War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0028 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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grazing was abundant and good until the 15th of the present month, at which time I had 2,486 head of cattle on hand. On the morning of this day I moved the herd to the Harrison farms, two miles from the river and one mile nearer City Point, having previously notified you of the proposed change. The cattle were grazed, watered, and corralled before sunset, with the usual night watch on guard. At midnight the watch was changed. The cattle were quiet during the night and in the morning mostly lying down. I had with me one chief herder, five assistant, and sixty herders. Captain Henry H. Gregg, with a detachment of the Thirteenth Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry, was with me acting as cattle guard in the daytime and watching and picketing at night. Captain James M. Bell and Captain Messimer (now absent on leave) were acting under Captain Gregg. At Twenty minutes before 5 o'clock Friday morning I was awake; light was just beginning to glimmer in the east, when an orderly reported to me from Captain Gregg, saying that the picket-line had been attacked at three points. He further stated that Captain Gregg would again report to me, if it was necessary to move off the cattle. I arose and instantly called upon the chief herder to get up, informing him that the picket-line had been attacked. I then went through a large portion of the camp ordering the men to get up and saddle their horses. I then gave orders to saddle my horse, and in ten minutes from the time of receiving word from Captain Gregg was at the corral. I ordered the watch to leave the corral and saddle their horses. I came back to the camp, distant thirty rods, and heard shouting and sharp firing. I forthwith ordered the fence pulled down and the cattle driven out. I then turned to go to the corral again when I heard the yell of a charge, looked around and saw many hundred mounted men charging up to my camp and upon the men who were just leaving it. The enemy came up shouting and firing with great vehemence, and driving before them numbers of the First District of Columbia Cavalry and the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. By the time the fence was pulled down and twenty cattle out, mules and dismounted horses, mingled with retreating cavalrymen and herders, were fleeing from the enemy. The enemy were nearly around the whole herd. I saw that all was lost. With the chief herder and several remaining men I now joined in the retreat, the enemy firing at us and following closely. In half a mile we struck the middle Prince George Court-House road; I then started for General Meade's headquarters. By going to the left I had passed most of the retreating force who followed close in my rear, a few in advance. Within a mile we met another strong force of the enemy charging up to us and firing upon us. I wheeled my horse and came back a quarter of a mile; the enemy pressing up, I turned into the woods. A few of the men who had followed me turned back, while others ran into the ranks of the enemy. At this time those who had turned back with me, but who did not go into the woods, met the enemy coming out from the cattle corral and were caught between their two advances. Beyond this point half a mile, in the latter part of the night, the enemy had thrown up a strong and long line of breast-works, composed of earth, surmounted with two tiers of logs, commanding an open field through which the road runs coming direct from Prince George Court-House and not more than four miles distant from the Court-House. The enemy was commanded by Generals Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee. Their force was large. With it was a regiment called the Home Guard, raised in this country; also eight pieces of artillery, together with mounted infantry. They numbered in all about 6,000. With the enemy was a large number of hounds and herding