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NP: July 29, 1864 Richmond Examiner: Telegraphic Reports, July 28, 1864




PETERSBURG, July 28.—A telegram from General Early states that the Yankees have retreated across the Potomac at Williamsport, burning over seventy wagons and abandoning twelve caisons—Our forces held Martinsburg.  The Yankees retreated in great disorder.1

From the north side of James river there is nothing beyond the fact that the enemy’s cavalry are on the Charles City road.  Everything is stagnant in front.2,3

SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.

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  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: This paragraph covers that little known period in the 1864 Valley Campaign between Early threatening Washington, DC and Phil Sheridan arriving in the Valley to end Early’s threat for good.  Scott Patchan has a highly regarded book on this time frame entitled Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: July 28, 1864 was the second day of the First Battle of Deep Bottom.  The Union cavalry under generals Torbert and Gregg, two divisions of Sheridan’s Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, were not quite to the Charles City Road, at least not in strength.  They were along the Long Bridge Road, covering Second Corps commander Winfield Scott Hancock’s right flank.  And on this day, July 28, 1864, those cavalry divisions would tangle with four Confederate brigades under division commander Kershaw in a seesaw affair.  Click here to see a map of the area and the battle.
  3. “Telegraphic Reports of the Press Association.” Richmond Examiner. July 29, 1864, p. 2 col. 5
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Lisa Fulton August 28, 2020, 11:52 am

    Brett: As you have showed me before, on July 28th, Gary’s Cavalry held the Confederate far left, north of the fighting between Sheridan’s Cavalry and some of Kershaw’s Infantry. From a letter written by Henry Jeffers, 7th SC Cavalry, Gary’s brigade:

    “Camp 7th Rgt SCC
    Fussells Mill, July 31st 1864

    My Dear Pa, …[describing Thursday, 28 July – Saturday, 30 July, 1864] Thursday our infantry line extended along the Long Bridge Road within about two miles of the Charles City Road, Lee having sent our reinforcements. We are ordered to hold the Charles City Road.

    The enemy now occupy the country between the River & Wills Church Road, their cavalry at Riddles Shop in force. We lay in our Breast Works all day expecting an attack, the infantry fighting pretty steadily along the line on our right.

    On Friday same thing. On Saturday morning rumors that the enemy gone back to South side. Everybody surprised. Our Infantry ordered to make a forced march back to Petersburg. We sally forth and sure enough we find it true – only a few Yanks on this side & they at Deep Bottom. We camp at Fussells Mills – take off our saddles for the first time since Tuesday morning.”

    Hard to keep it all straight! The info you share is invaluable.
    Regards, Lisa

  • Brett Schulte August 28, 2020, 12:50 pm


    You’re welcome! Anyone interested in what happened on July 27, 1864 should tune in about a month from now. I’ve got a spicy letter from a member of the Rockbridge Artillery who clearly blames a certain group for the failure. Stay tuned to find out who!


  • Lisa Fulton August 28, 2020, 1:48 pm


    Oh no!  A certain group? The suspense is killing me. Why do I think they blamed Gary’s men? Is it because Spann sounded a little defensive when he wrote on the the 31st: “No blame can be attached to our Regt [7th SCC] or the Hampton Legion for the repulse which our line suffered and the loss of the four pieces of artillery. We drove the enemy back in our front and only fell back when the infantry on our right gave way and the enemy were on our flank. The troops which the papers allude to as having run was the 24th Virginia Cavalry of our Brigade who are reported to have obeyed the order to ‘fall back’ with the greatest alacrity!”?

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