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OR XL P1 #240: Report of Lieutenant Colonel Johnson B. Brown, 22nd NY Cav, June 22-July 2, 1864

No. 240. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Johnson B. Brown, Twenty-second New York Cavalry, of operations June 22 – July 2.1


COLONEL: I have the honor to report the doings of the Twenty-second Regiment New York Cavalry while on the late raid.

Our place being fifth in the line of march nothing occurred to call my attention until 3 p.m. June 22, 1864, when I received an order to form line of battle on the right of the road to support the First Vermont Cavalry, who were attacked in the rear by the enemy’s cavalry. I had

not long to wait. The First Vermont came dashing by, the enemy in hot pursuit. As soon as that regiment had passed I received the enemy with a volley which checked him. The firing then became very rapid. We held our position for about an hour, when we became hard pressed, the enemy having partly flanked my left, which gave us two fronts to protect. Our ammunition being nearly exhausted and finding no troops in supporting distance, I drew my command out and followed the column, taking the precaution to protect the rear by properly disposing of the First Battalion, Major McLennan’s. At about 7 p.m., and still some distance in rear of the main column, while passing through a dense forest, the enemy another attack, driving in the rear skirmishers on the rear guard and the guard on the battalion, when the enemy opened a rapid fire. I immediately dispose of the balance of the command in echelon by division on both sides of the road, then rode to the rear and ordered Major McLennan to retreat. The enemy hearing the command gave a cheer and dashed in on our rear, where they were received by the first division, who dealt them a volley and closed on Major McLennan’s rear, who continued marching toward the main column. The enemy continued to cheer and follow until they had been received by the third division, when they became quiet and allowed me to withdraw my command and join the main column, which I reached at 10.30 p.m.

June 23, 1864, my command was employed in destroying railroads and other property to weaken the enemy. Burned 150 bales of cotton. Continued with the column. At 12 m., at Nottoway Court-House, Second and Third Battalions took part in the fight at that place. 24th instant, we were engaged in destroying property. Burned a large quantity, we were engaged in destroying property. Burned a large battle. Remained in that position until 1 a.m., when we joined the column. 26th, at 8 p.m. we were drawn up in line of battle at Stony Creek. Were repulsed at 4 a.m. 27th instant; lost many men and the led horses trying to make our escape. Arrived at Reams’ Station at 12 m. Reformed what could be found of the regiment and joined the main column in retreat. Formed line of battle at Peters’ Bridge to cover the crossing of the column. The men of my command who had carbines did good execution. Nothing of consequence transpired until we arrived within the lines of our army, except on the night of the 27th instant I found one piece of artillery and one caisson in the column and ordered the piece spiked and abandoned on the road.


Lieutenant-Colonel, Twenty-second New York Cavalry, Commanding

Colonel CHAPMAN,

Commanding Second Brigade, Third Division, Cavalry Corps.


  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), pages 650-651
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