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OR XLVI P1 #169: Report of Bvt. Brigadier General J. Irvin Gregg, 16th PA Cav, commanding 2/Cav/AotP, February 5-7, 1865

No. 169. Report of Bvt. Brigadier General J. Irvin Gregg, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding Second Cavalry Division, of operations February 5-7.1

February 13, 1865.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance of instructions received from the major-general commanding, this command

moved from its camps at 3 a.m. on the 5th instant, and proceeded, via Reams’ Station and the Malone and military roads, to Dinwiddie Court-House. The vedettes of the enemy were encountered a short distance this side of the Rowanty Creek, and driven rapidly in, and the position of the reserve on the opposite side of the creek carried by the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. This command without delay proceeded to Dinwiddie Court-House, by the military and Vaughan roads, keeping on the south side of Great Cat-tail Creek, no opposition being met with, the enemy having retired in the direction of Stony Creek, from Malone’s Bridge. The road north and south from Dinwiddie was scouted to Gravelly Runn, and beyond Butterwood Creek, by the Eighth and Sixteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, and some wagons and prisoners captured. A force was also sent out on the Stony Creek Station, or Flat Foot, road, from the Second Pennsylvania Cavalry, which met a small force of the enemy.

The detachment sent to communicate with General Warren being unable to effect a junction on the Vaughan road, the command returned to Rowanty Creek at 10 a.m. and bivouacked. At 11 p.m. received an order to report to Major-General Warren, and the command moved at 1 a.m. the 6th instant, by military and stage roads, and reported to Major-General Warren on the Vaughan road, near where it crosses Gravelly Run, before daylight, and covered his movement to Hatcher’s Run. The enemy followed closely and attacked in some force, but were repulsed by the First Brigade, Brigadier-General Davies commanding.

The enemy seeming to be disposed to press his attack, the First and Third Brigades were dismounted and took position across the Vaughan road, near the Keys house, and held him in check. The Second Brigade was held in reserve, mounted, and at 2 p.m. an order was received from Major-General Warren directing that a force of cavalry should be sent to push the enemy across Gravelly Run. The Second Brigade was ordered to perform this duty, and in endeavoring to accomplish it brought on the general [engagement], which closed the day; the enemy, however, were too strongly and advantageously posted in the woods and behind rifle-pits to be dislodged by the cavalry. Subsequently, with the First and Second Brigades, dismounted he was driven from his position and a mounted force sent to Gravelly Run bridge.

The command bivouacked on the field of battle during the night of the 6th and 7th, and by order of the major-general commanding two brigades (the First and Third) were moved across Hatcher’s Run and placed in position, on the Halifax road, covering the approaches from Reams’ Station and Monk’s Neck bridge.

The conduct of the officers and men of this command was highly creditable’ many acts of individual heroism and gallantry were observed, which will be noted in a separate report.

The country has to regret the loss of several valuable officers: Captain Sneyd, Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, killed, charging at the head of his squadron; Captain J. Harper, Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, killed, leading his squadron . Brigadier General H. E. Davies, commanding First Brigade, was wounded; also, Colonel H. H. Janeway, First New Jersey; Lieutenant-Colonel Beaumont, First New Jersey; Lieutenant Colonel F. L. Tremain, Tenth New York (since died); Captain H. H. Wilson, First Lieutenant George W. Brooks, Second Lieutenant R. R. Pealer, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry; Captain R. B. Canse, First Lieutenant Frederick Schaal, First Lieutenant J. Dalziel, First New Jersey Cavalry, wounded.

Having been in command of but one of the brigades composing the cavalry division during the 5th, 6th, and 7th instant, this report is necessarily imperfect.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brevet Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Second Division.

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.

Report of casualties in Second Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac, in the engagements of the 5th, 6th, and 7th of February, 1865, near Hatcher’s Run.

Brevet Brigadier-General, Commanding.


  1. 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. 365-367
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