Numbers 285. Reports of Major J. Stannard Baker, First District of Columbia Cavalry, of operations June 15-30.1
HDQRS. FIRST DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CAVALRY.
Near Point of Rocks, Va., June 17, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the detachment of First District of Columbia Cavalry, under my command, in the recent affair before Petersburg:
The command left camp near Point of Rocks about 12 o’clock on the night of the 14th. We participated in the skirmishers and engagement of the Cavalry Division during the 15th and 16th before Petersburg, and returned to our former encampment near Point of Rocks on the morning of the 17th.
The casualties of my command during the two days above mentioned are as follows, viz: Killed, 4; wounded, 10.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. STANNARD BAKER.
Major, Commanding Detachment.
Lieutenant Colonel E. J. CONGER,
Commanding First District of Columbia Cavalry.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report to you herewith the proceedings of the First Regiment District of Columbia Cavalry during the operations of the command under General A. V. Kautz, commanding Cavalry Division, on the recent raid into the enemy’s country:
In accordance with orders received from brigade headquarters on the 20th ultimo, the regiment was prepared to leave, which it did on the 21st, at 4 a.m. Marching was continued on the morning of Tuesday, the 21st, until about 10 o’clock, when the command was halted by the appearance of rebel pickets and a small force at Reams’ Station, on the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad, Company E, of the First Regiment District of Columbia Cavalry, with a portion of the Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry, deployed as skirmishers, drove all force away and the march was continued. Nothing prevented the onward movement, and Dinwiddie Court-House was reached at 1 o’clock, where a rest was made of about one hour and a half, when the march was again commenced. The South Side Railroad was crossed at about 4 o’clock, and Ford’s Station reached at 6, where no resistance was offered by the enemy. The night was spent in the destruction of the railroad and railroad property. At 1 a.m. the movement was again commenced, and continued without any interruption, except for necessary halts and for the destruction of railroad and railroad property, until Saturday, the 25th. Depots were destroyed all along the route of the Danville railroad, which was reached on Thursday, the 23d, at 4 p.m. Destruction of the track was successfully effected for many miles. On Friday nothing occurred to deter the movement of the command, and everything went on unruffled by the appearance of the enemy. Saturday, the 25th the advance started about 5 a.m., and until 5 p.m. all was quiet. At that time the enemy was found in force at the railroad bridge over Staunton River. It was protected by earth-works and a large force was apparently in possession of them. The regiment was deployed on the skirmish line and remained there until the morning of the 26th. Our loss here was 4 killed, 22 wounded,and 30 missing. About 5 o’clock the line was drawn in and the regiment remained near the depot, to cover the crossing of the command at the creek. After the crossing was completed the regiment was placed in the rear of the command, and alternated with the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry in acting as rear guard of the column until we reached camp. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were passed with only an occasional skirmish with small parties of rebel cavalry in the rear until about 5 p.m. on the latter day, when the advance was attacked at Stony Creek and quite a fight ensued, in which the regiment took no active part. After the firing lessened we were sent to the advance and marched without trouble until 7 o’clock the next morning. Here, a short distance from Reams’ Station, the enemy was discovered in large force and severe skirmishing and fighting took place all through the day. Our loss here was 4 killed, 57 wounded,and 130 missing. At 3 o’clock orders came to march through and get into 130 missing. At 3 o’clock orders came to march through and get into our lines, and falling into the column the regiment did so, through woods and by-roads, reaching the Union lines at 8 p.m. Encamping here for the night, the morning of the 30th found us again on the move toward camp, which we reached at 4 p.m.
I have the honor to be, colonel, most respectfully,your obedient servant,
J. STANNARD BAKER,
Major, Commanding 2nd Brig., 1st Cav. Div., 18th A. C.
- 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 741-742 ↩