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NP: June 14, 1864 Petersburg Daily Express: From the Petersburg Front, June 13


Up to a late hour yesterday evening [June 13, 1864], all was quiet along our lines in Chesterfield [on the Bermuda Hundred front]. The Yankees over there are all the time in motion doing something, but what this something is, cannot be definitely ascertained. The work on the Observatory is progressing, but from the proportions which the structure has assumed, we presume the job cannot be far from completion.1

The enemy made a sudden dash with a body of cavalry on the City Point Road, near Jordan’s farm, yesterday [June 13, 1864] afternoon, and captured two of our pickets. Graham’s Battery [Graham’s Petersburg VA Artillery], which was in position, opened upon the invading horsemen with vigor, emptying a few saddles, and causing a stampede, which proved that however much the vandals fancy Southern bacon and other provisions, they have no particular relish for Confederate shot and shell. Two of the rascals tumbled off their horses from sheer fright, and were captured. It was at first thought that they were wounded, but an examination revealed no broken limbs, lacerations nor contusions.2

It is thought by some that the demonstration yesterday [June 13, 1864] afternoon, was made for the purpose of preparing the way for a more formidable movement to day or to morrow.3 Be this as it may, our troops will be found ready for the vandals, at any hour, at all places, and for any force they may think proper to send.4

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  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: I am guessing here, but the reference to the “Observatory” probably refers to one of Butler’s signal towers, which he built all over the Bermuda Hundred front and elsewhere. Based on the “Local Matters” article in this same day’s paper, it appears they are referring to the Cobb’s Hill Tower Signal Station.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: This “Skirmish on City Point Road near Jordan’s Farm,” as I’m styling it, is not listed among the “official” fights in the Official Records, Vol. XL, Pt. 1. It pitted Graham’s Petersburg VA Artillery and presumably some Confederate Cavalry versus unknown Union cavalry.  If you have more information on this little fight, please Contact Us.
  3. SOPO Editor’s Note: Those of you familiar with the Petersburg Campaign know these are prophetic words. Baldy Smith’s Eighteenth Corps would advance “tomorrow,” June 15, 1864, and Union forces would be near Petersburg until its capture nine and a half months later.
  4. “From the Front.” The Daily Express (Petersburg, VA). June 14, 1864, p. 2 col. 3
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