Today in History:

76 Series I Volume XXIX-I Serial 48 - Bristoe, Mine Run Part I

Page 76 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

AUGUST 23, 1863.- Capture of U. S. Gunboats Satellite and Reliance.

Report of Colonel Thomas L. Rosser, Fifth Virginia Cavalry,* with resolution of thanks from Confederate Congress to Commander John Taylor Wood, C. S. Navy.

SEPTEMBER 5, 1863.

LIEUTENANT: In obedience to secret instructions from the brigadier-general commanding, I moved my command, on the 20th ultimo at daylight, in the direction of Urbana, in Middlesex County. The circumstances of my march requiring the uttermost dispatch, I arrived at Saluda, the county seat of Middlesex County, about sunset on the second day, a distance of 82 miles from my camp near Fredericksburg. I sought an interview with Lieutenant Wood, C. S. Navy, with whom I was instructed to co-operate, and then made such disposition of my command as circumstances required.

On the night of the 22d, Lieutenant Wood and his party captured the Yankee gunboat - the Satellite and Reliance - with some 80 or 90 prisoners, whom I took charge of and sent to Richmond under guard, finding it necessary to place the captain of the Satellite and one of his officers (they having previously been in our service) in irons as deserters; also one other deserter and several negroes found on board as part of the crew. Lieutenant Wood not having more than men sufficient to man his ships, I sent on board Captains Clay and Gregory and Lieutenant Nunn, with about 30 sharpshooters, to assist him in further operations.

On the evening of the 23d, he captured three transports out in the bay off the mouth of the Rappahannock, with their crews and cargoes.

The prisoners I took charge of and sent to Richmond under guard. Lieutenant Wood, finding that he could accomplish nothing more with his command, owing to the presence of a large fleet of the enemy off the mouth of the Rappahannock, landed by sharpshooters at Urbana and went to Port Royal. The necessity of my presence having passed, I returned to my camp near Fredericksburg.

In the meantime, however, I captured blockade goods, &c., but not in sufficient quantities to justify the employment of wagons to transport them to Richmond, and they being just such things as the men needed, I let them have them, with the exception of the whisky, which I brought up and turned over to the medical department, having given a small quantity to the surgeons of the county, who certified that the community greatly needed it.

One of my officers captured a small quantity of blockade goods low down in Matthews County, which he sold, the proceeds of which sale he turned over to the quartermaster of my regiment.

Many of my men who were from the lower counties deserted and went home while I was near Urbana, and it became necessary to leave a lieutenant and 6 men behind to collect them and bring them up. He has not rejoined me yet, but I expect him in a few days.

The alcohol and copper wire which I captured from the blockaders


*For reports of Commodore Andrew A. Harwood and Lieutenant Commander Samuel Magaw, U. S. Navy, see Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, December 7, 1863.


Page 76 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.