War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0029 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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in safety. Sheridan has gone out to help him, but his horses are badly jaded, and he cannot move very rapidly. Wright has moved out to Reams' Station to support Sheridan.




CITY POINT, July 1, 1864, - 2 p.m.

(Received 8.20 a.m. 2nd.)

I have just seen General Kautz, and have obtained from him a clearer idea of the disaster to Wilson's cavalry. It seems Wilson had been led to believe, by a dispatch from General Meade, that our lines had extended around to the Appomattox, or at least across the Weldon railroad . He was, accordingly confident of finding our pickets at Reams' Station or near there. After he crossed the Sappony, on what is called the stage road, he was attacked by Hampton's cavalry: fought them Tuesday afternoon and night between that stream and Stony Creek, relying all the while on aid from the Army of the Potomac, which he supposed to be in hearing of his cannon. One of his aides, Captain Whitaker, also cut his way through with a company and reported the case at General Meade's, but succor could not be got up in season. Pushing on, Wilson crossed Stony Creek, when his advance, under Kautz, found before it an infantry force, which prisoners reported as consisting of three brigades, under Finegan. Wilson now determined to go back and break through Hampton's force, but on returning to Stony Creek found that Hampton's men had already destroyed the bridge. The case being desperate, he gave orders to destroy the train and artillery. The caissons were blown up, and the guns, twenty in number,spiked and hauled into a wooded morass just as Finegan's force with a body of cavalry came up, charging so as to divide Kautz and Wilson. The former saw that he had a chance to bring off his command in safety, and thought that to rejoin Wilson would only be to expose himself to the danger of also being surrounded and captured. Accordingly, he marched out, bringing off his division and about 1,000 men of Wilson's including the whole of the Second Ohio Regiment. He does not think Wilson has been captured, but that he has escaped with the mass of his troops, either passing to the southeast between Stony Creek and the Sappony and swimming or fording the Nottoway, or else by moving to the northwest toward Dinwiddie Court-House. Sheridan marched on Wednesday night, and left Prince George Court-House yesterday morning at 7 o'clock, while the Sixth Corps went to Reams' Station, but nothing has been heard from them or from any of Wilson's troops. If Wilson took the road by Dinwiddie Court-House he would have to make a long circuit before he could again come within reach of us. Kautz says that the outermost pickets of our army were really not more than one mile and a half from the scene of these events. Up to that point the expedition had been exceedingly successful. It had thoroughly destroyed the Danville railroad from about four miles northeast of Burke's Station to the Stauton River, which General Meade's orders fixed as the limit to their march in that direction. The bridge at that river they were not able to destroy. It was very strongly fortified and guarded. Most of the Danville track was of flat or strap iron laid upon pine scantling, so that the destruction was easy as well as perfect. On the South Side road they destroyed about four