War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0841 Chapter XXXIX. EXPEDITIONS TO SOUTH ANNA RIVER, VA., ETC.

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and arrived at Hanover Court-House July 4, at which place I was assigned to the following command; Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, Colonel Spear commanding; Wardrop's brigade, Colonel Wardrop commanding; and my own brigade, Colonel Drake commanding, which, by the orders of the general commanding, Seventh Massachusetts Battery, Captain P. A. Davis commanding, was to proceed to a point of intersection of the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad and the county road, and, if possible without endangering the safety of the command, to burn the railroad bridge crossing the South Anna branch of the Pamunkey. The command arrived at the place indicated about 7. 30 p. m. I immediately acquainted myself, so far as possible, with the adjacent country, and placed my command in a position to resist any onward movement or to make an aggressive movement, as I might under the contingency conclude to do. After my arrival, the enemy opened with artillery, and for hours shelled the county for some distance to my right and left. I deemed it imprudent to reply, not wishing to expose my position, and considering that the enemy were endeavoring to find out my position, and the probable strength of command. I received information from a resident whose house overlooked the railroad, to the effect that the enemy had been busy

during the three previous days in replenishing the garrison at the earthworks commanding the bridge. He told me that the trains, two to four a day, had come loaded with soldiers, and that one train contained artillery exclusively, viz, eight pieces, and also that his son was over the river that morning, and saw six pieces of artillery mounted and in position. The position I occupied was a very precarious one, as I was liable to an attack on all sides, and there was only one feasible position for the artillery, and that on a hill on a small compass of ground, with woods on one side and the railroad track on the other. This position was liable to a concentrated fire from the enemy's artillery from three points, and, from the position of their guns, as indicated by their fire, noticed particularly by Captain Davis, this would have been the result. I had previously sent out cavalry and infantry pickets, to avoid any surprise. I also sent out two companies One hundred and eighteenth New York, and one company Ninety-ninth New York, as skirmishers, under command of Major Nichols, One hundred and eighteenth New York. They met the enemy's pickets, and were repulsed twice, but determinedly pushed forward, and drove the enemy to their fortified positions. Lieutenant Stevenson, One hundred and eighteenth New York, with 4 men advanced into their first line of works, and demanded a surrender, which the occupants yielded. Ten prisoners were captured and brought to me. Upon examining them, they fully corroborated the statement I previously obtained from citizens, and also stated the enemy's garrison had received three regiments from Gredericksburg, in addition to those from Richmond. They said it was the intention of the commanding general to surround my force, and capture it. I resolved to leave the place before daylight, with the satisfactory knowledge that it would be dangerous to remain longer, unless I received orders to the contrary. I, however, received orders from the general commanding to return at once, which I presume was forwarded on the report I made, and which I had forwarded to him. I sent out on my arrival a company of the One hundred and sixty-ninth New York Volunteers to destroy the track on the railroad toward