War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0625 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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succeeded in driving them across the river. At the same time some of the rebel cavalry got between our rear and General Crawford's advance. The Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, forming our rear guard, had a few men wounded, but soon re-established the communication. As a number of men had been wounded, I established a temporary hospital at the Chambliss house. The wounded were conveyed here in ambulances and dressed and operated on. The number of wounded was 15, but a large proportion of these were of a serious nature, as there were two wounds of abdomen, two fractures of arms, and one of vertebrae. On striking the railroad the infantry were put to work to destroy it, which they did in an effectual manner as far as Jarratt's Station, where we encamped for the night. As we were to march at an early hour the next morning, the wounded were not taken out of the ambulances, but fed and covered up warmly with blankets. During these two days the weather had been warm and pleasant, but about midnight a wind sprang up and before morning it became very cold.

December 9, we marched at 5 a. m. and proceeded along the railroad, picketing and guarding the roads while the infantry were tearing up the track. At Three Creeks we found a small force of the enemy, with one or two very small pieces of artillery, but as they had torn down the main bridge and set fire to the railroad bridge it was sometime before we could cross. The Tenth New York Cavalry crossed on foot on some of the planks of the old bridge, and after some delay, a ford having been found, the First and Third Brigades and battery and five ambulances crossed. The Second Brigade crossed at a mill-dam two miles below. The First Brigade, in advance, drove the enemy before them until they came to an open plain in full view of Belfield. The First New Jersey advanced dismounted for some distance, and the First Massachusetts mounted. Here the enemy had three strong works, with ten or twelve guns in position. These they used with good effect, as they had excellent range and cross-fire on the road. Major Sargent, commanding First Massachusetts Cavalry, was mortally wounded in the chest by a piece of shell, and several others killed and wounded. When General Warren arrived he determined that it was not advisable to attack but merely to hold our line and destroy the railroad up to this point. This was accomplished during the evening and we went into camp near Three Creeks. We had had about 10 wounded who had been sent back to the ambulance train, and I gave orders to the surgeon-in-charge to establish a hospital in a neighboring house. On visiting them in the evening I found all the wounded taken out of ambulances, placed in a house, fed, and their wounds being dressed; no case required operation. During the afternoon it began to rain and after dark turned to sleet, the weather becoming very cold.

December 10, we were up before daylight to get everything across the river at an early hour, as General Warren, having announced that the objects of the expedition were accomplished, ordered a withdrawal of the army. The rain had now ceased, but it was still cold and cloudy. The Second Brigade was to move in advance of the infantry and the other two brigades to bring up the rear. The ambulance train moved between the two last brigades. After everything was withdrawn across the creek the enemy began to follow and press us somewhat, especially on the left. The First Maine formed the rear guard, with one gun of Dennison's battery. The infantry took a road leading off to the right, and going direct to Sussex Court-House, while we marched by the same road by which we had advanced. The Second New York Mounted Rifles brought up the rear of the infantry

40 R R-VOL XLII, PT I