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

Page 136 OPERATIONS IN N.C., VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

remaining three companies and the howitzers I proceeded to Franklin, meeting with no opposition whatever until I arrived within sight of the enemy's breast-works, about 1 mile this side of Franklin. I took my two howitzers, with 15 men in advance, thus covering the howitzers entirely from the enemy's view.

On arriving within about 350 yards of their works, I discovered 4 rebels on top of the breast-works. Placing my howitzers in position, and opening fire right and left, with my advance of 15 men, I fired a few shells among them, which burst in magnificent style right in their works, which caused them suddenly to disappear. They fired one volley of six or eight muskets, doing no injury to my command. Finding they did not reply with artillery, I concluded they had none, and having no instructions to take the place, I retired slowly to Carrsville, where I bivouacked for several hours. I did not deem the breast-work of sufficient importance to risk the loss of a man or horse in charging upon and capturing it, which I think I could have done. I do not think were more than 10 or 15 men inside the works.

There is a rumor among the citizens of Carrsville and vicinity, and along the line of the Blackwater, and it is freely believed among them, that Generals Rosecrans and Burnside are forming a junction to attack Charleston in the rear, and that a portion of Lee's army, said to be Longstreet's corps, have been going through Petersburg on their way to Tennessee to oppose this rear movement. This rumor is corroborated by a deserter, W. G. Wynn, Fortieth [Battalion] Virginia Cavalry, who came to me 2 miles beyond Suffolk and gave himself up. He told me he left Richmond on the 12th of September, and all that he could hear relative to the movements of the rebel troops was that they were going to Tennessee to fight Rosecrans and Burnside.

A citizen living in Carrsville, who I have every reason to believe is a loyal Union man, although he has a son in the rebel army (by conscription), informs me that there are not more than between 500 and 600 men along the entire line of the Blackwater. Nearly all the cavalry have been ordered, he thinks, to Tennessee. Captain Barham's company, to which his son belongs, has been sent away, and he thinks the rest will soon follow. This gentleman says that the rebels never contemplated an attack on Suffolk, Portsmouth, or Norfolk since the evacuation of Suffolk.

Major Cornog went to South Quay, saw or heard nothing of the enemy. Captain Ward went to Zuni and Blackwater Bridge and Joiners Crossing. At the latter place he saw 4 rebel infantry on the opposite bank of the river; neither party fired. The information obtained by Major Cornog and Captain Ward relative to the movements of the enemy fully corroborates the statement made to me.

I am of the opinion that the statements are correct, and that the rebel forces on the Blackwater are not any stronger than represented by the above-mentioned loyal citizen.

Having accomplished all that I could, I returned to cam this afternoon.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel Eleventh Pa. Cavalry, Commanding Regiment

Captain H. STEVENS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Page 136 OPERATIONS IN N.C., VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.