War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0257 Chapter XXX. EXPEDITION FROM YORKTOWN, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

their midst and they fled without accomplishing their object. I destroyed at this latter place, as near as could be estimated, 1,000 bushels of wheat and 3,000 bushels of grain that the rebels have thus been deprived of.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General, Commanding Fourth Army Corps.

Brigadier General LORENZO THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army.

Numbers 2.

Report of Second Lieutenant William S. Andrews, Ninth New York Infantry, Acting Signal Officer.

ON BOARD U. S. STEAMER COMMODORE MORRIS,

Off Yorktown, va., April 3, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to the Signal Officer of the Army, having directed the fire of this vessel (from the shore) by signals on a small body of the enemy at head of Ware River, near Gloucester Court-House, Va., on the 1st instant.

On the 31st of March, Captain Gillis, of the Commodore Morris, discovered a large quantity of grain stored ion barns at the head of Ware River. It was determined either to remove it or destroy it, and on the next day, the 1st, we returned to Ware River with two companies of infantry on board the Morris, and the gunboat Delaware in company.

Captain Gillis expected interruption from the rebel cavalry that infests Gloucester and Matthews Counties to the number of about 200. I accompanied him ashore for the purpose of communicating with the Morris case of necessity, relying on one of flagmen, Private George H. Walker, whom I left on board, to read the signals.

The party landed; soldiers and sailors numbered about 200. The men all landed between 11 and 12 a. m. and set to work carrying the grain to the boats and loaded a schooner brought for that purpose. The infantry posted pickets and made the usual preparations for defense in case of attack. A number of messages were sent to gunboat between that time and 1 p. m . At about that time a cavalry force of the enemy were seen approaching our pickets. I immediately signaled the Morris that the enemy approached, and by Captain Gillis' order directed them how to fire. The first shot fired from the boat fell in the midst of the rebels, emptying one saddle. They retired precipitately several hundred yards, leaving two of our pickets, whom they had already captured, and whom in their flight they attempted to kill. The gunboats continued to fire; constantly directed by signals as the enemy changed positions, the Delaware firing in the same direction as the Morris. Our men now advanced up the road at a double-quick, firing one or two volleys. The enemy retired into the edge of a piece of woods, about 1,000 yards distant from our position, which the gunboats continued to shell, still directed by signals. In consequence of the interruption by the enemy the plan of removing the grain was abandoned and the barns

17 R R-VOL XVIII