Today in History:

1089 Series I Volume XXV-I Serial 39 - Chancellorsville Part I


from Raccoon Ford, and found the ford a practicable one. The brigade bivouacked at Raccoon Ford, and marched at daylight to Verdierville, crossed the Plank road, and encamped on the south side of the North Branch of the North Anna. General Gregg pushed on to Louisa Court-House.

On May 2, the brigade passed through Louisa Court-House, and proceeded to Yanceyville. At Louisa, Captain Lord, with his regiment, the First Cavalry, was detached toward Tolersville and Frederickshall, to destroy the railroad and to burn the bridge over the North Anna, on the road from Fredericksburg. He accomplished all that he was sent to do thoroughly.

May 3 found the brigade at Thompson's Cross-Roads. Captain Lord returned. Captain Drummond, with 200 men of the Fifth, was detached for a special purpose, which he accomplished. Captain Harrison, with the remainder of his regiment, went to Flemmings' Cross-Roads.

On the morning of the 4th, Captain Harrison was attacked by over 1,000 of the enemy's cavalry. He made a determined stand; met this overwhelming force with 30 men, and checked it until he could get in his detached parties and save his led horses. His loss in the engagement was 2 officers [Captain Owens and Lieutenant Buford] and 30 men, all supposed to be prisoners from this date. He brought off his wounded. Captain Harrison speaks in the highest terms of the officers and men with him in his engagement, and he deserves the highest praise for his coolness and gallantry displayed in extricating his command from the clutches of a force that was more than ten times superior in numbers. I feel confident that had he had the 200 men of his regiment with Captain Drummond, he would have dispersed the force that attacked him.

May 5.-At Flemmings' Cross-Roads all of the strong horses of the brigade were selected, 646 in number, and the command started to Gordonsville. After crossing the South Anna at Yanceyville, my intention was to go across the country, keeping south of the railroad and Gordonsville, but soon found it impracticable, from the broken and impenetrable forests. The only alternative was to march by Louisa. At Louisa I found telegraphic communication had been restored with Gordonsville. The wires were again destroyed, the post-office seized, and the command started down the railroad to Gordonsville. At Trevilian's Station we destroyed the pumps and water-tanks, 2 hand-cars, a large supply of subsistence stores, and 2 wagons loaded with ammunition and arms. The wood and ties along the road were burned, and the telegraph destroyed by taking out long pieces of the wire. When within 2 miles of Gordonsville, the enemy's infantry and artillery were found in position awaiting our arrival. The command then turned north, and marched until nearly daylight, and stopped safe on the north side of the North Anna, near Orange Springs. The water in the North Anna was rising fast when the head of the column struck it, and before the rear of my short column passed it was swimming. The rear guard found it impassable, and crossed it on rafts.

General Stoneman, with General Gregg and the rest of my brigade, came up early on the 6th, just as I was about starting for Raccoon Ford.

Toward evening the command marched again, and arrived at Raccoon Ford about 2 a.m. on the 7th. The brigade was all across at 4 a.m.

At the crossing of the Plank road, the Second was sent to Germanna