Number 235. Petersburg Campaign Reports of Bvt. Brigadier General J. I. Gregg, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations July 30-August 16, November 16, and December 7-12

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

Numbers 235. Reports of Bvt. Brigadier General J. I. Gregg, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations July 30-August 16, November 16, and December 7-12.1

HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, SECOND DIV., CAVALRY CORPS, November 22, 1864.

CAPTAIN: *

That night [July 30] marched to Prince George Court-House, where the command remained doing picket duty until August 13. At 4 p. m. of that date the command marched from its camp and crossed the James River, at Jones’ Neck. Early on the morning of the 14th moved out on the New Market road and by a by-road through the woods to within one mile of Goodman’s, on the Charles City Court-House road. Two regiments (the First Maine and Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry) were directed to proceed by a by-road and get on the Charles City road, between Goodman’s and Fisher’s, and in rear of the force of the enemy supposed to be near Fisher’s. At the same time the Second and Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry were sent on the road leading directly to Fisher’s to attack the enemy in front. This movement was successful, but owing to the proximity of White Oak Swamp only four of the enemy were captured. On the morning of the 15th a reconnaissance was sent out as far as White’s Tavern where the enemy was found in some force. The squadron sent out was followed, and a strong attack was made upon the Eighth and Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, which had been left on picket at Fisher’s, and they were forced to retire about two miles. Skirmishing continued all day, and in the evening a brigade of infantry, under Colonel Craig, came up to my support, when we advanced, and the enemy were driven across the swamp at Fisher’s. At this point the colonel in command of the infantry not deeming it prudent to advance farther we halted, and the Second and Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry remained during the night on picket. Early on the morning of the 16th my command advanced to Fisher’s, the Second Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Brinton, and Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Captain Parke, dismounted and drove the enemy from the rifle-pits and across the open space beyond in gallant style, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry at the same time charging along the road. The;e enemy were pushed back half a mile, when he was found in strong force behind barricades in a dense woods. At this juncture, I being wounded in the right wrist and disabled, the command devolved upon Colonel M. Kerwin.

Complete lists of the casualties sustained during the operations on the north side of the James have already been forwarded.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. IRVIN GREGG,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Cap. A. H. BIBBER, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Cavalry Division.

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*For portion of report here omitted, covering operations from July 26-30, see Vol. XL, Part I, p.619.

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HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, SECOND DIV., CAVALRY CORPS, November 16, 1864.

I have the honor to report the following result of a scout made by a party of fifty men commanded by Captain O’Reilly, Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. The party left the reserve on the Lee’s Mill road at 4.30 a. m. with instructions to push across Warwick Swamp at Lee’s Mill and attempt the capture of a party of the enemy which was supposed to be in that locality. Proceeded two miles beyond and found fourteen of the rebels. Charged them, killing 3, wounding 1, and capturing 12 horses and killing 1. The officer in charge of the scouts was among the number killed. Major McCabe thinks the rebels were the Rives scouts. We lost no men nor horses.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. IRVIN GREGG,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain A. H. BIBBER,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Division, Cavalry Corps.
HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, SECOND DIV., CAVALRY CORPS, December 15, 1864.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with instructions from division headquarters, I have the honor to report that this command moved from its present camp at 5 a. m. on the 7th instant in the advance. At Proctor’s, on the Jerusalem plank road, the enemy’s scots were encountered and two of them captured. The command reached Sussex Court-House about dark and bivouacked for the night. At 5 a. m. on the 8th command marched in rear of cavalry and reached Nottoway bridge about 9 o’clock. Sharp skirmishing was going on on the Halifax road, and the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Major Duncan, was sent in and cleared the woods, driving the enemy through and beyond the swamp. The rear of the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry was attacked by a small force of the enemy from a by-road near the point where the Sussex road, leading past Coman’s Well, joins the Halifax road. The enemy were soon repulsed, Command bivouacked at Jarratt’s Station and moved at daylight on the 9th for Belfield. Reached Three Creek at 10 o’clock and proceeded to Jones’ Mill; burned thirty-four bales of cotton; crossed Three Creeks, driving the enemy’s pickets before it to the road leading from Wyatt’s Mill to Belfield, and on that road to within half a mile of the enemy’s works on the Meherrin River. Marched on the morning of the 10th, at 5 o’clock, in advance of the infantry, and arrived at Sussex Court-House at 4 p. m. The country passed over was a rich agricultural district, containing large quantities of corn, bacon, cattle, and whisky, very little of which was destroyed, and will of course be used for subsisting the rebel armies. On the 11th marched from Sussex Court-House to Proctor’s, on the Jerusalem plank road, and bivouacked. The command remained at this place until after the rear of the infantry had passed, and then marched via Lee’s Mill to camp, on the afternoon of the 12th.

J. IRVIN GREGG,
Brevet Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

Captain A. H. BIBBER,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Division, Cavalry Corps.

Source:

  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 637-638

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