No. 262. Report of Major J. Stannard Baker, First District of Columbia Cavalry, Second Brigade.1
HEADQUARTERS FIST DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CAVALRY,
Camp near Richmond, Va., April 26, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this command from March 28 to April 24, 1865, as follows:
March 28, left camp on north side of James and moved to the south side of the Appomattox, in the direction of Hancock’s Station, encamping near Reams’ Station. Moved camp on the morning of the 1st of April at 3 o’clock as rear guard, with four days’ rations and two
days’ forage, marching in the direction of Dinwiddie Court-House. Meeting the enemy beyond that place we went into action, charging on the right as the infantry moved forward, capturing a large number of prisoners. April 2, engaged the enemy at Rowanty Creek, driving them; had one man wounded severely and one slightly, one horse lost from shot wound. April 3, went into action near Appomattox River, capturing four pieces of artillery, without resistance, and large number of prisoners. April 4, engaged the enemy’s cavalry near Appomattox River, skirmishing on the flank and rear of the column during the day, and at Amelia Court-House had a sharp action with the enemy. Casualties of the day, 1 lieutenant (Lieutenant Clark) wounded and 1 horse killed. April 5, moved down the Danville railroad, skirmishing with the enemy’s pickets and driving them, camping near Amelia Court-House. April 6, moved to Burkeville Junction without meeting the enemy and encamped at that place at night. April 7, moved in the direction of Prince Edward Court-House, driving the enemy’s pickets on the way, charging them and the stragglers to the Court-House, capturing thirty-eight prisoners, with casualties. April 8, marched from near Prince Edward Court-House to the neighborhood of Appomattox Court-House without an engagement and went into camp. April 9, moved out from camp about daylight, engaging the enemy’s pickets about 7 a. m., holding them until ordered to form a new line to the rear of our position, being heavily pressed by rapidly increasing numbers of the enemy, skirmishing all the time with unknown numbers until about noon, when orders to cease firing were received. Flag of truce and surrender of Lee announced. went into camp near the field of final action. April 10, on picket duty near Appomattox Court-House. April 11, remained in camp; party our foraging in charge of Lieutenant Bets obtained a fair supply without trouble. April 12, took the line of march for Lynchburg, as advanced guard, at 5 a. m., and arrived at that city about noon; the entire command placed on duty guarding public property and as patrols and street guards. April 13, command relieved from duty by infantry of the Twenty-fourth Army Corps about 2 p. m., and moved to north side of the James and encamped about one mile from the city. April 14 and 15, remained in camp. April 16, moved off at 8 a. m. as rear guard of the brigade; took the line of march in the direction of Appomattox Court-House; arrived at the order camp-ground and then went into camp for the night near Appomattox Court-House. April 17, took the line of march at 11 a. m.; received two days’ rations and one day’s forage. April 18, moved from camp at 12 m.; a squad of men, in charge of Lieutenant Betts,sent out on foraging duty; arrived at Farmville in the evening about 4 o’clock; received five days’ rations and two days’ forage; resumed march and camped four miles from Farmville for the night. April 19, moved from camp as advance guard in the direction of Burkeville Junction about 11 a. m., arriving at the camp-ground, four miles from Burkeville, on the Richmond road, at about 7 p. m. April 20 and 21, remained in camp. April 22, took line of march in the direction of Richmond, Va., at 5 a. m.; camped that night near Goode’s Brigade, on the Appomattox River. April 23, moved out from camp, marching in the direction of Richmond about sixteen miles and camped for the night. April 24, moved at 5 a. m., arriving at Richmond about 1 p. m., passing through the city; camped on this ground between 2 and 3 p. m.
I have pleasure in starting that our loss in men and property is light, considering the amount and character of duties performed during the period
embraced in this report, being for several successive days almost continuously engaged in conflict with the enemy, our loss being only 1 officer severely wounded, 1 man severely wounded and 1 slightly, with 2 horses killed.
It is almost impossible to accurately locate by name the numerous places in which the command was brought into action, nor yet the exact time, as we have been many hours at a time engaging the enemy without the means of knowing the hour commencing or ending the engagement.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. STANDARD BAKER,
Major, Commanding First District of Columbia Cavalry and
Detachment of Twentieth New York Cavalry.
Major A. H. FENN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General Cavalry Brigade, Army of the James.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 1 (Serial Number 95), pp. 1249-1251 ↩