War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0628 N. AND SE.VA.,N.C.,W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

respect. Our line was advanced to-day to the White Oak road; General Grant moved his headquarters up to Dabney's Mill. General Sheridan was heavily engaged with the enemy late in the afternoon near Dinwiddie Court-House; in the evening it was reported that he had several hundred wounded for whom he had no transportation. General Meade ordered the Sixth Corps ambulance train to proceed to Dinwiddie Courth-House and bring them in to Humphreys' Station. At this time the ambulances were very much needed to remove the wounded of the Fifth Corps from the Spain house to Humphreys' Station, since nearly all of the corps had been ordered to proceed at once to the assistance of Sheridan's cavalry, and we were thus made to feel sadly the want of the reserve train for which the medical director had applied in vain before the opening of the campaign. Another lamentable consequence of this want of a reserve ambulance train was that a considerable number of the Fifth Corps wounded had to be transported in army wagons, over very rough roads, about six miles, to Humphreys' Station, whereby their sufferings were much increased and the chances of recovery for many of them seriously diminished as compared with the result which transportation in ambulances would have afforded them.

Saturday, April 1, the weather was clear and pleasant. All of the Fifth Corps, except one brigade, was detached from the Army of the Potomac and sent to report to General Sheridan last night and this morning; this left the constitution of our line west of Hatcher's Run as follows, viz: one brigade of Crawford's [Third] division, Fifth Corps; next Miles' [First] division, Second Corps; next to that Mott's [Third] division, Second Corps; and last Hays' [Second], of the same corps, its right resting on Hatcher's Run. Throughout the day nothing transpired on this line beyond a small amount of picket-firing; at the field hospitals of the Second and Fifth Corps, however, they were busy getting off our wounded to Humphreys' Station, en route for the Depot Field Hospital at City Point. In the morning the roads were still so muddy, and cut up into holes and ruts, that transportation of the wounded over them was much retarded, slow, and difficult; but during the day the roads dried rapidly, and before evening a great improvement had taken place. During the day thirty cars, loaded with wounded [there were also a few sick], left Humphreys' Station for City Point. At 4 p.m. a train of fifteen cars, loaded in the same way, was sent to the same destination. About 6 p.m. the Sixth Corps ambulance train, which had been sent out to Dinwiddie Courth-House to bring in Sheridan's wounded of yesterday's fight, got back to Humphreys' Station. In the meantime, at the instance of the medical director, the chief quartermaster Army of the Potomac had ordered forty additional cars to come up to Humphreys' Station for hospital uses. Before night all the wounded had been conveyed from our division hospitals to Humphreys' Station in ambulance or in army wagons. The distance from these hospitals to that place were estimated as follows: From Second Division hospital, Second Corps, two miles and a half; from division hospitals of Fifth Corps, all loaded at the Spain house, on the Quaker road, six miles. The crossing of Hatcher's Run was by the Vaughan road bridge in the ambulance transportation from all of these hospitals. The headquarters Army of the Potomac were moved up to the neighborhood of General Grant's, at Dabney's Mill. In the evening it was reported that Sheridan's operations this day had been eminently successful; that, aided by the Fifth Corps, he had smashed the enemy, capturing two brigade trains, several pieces of artillery, and 3,000 or 4,000 prisoners.