War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 1002 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

GAINES' CROSS-ROADS. SINCE DARK, A CONTRABAND HAS COME IN FROM NEWBY'S CROSS-ROADS WITH VERY RELIABLE INFORMATION. HE REPORTS HE ENEMY MOVING HURRIEDLY BY NEWBY'S CROSS-ROADS ON THE CULPEPER ROAD. THEY HAVE BEEN MOVING IN A CONTINUOUS COLUMN ALL DAY, AND THE REBEL SOLDIERS TOLD HIM THEIR TROOPS WOULD BE PASSING ALL NIGHT. THEIR COLUMN CONSISTS OF INFANTRY AND ARTILLERY; NO CAVALRY, AND BUT FEW WAGONS. THE NEGRO SAYS IT IS HILL'S CORPS. THE ENEMY SEEMED TO BE DREADING AN ATTACK FROM OUR FORCES, AND ARE MAKING A FORCED MARCH. SEVERAL OF THE ENEMY INQUIRED OF THE CONTRABAND IF THAT WAS THE RIGHT ROAD TO CULPEPER AND THE DISTANCE TO THAT POINT. I DO NOT EXPECT TO OBTAIN ANY MORE INFORMATION TO-NIGHT. I WILL ENDEAVOR TO ANNOY THE ENEMY TO-MORROW MORNING AS MUCH AS IT IS IN MY POWER TO DO. I SHALL KEEP YOU INFORMED OF WHAT TRANSPIRES IN THIS VICINITY. VERY RESPECTFULLY,

G. A. CUSTER,

BRIGADIER-GENERAL, COMMANDING.

MAJOR-GENERAL PLEASONTON, COMMANDING CAVALRY CORPS.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS,

AMISSVILLE, VA.,

JULY 24, 1863-2 P. M.

I HAVE JUST RETURNED WITH MY COMMAND FROM THE VICINITY OF NEWBY'S CROSS-ROADS. I STARTED THIS MORNING ABOUT DAYLIGHT WITH FIVE REGIMENTS AND TWO BATTERIES, LEAVING ONE REGIMENT ON THE ROAD TO GAINES'CROSS-ROADS. I HAVE HAD A VERY SEVERE ENGAGEMENT, WITH A LOSS NOT EXCEEDING 15 MEN. I MET WITH NO RESISTANCE UNTIL THE HEAD OF MY COLUMN HAD ARRIVED WITHIN ONE MILE AND A HALF OF NEWBY'S CROSS-ROAD, WHEN I TOOK 2 MEN BELONGING TO LONGSTREET, WHO REPORTED THAT LONGSTREET'S CORPS WAS ON THE ROAD AT THE CROSS-ROADS. I PUSHED FORWARD WITH BUT THREE REGIMENTS AND ONE BATTERY (PENNINGTON'S), SENDING THE OTHER BATTERY AND TWO REGIMENTS OF CAVALRY BACK TO RE-ENFORCE THE REGIMENT STATIONED ON THE ROAD TO GAINES' CROSS-ROADS, AS I HAD RECEIVED A NOTE FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE REGIMENT INFORMING ME THAT THREE REGIMENTS OF CAVALRY, ONE BATTERY, AND A CONSIDERABLE FORCE OF INFANTRY WERE IN POSITION ON HIS FRONT. WHEN WITHIN 1 MILE OF NEWBY'S CROSS-ROADS, MY ADVANCE GUARD MET THE ENEMY'S SKIRMISHERS (INFANTRY), AND DROVE THEM BACK ON THE MAIN BODY, STRONGLY POSTED ON A RIDGE. FROM A PRISONER TAKEN ON THE GROUND, I LEARNED THAT A CITIZEN OF THIS PLACE HAD GONE EARLY THIS MORNING TO THE ENEMY AND INFORMED HIM THAT THE YANKEES HAD A FORCE OF 20, 000 AT AMISSVILLE, AND WERE MARCHING TO ATTACK LONGSTREET'S COLUMN. THIS STORY I NOW KNOW TO HAVE BEEN CREDITED BY LONGSTREET, AND HE MADE HIS DISPOSITIONS ACCORDINGLY. I OPENED UPON THEM WITH MY BATTERY, TO WHICH THEY REPLIED WITH INFANTRY AND ARTILLERY, THEY SHOWING NO CAVALRY. AS SOON AS I ASCERTAINED THAT I COULD ADVANCE NO FARTHER, AND THAT AN OVERWHELMING FORCE WAS ADVANCING UPON ME, I PREPARED TO RETIRE ON AMISSVILLE. I WITHDREW ONE REGIMENT AND FOUR GUNS, LEAVING TWO REGIMENTS AND TWO GUNS IN ADVANCE. BEFORE A POSITION COULD BE OBTAINED FOR MY RETIRING GUNS, THE ENEMY BURST UPON US WITH A HEAVY COLUMN OF INFANTRY, AND SUCCEEDED IN GETTING BETWEEN THE TWO ADVANCED REGIMENTS WITH THE TWO GUNS AND THE REMAINDER OF MY

COMMAND, THUS COMPLETELY CUTTING OFF THE TWO