War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0882 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

enable me to command all the approaches to Bank's Ford on the north side of the Rappahannock. I rode forward now with a Captain [Charles R.] McAlpine, in command of the pickets, down to the mouth of a small stream which runs in from the south side of the Rappahannock a short distance above Banks' Ford. I obtained thereby thereby the direction of the road to their ponton bridges, and heard their artillery and other carriages passing back. I returned to the batteries, gave directions to each commander to fire once every twenty minutes, changing the direction of his piece from time to time within certain limits, which I supposed commanded the approaches to the ford. Before 2 o'clock fire was opened, and there was at least one shell in the air each minute from that time until half an hour after sunrise. The enemy's stragglers were discovered making into the road at a point about 1 1/2 miles from the river, where the head of a hollow curved around toward Falmouth and kept them out of view until they reached this main ridge. The Whitworth gun of Hardaway's [Hurt's] battery was trailed on this point with happy effect. The road was soon cleared of stragglers when an enormous wagon park was discovered about 3 miles distant, where we were told the roads to Aquia Creek and United States Ford branched. Wagons were evidently being concentrated here from United States Ford and Falmouth, while fires of infantry stragglers could be seen occupying every copse around the wagon camp. The range was speedily obtained with Whitworth shell, which operated beautifully, and the utmost consternation seemed to seize upon the teamsters and camp followers. Wagons were seen hurrying off in every direction from the park, while we plied them with solid bolts as long as we thought it would pay. The ammunition being very expensive, we soon desisted.

The officers and men under my command acted with commendable spirit.

At this time (about 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 5, 1863.) an order was received from Major [Walter H.] Taylor, directing the batteries composing the special rifle battalion to report to their regular battalion commanders, and myself to resume the command of my own battalion.

Very respectfully,

R. A. HARDAWAY,

Major of Art., 1st Va., Regiment Act. Chief of Art., Anderson's Div.

CHIEF OF STAFF,

Anderson's Div., First Corps, Army Northern Va.

CAMP, May 17, 1863.

General Anderson's assistant adjutant-general will oblige Major Hardaway by interlining that part of his report which speaks of the shelling of Sedgwick's forces while recrossing the Rappahannock at Banks' Ford, near Smith's house, by the rifle battalion on the night of May 4, 1863, so as to read about thus: "About 9 p.m. I was awakened by a heavy musketry fire in the direction of Banks' Ford. The guns of the rifle battalion opened on the enemy at 10 o'clock, and continued firing at of twenty minutes to each gun until half an hour after sunrise on the morning of May 5, thus continuing throughout the night."

Very respectfully,

R. A. HARDAWAY,

Major of Art., 1st Va., Regiment, Act., Chief of Art., Anderson's Div.

CHIEF OF STAFF,

Major-General Anderson's Division.