War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0839 Chapter XXXIX. EXPEDITIONS TO SOUTH ANNA RIVER, VA., ETC.

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I immediately took up the line of march for the White House, Spear, with his cavalry, bringing up the rear, following, in returning from Taylorsville to King William Court-House, the Ridge road, so called, through Aylett's, instead of the one pursued on the advance through Brandywine. The Ridge road is dryer, more level, somewhat shorter, and altogether a much better road than the other. The command arrived at the White House on the morning of the 7th. No annoyance was experienced from the enemy on the return. Although the specified object of the expedition, the destruction of the Richmond and Potomac Railroad bridge over the South Anna River, was not attained, yet the movement was practically successful, in that the railroad was broken at two points, and the track torn up and destroyed to such an extent that two weeks, at least, will be required for its repair. On the advance and at the bridge were captured 1 officer and upward of 20 prisoners, with a loss on our part of but 2 killed and 7 wounded by the enemy. Full lists of casualties* and the reports of subordinate commanders are appended hereto. In these operations all my orders were carried out promptly and to the letter, and a fine spirit and zeal was manifested by all under my command. Brigadier-General Foster, in abstaining from entering into a general engagement at the bridge over the South Anna, displayed commendable prudence, and his course on that occasion was in accordance with my orders, and meets with my full approval. General Harland, Colonel Wardrop, commanding provisional brigade, and the commanders of brigades, regiments, and batteries are all deserving of praise for their prompt and effective exertions to insure the success of the expedition. Colonel Spear with his cavalry led the advance, and on the march back brought up the rear. On the advance, he dispersed several companies of cavalry so effectually that not a man of them was again seen, and captured a number of prisoners. Major Stratton, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, with one squadron, broke up the railroad at Ashland Station, and destroyed the buildings and property of the enemy at that point. For this exploit, the most brilliant that occurred during the expedition, Major Stratton deserved great credit. In conclusion, I have, not for the first time, the pleasure of bearing witness to the good conduct of the gentlemen of my staff, all of whom did their duty to my satisfaction.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Colonel D. T. VAN BUREN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH ARMY CORPS, Fort Monroe, Va., July 24, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith sub-reports of commanders serving under my command, which I request may be placed with the report made by Major-General Dix, of the operations


*Nominal list of casualties, omitted, shows 2 killed, 10 wounded, and 4 missing.