Today in History:

14 Series I Volume XLVI-III Serial 97 - Appomattox Campaign Part III

Page 14 N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

WHITE HOUSE, VA., March 16, 1865-7.15 p. m.

(Received 10.55 a. m. 17th.)

General J. A. RAWLINS,

Chief of Staff:

Two scouts from Sheridan just in and bring dispatches. They say he has some over 2,000 negroes and a number of captured wagons. His horses are in good condition, but footsore. I have telegraphed from Yorktown for plank to plank the railroad bridge here. It is ready for planking. Scouts say the advance will be here in the morning. Please telegraph Captain James, at Fort Monroe, to send the plank at once.


Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.

MANGOHICK CHURCH, VA., March 16, 1865.

(Received 9.15 p. m. 17th.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

GENERAL: After my dispatch of yesterday* all but Colonel Pennington's brigade, of Custer's division, was withdrawn to the north side of the South Anna, and Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell, commanding the First Michigan Cavalry, who was at Hanover Court-House, was also withdrawn. Colonel Pennington was then directed to send forward from Ashland and develop the position of the enemy, who was found, occupying the line of the north fork of the Chickahominy near Ryall's millpond. Both cavalry and infantry were here encountered, and the following additional information obtained in reference to the infantry force mentioned in my dispatch of yesterday: The adjutant of the Fifteenth Virginia Infantry, who was captured yesterday, says that Longstreet's corps marched out from Richmond. This is also stated by a colored man who came out from Richmond with Pickett's division. After obtaining the above information I withdrew Pennington's brigade and crossed my command to the north side of the North Anna River. The enemy advanced with four regiments as far as Ashland after Pennington withdrew, and about seventy-five men to the South Anna. I left two scouts in Ashland to watch the movements of the enemy. They report the main force of the enemy at the Chickahominy, and that four regiments [went] to Ashland and seventy-five men to the South Anna River. Five railroad bridges over the North and South Anna and Little Rivers were totally destroyed; also the trestle-work over Sexton's Swamp at the Junction. In the reconnaissance made by the First Connecticut Cavalry, of Penningtons's brigade, Third Division, we lost 1 officer killed and 1 officer and 7 men wounded. I made a short march to-day, as our horses are very tired; most of them, however, are looking well. The majority of the horses lost was owing to the hoof rot cause by the mud. The roads since we reached Beaver Dam are very good, the roads being sandy. The column is encumbered by about 2,000 negroes. They have, however, rendered great assistance to our wagon trains on the bad roads we have had to pass over. They have also helped to consume the supplies of the country, which were abundant along the James River. We have not been pinched for food or forage up to the present time, although we have only had of our own supplies coffee, sugar, and salt for sixteen days.




* See Part II, p. 993.


Page 14 N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.