Today in History:

989 Series I Volume XXXVI-I Serial 67 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part I


to me for duty, in compliance with orders from Major-General Burnside, were constantly employed and patrolling the different roads leading from my position.


While the division occupied the last-named position, the Second Ohio Cavalry, stationed at Piney Branch Church, were compelled to fall back, being attacked by a superior force, consisting of one brigade of cavalry and two pieces of artillery. I immediately ordered the Fourth Division in readiness, and marched the Twenty-third U. S. Colored Troops to support the cavalry. On arriving at Alrich's, on the plank road, I found the Second Ohio driven across the road and the enemy occupying the cross-roads. I ordered the colored regiments to advance on the enemy in line of battle, which they did, and drove the enemy in perfect rout. Not being able to pursue with infantry, the Second Ohio formed and gave them chase to Piney Branch Church, which they (the Second Ohio) now occupy.


This division remained in the above position until the 17th instant. In compliance with verbal instructions from Lieutenant-General Grant, I moved the division and occupied a position near Salem Church, extending from the left of the main road to Fredericksburg to the road leading along the Rappahannock. On the 20th instant an attack was made by a strong force of the enemy's cavalry and artillery at 5 p.m., at the same time heard firing on my left and my rear. The enemy was defeated in their attempt to break through my line. I captured several prisoners belonging to Ewell's corps. I have given instructions for all trains proceeding to the front to take the Massaponax Church road.


The division remained in this position until the 21st instant, when I received orders from Lieutenant-General Grant to make such disposition of my forces as best to cover Fredericksburg and the roads leading from there to Bowling Green; to take up and maintain a line from Banks' Ford, via Tabernacle Church road, to Port Royal road; to make my headquarters at or near Owen's, where I would concentrate my main force. The same day I also received orders from Lieutenant-General Grant to move with the trains of the army, and make such disposition of my command as best to cover them. The main trains of the army having moved to Bowling Green, I moved on the 22nd in rear of the trains, and marched as far as Willboro's house, on the Bowling Green road, where I bivouacked for the night. Leaving Willboro's at 4 p.m. of the 23d, the division moved to Mildford Station, still keeping in rear of the trains. On the 24th instant, the trains being concentrated near Wright's Tavern, I placed a brigade and a battery in advance of them, on the road leading to North Anna River, leaving a brigade and battery at Milford Station to protect their right flank and rear. On the 27th instant, the trains having been ordered to move, the division moved from Wright's Tavern to Newtown, King and Queen County, where we bivouacked for the night. The mounted cavalry which had been operating with