War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0626 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

Search Civil War Official Records

three or four miles by passing to the southeast and crossing the Nottoway River. By the time its advance had regained the road the enemy's cavalry, by pursuing a direct road from near Ford's, and succeeded in reaching it near Nottoway Station and interposing themselves between the two division of my command. Chapman's brigade was at once deployed and pushed the enemy for some distance, getting possession of his battery, but in turn was driven back a part of the distance over which it had advanced. From 1 p.m. until nearly 9 the contest was continued with considerable intensity, the enemy making several determined efforts to drive us from the railroad. The First Brigade was held on the road to Hungarytown, in order that when Kautz's position became known exactly I might have choice of roads and the certainly of forming a junction with him. Captain Whitaker, of my staff, was detached with a squadron to communicate with him. He carried orders for Kautz to join by the road from the railroad junction to Lewiston in case he found it necessary to leave the railroad. Late in the evening, finding that the enemy did not seen disposed to trouble the First Brigade, two regiments were detached to support Colonel Chapman. This was one of the most determined cavalry engagements in which this division has participated, and resulted in serious injury to the enemy. Prisoners captured reported the force of the rebels as two brigade of H. W. F. Lee's division. Our loss was about 75 killed, wounded, and missing, among the latter Captain Sayles, of the Eighth New York Cavalry, a most gallant and accomplished young officer. He is supposed to have been wounded in the leg during the first advance of his regiment.

At 5 a.m. on the 24th, having heard of Kautz's success at Burkeville, and that he proposed to move to Meherrin Station, on the Danville road, the Third Division was directed to march by the road through Hungarytown to the same point. Instructions were sent to General Kautz to hold on at that point, destroying the track up and down the road till the whole command could be reunited and the work assigned it prosecuted with system. He was also instructed to detach one regiment to proceed at once to the Roanoke or Staunton bridge, but moved toward Keysville, lower down the road, before my order reached him. The Third Division reached the Danville road, two miles north of Meherrin Station, at 2 p.m., and continued the destruction of the track from that place to Keysville, arriving at the latter place about night. The whole command continued work till all the track in the vicinity of its camps had been completely destroyed. The Danville road, having been laid with flat iron on wooden side rails notched into large ties, was easily and effectively destroyed by using the fence rails, as previously indicated in this report.

On the morning of the 25th the forces proceeded along the railroad toward the Staunton River, burning the track effectually and destroying the depots at Drake's and Mossing Ford, as well as all the saw-mills along the line; a very large one at Mossing Ford, owned by the railroad company, and used for sawing the string pieces for the railway, was burnt, with the view of delaying the preparation of lumber to reconstruct the road. Every depot,

turn-bake, water-tank, and trestle-work between the Sixteen-Mile Turnout on the South Side Railroad to the Roanoke bridge on the Danville road was destroyed. At 6 p.m. on the 25th, the advance having arrived at Roanoke Station, General Kautz's division made an attack upon the bridge across the Staunton River, hoping to reach the northern end and hold it long enough to burn it, but the enemy having six guns in position in works on the south side of the river and four lines of rifle-trench between them and the river-bank,