek and skirmish (13th) at Sandy Ridge, N. C.

Reports of Colonel John Richter Jones, Fifty eighth Pennsylvania Infantry.


Batchelder's Creek, February 14, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report the result of an expedition made yesterday and the night before in order to ascertain the force of the enemy on my front and also to abate their audacity.

At 8 p.m. Thursday evening I moved my effective men, leaving this post in charge of those not capable of severe duty assisted by a company which I ordered up temporarily from the railroad crossing.

At Tuscarora I dispatched Captain Brown, of the Fifty-eighth, with two companies, to move on the Neuse and Dover roads and scour the country near the Neuse River, and also to co-operate generally with my movement.

At "Jones' Clearing," 1 mile short of Core Creek, I dispatched one company to seize the railroad bridge at the creek and to remain there in order to co-operate with me when necessary; and at the same point I moved by a road crossing the railroad southward, with seven companies. Under guidance of an intelligent negro, on route partly over wood-paths and through swamps, I reached the enemy's position on Sandy Ridge at daybreak. Unfortunately, from the difficulty of the route, which was almost impracticable even to infantry, it was later than I contemplated, and before the camp was completely surrounded the enemy was alarmed,


*See report Numbers 3, p. 152.