War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 1081 Chapter XXXVII. THE STONEMAN RAID.

Search Civil War Official Records

by the Cavalry Corps under the command of Major General George Stoneman:

In obedience to circular of April 11, 1863, headquarters Cavalry Corps, the Third Division left its camp near Belle Plain on the morning of April 13. The division, consisting of two brigades-the First, composed of the Second New York, First Maine, and Tenth New York Cavalry, Colonel J. Kilpatrick, Second New York Cavalry, commanding; the Second, of the First New Jersey, Twelfth Illinois, First Maryland, and First Pennsylvania Cavalry [the last did not accompany the command], Colonel P. Wyndham, First New Jersey, commanding - was thoroughly and effectually prepared for operations in the field. The aggregate strength of the division at the time of marching was 2,905. The division, on the night of the 13th, encamped near Morrisville.

On the 14th, agreeably to instructions from the major-general commanding, the division moved to a point near the Rappahannock and the railroad bridge. The bridge, guarded by the enemy's dismounted cavalry and two pieces of artillery, was, after a slight skirmish, taken possession of and held. Beverly Ford, 2 miles above the bridge, was also examined, and the north bank of the river at this point occupied by two squadrons, the enemy having a force of dismounted men opposite. The division encamped for the night between Bealeton and the river. The major-general commanding the corps having explained his intention of crossing the corps at Beverly Ford and at other fords above and below, every preparation was made for an early move on the following morning. During the night the rain began to fall, and at the hour designated for the crossing of my division at Beverly Ford it was evident that a crossing was impracticable for the artillery and pack-trains. The rain continued to fall during the entire day, converting mere rivulets into torrents, making the roads quite impassable even for cavalry.

On the night of the 15th, a regiment was directed to proceed to a point between my camp and Bealeton for picket duty. To reach corps headquarters, not half a mile distant, a flood was crossed, in which were drowned 1 man and 2 horses. At this point, thirty-six hours before, the water could be crossed at a step.

On the 18th, my camps were moved to higher ground, near Bealeton.

On the 20th, agreeably to orders from corps headquarters, the division moved to a camp near Sulphur Springs, the other division and brigade of the corps having preceded my division. This march of 9 miles was made with the greatest difficulty, owing to the bad condition of the road, a portion of which was the worst that I have yet seen in Virginia.

On the 22nd, agreeably to orders from corps headquarters, the division marched to and occupied camps near Warrenton Junction. At this camp all necessary repairs were made, horses shod, forage, rations, and ammunition procured, and my division put in excellent marching and fighting condition.

On the 28th, at 5 p.m., the division was put on the march for Kelly's Ford, which it reached at 8 a.m. on the 29th. The bridge crossing the slough near the ford being used by the Fifth Army Corps, I was prevented from crossing until about noon. At about sunset the division marched in the rear of Buford's brigade, and halted at the cross-road beyond Mountain Run. At this place, and during the night, all the rations and forage were transferred to the serviceable horses. The pack-trains, all wheels, save those pertaining to the artillery, and all unserviceable men were dismissed to Germanna Mills. The greatest