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OR XLVI P1 #173: Report of Lieutenant Colonel John K. Robinson, 16th PA Cav, February 5-7, 1865

No. 173. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John K. Robinson, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, of operations February 5-7.1

February 15, 1865.

Report of operations of the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry during the engagements of the 5th, 6th, and 7th instant, showing number of prisoners captured, also number of wagons and team animals:

February 5, 1865, the command marched with brigade at 3 a.m. to Dinwiddie Court-House, via Reams’ Station, crossing Hatcher’s Run at Malone’s Bridge; met with very slight resistance; from Court-House the regiment was ordered on reconnaissance on Boydton plank road toward Petersburg. Captain McDowell’s squadron, Companies B and A in advance, went some five miles towards Petersburg; captured 10 or 12 wagons and 1 ambulance (from 46 to 50 mules included); made prisoners of 3 commissioned officers and 10 or 12 enlisted men (D. C. Clark, adjutant of Twenty-fourth North Carolina Infantry included); without firing a shot we returned to the Court-House. The command then marched to near Malone’s Bridge (Hatcher’s Run), and bivouacked at about 11 p.m., the Second Brigade forming rear of column and Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry forming rear of brigade, Captain Oliphant’s squadron, Companies H and G, acting as rear guard, who were followed closely by ten or twelve rebels, who fired occasionally into the rear guard, doing no injury, but capturing two men of G Company.

February 6, 1865, took up line of march at 2 a.m., and by a circuitous route struck the Vaughan road near Gravelly Branch at day-dawn; formed and cooked coffee; 8 a.m. marched with division one mile and a half toward Petersburg, where the whole division bivouacked; 10 a.m. firing commenced, at 2 p.m. our regiment ordered to make a dismounted charge against infantry holding a group of houses; the charge was made with complete success, both men and officers going in with more than usual coolness and bravery, making prisoners of at least 30 rebels. A flag-bearer was shot by one of our men, but the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, being mounted, in our rear, charged through our line and gained possession of his flag. Not being sufficiently supported, we were obliged to fall back and take position on right of the original established line; in this charge of our regiment there were 2 men killed and 3 officers and 14 men wounded. A second charge was made, the rebels retreating and finally withdrawing entirely from our front. At dusk we were relieved by infantry and bivouacked.

February 7, 1865, extremely disagreeable; raining and sleeting. Regiment in line, mounted, from morn till night. Nothing to be seen in our front except a few Confederate cavalry pickets. Relieved at dusk and bivouacked.

Lieutenant Colonel Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.


  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), p. 370
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