War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0857 Chapter XXXIX. EXPEDITIONS TO SOUTH ANNA RIVER, VA., ETC.

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instant, but, after the morning of the 4th, the presence of artillery was not ascertained. The nature of the country is such that he might at any time, in spite of anything in our power, withdraw across Bottom`s Bridge, and place his troops in cars, and be at South Anna River in a few hours. I took measures which detained a large force in front of me as long as it was deemed necessary, when I left White House, to enable General Getty to destroy the bridges, and as long as the enemy chose to remain. All the bridges but Bottom`s below the railroad were destroyed, and the swollen Chickahominy was a barrier we could not have crossed, if we had gone farther. An advance to Bottom`s Bridge on the 1st instant, as was designed and attempted, having been found impossible, was afterward deemed impracticable by my three brigade commanders and by myself, without an additional brigade, though urged by you. The reason for this last decision was that the country beyond Baltimore Cross-Roads is so intersected, that defeat and disaster would have been almost certain to follow an advance beyond the Cross-Roads against a force equal or superior to our own, like that which attacked us on the night of the 2d, to whom all the roads were familiar. A farther advance would not have accomplished anything more than was accomplished in aid of Getty`s column. Our loss between the 1st and 5th was about 25 men killed, wounded, and missing. The enemy`s loss, I am confident, was much greater. We fairly beat the enemy, and our troops behaved extremely well. Heat and bad roads made rapid movements impossible, and the nature of the country in the upper portion of this Peninsula, which is worse than La Vendee, presents difficulties to the operations of small columns, which cannot possibly be learned excepting by direct personal experience.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Major General JOHN A. DIX, Commanding Department of Virginia.

Numbers 14. Report of Brigadier General John R. Cooke, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.

HEADQUARTERS, South Anna Bridge, July 5.

SIR: The enemy, commanded by Brigadier-Generals Foster, Getty, and Wardrop (consisting of three brigades of infantry, 1, 500 cavalry, and three batteries of artillery, the cavalry under Spear), attacked me last night about dark, and continued it at intervals during the night along the line of the South Anna, covering a front of some 2 1/2 miles. The principal point of attack was at the railroad bridge, where they were met by companies of Colonels [E. D.] Hall`s and [William] MacRae`s regiments, under Major [A. C.] McAlister, who re-