War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 1092 N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

No. 11. Report of Captain James E. Harrison, Fifth U. S. Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH U. S. CAVALRY, May 14, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to submit the following report of the operations of my regiment from April 28 until May 8:

The regiment left Warrenton Junction April 28 with the brigade, on the march to Kelly's Ford, and encamped same night near Bealeton Station.

On the 29th, resumed our march, and crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford; halted on the other other side long enough to allow the men to make coffee and to feed their horses, and then proceeded on our march; crossed Mountain Run, and halted for two hours in an open field. Captain Drummond and Lieutenant Walker, with their squadrons, were sent to Brandy Station for the purpose of communicating with General Averell. They had not proceeded more than half a mile toward the station when they were attacked on the front and left by a force they supposed to consist of about 40 cavalry. They drove this party ahead of them, and reached Brandy Station with the loss of 1 man, who was sent back to communicate with General Buford, and was supposed either to have been killed or captured, returning. After waiting for some time at the station, and seeing no sign of the approach of General Averell, Captain Drummond returned to the regiment with the two squadrons. At 11 o'clock we proceeded on our march for about 5 miles to a cross-roads, where we stood to horse all night, two squadrons mounted.

At daylight, moved on in advance, and went through to Mitchell's Ford, over the Rapidan, at a brisk trot. The advance squadron, Lieutenant Mason in command, crossed the river and scouted the country on the other side as far as Raccoon Ford, taking 13 prisoners. The regiment marched up the north side of the Rapidan, and crossed at a ford between Mitchell's and Raccoon Fords, and up the south side to Raccoon Ford, where we bivouacked until 3 o'clock the next morning.

Bugler [William H.] Leeser, of Company B, accidentally shot himself while on picket near the ford, and, with 2 men of the same company to taken charge of him, was left at a farm-house; all three of the men have since been paroled.

At 4 a.m., May 1, continued our march as far as Thorn Hill and encamped. This night our men were allowed to build fires and to unsaddle their horses.

At 5.30 a.m., May 2, left camp and continued our march toward Louisa Court-House; passed through the Court-House about 1 p.m., and pushed on to Yanceyville. At this point the regiment was detached to scout the country on the left of the road and along the South Anna. Near the bridge over this river, on Amble's farm, captured 12 horses, 3 mules, and sufficient forage for two feeds for the regiment; rejoined the brigade at Thompson's Cross-Roads. Lieutenant Walker was detached with his company [C] to capture a train of wagons, which he succeeded in doing, consisting of 15 wagons, 60 mules, and 15 negro teamsters; bivouacked at the cross-roads.

At 3 p.m., on May 3, Captain Drummond, with 200 men and the picked horses from eight companies of the regiment, was detached, with instructions to examine all fords above Allen Creek, to burn the bridge over the South Anna, on the Goochland Court-House road, and to proceed, if possible, to Goochland Court-House; all of which was accomplished