War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0518 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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at Raccoon Ford, on the Rapidan River, or at points which appear best just before starting; thence somewhere near Louisa Court-House; thence somewhere between Columbia and Goochland; thence over the James River to the arsenal at Bellona, which we would destroy; thence either burn the bridges in rear of Richmond over the James River, and dash through the city and on to White House, or any safe place near there, or, after burning the bridges, move to Petersburg, and thence to our forces near Suffolk. The greatest obstacle would be passing their picket line on the Rappahannock, which, if accomplished without being discovered, would leave the roads open before us; but I know several men in the provost-marshal's service who feel confident of guiding such an expedition, and have offered to do so. I think it would be impossible to accomplish anything unless the rebel cavalry are off on a raid, which would give us four or five days' start of them and no cavalry to oppose.

The object of the expedition would be to destroy everything along the route, and especially on the south side of the James River, and attempt to enter Richmond and Petersburg. If the general proposition should meet with your approval, I will submit more minute details.

I have the honor to be, general, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Captain and Aide-de-Camp.


May 23, 1863.

Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,

Chief of Staff, Cavalry Corps:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that nothing of unusual interest has occurred along this line. The depredations of guerrillas and bushwhackers are continued, notwithstanding daily efforts made to drive them away. Their operations are carried on in such a manner as to defy their arrest. Yesterday I had a private of the Tenth New York killed near this place, and it is reported that a commissioned officer and 1 man were captured near Morrisville. The pickets of the enemy along the river are cavalry. To day there was brought to me a contraband, recently the servant of an officer of the Thirteenth North Carolina Infantry. He says that when at a house near the Wilderness, and at which his master lay wounded, he saw four regiments of cavalry pass; that a lieutenant of one of the regiments called to see his master, and in his presence stated that these regiments were going go join the other cavalry regiments were going to join the other cavalry regiments near Culpeper; that they were going to make a great raid through Maryland.

A deserter from the First North Carolina Cavalry confirms the report of the assembling of the cavalry near Culpeper, but knows nothing of the projected raid. I am just sending a command in pursuit of a party of South Carolina cavalry, who were sent over to drive in my pickets, that they might ascertain our force. I have no doubt but that the rebels contemplate making a raid, and of course am interested in knowing what force of cavalry is at Warrenton Junction or thereabouts, as a strong force there would be to them a very serious obstacle.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Third Division.