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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Action at Tunstall's May 1863

 The Daily Dispatch.
      Wednesday morning . . . May 6, 1863.

The fight at Tunstall's

Brief allusion was made yesterday to the repulse of a Yankee cavalry detachment at Tunstall's Station, on the York River railroad. It appears that the 46th Virginia regiment, Col. Duke. was on the way from the White House to Richmond, when information was received from a young lady (whose patriotism deserves all praise) that the Federal cavalry was moving in the direction of Tunstall's, evidently for the purpose of destroying that portion of the road Col. Duke immediately dispatched four companies, commanded respectively by Captains Hoffman, Yates, Abbott, and White, upon a train of cars, for the purpose of giving them a suitable reception. They arrived there about 11 o'clock A. M.Monday, and discovered the Yankees within two hundred yards of the road. They discharged their carbines at the train, when our men leaped off, and taking the best positions they could find along the embankment, returned the fire, and soon put them to fight.--The enemy left six or seven dead, and had several wounded — among them Lieut March, of the 12thIllinois cavalry, with about a dozen others, including a guide named Fleming Patman. Col. Duke's men, being infantry, could not pursue. Our scouts afterwards reported that the cavalry picketed five miles distant from the road, on the Pamunky.--There is a rumor that Col. Davis, the leader of this gang, was seriously wounded in the engagement, but we do not vouch for the correctness of the statement. 
Wrenn's cavalry reached the city yesterday morning from the White House, and brought intelligence that this detachment of Yankees had retired beyond the Pamunky. We received information last evening that the road was clear to the White House, and uninjured. 
Capt. Pearce, Gen. Wise's Adjutant General, lost two horses, having been surrounded by the enemy. He and his party, eight in number, barely escaped capture, having been compelled to take to the river and swim.

Adventure of a Hanoverian taken prisoner by the Yankees. 
--Among the prisoners lodged in Castle Thunder to Vay (today?)was Fleming Patmen, a native and resident of Hanover, of respectable standing, who was captured by Gen. Wise's forces near the scene of the skirmish with the Yankees at Tunstall's Station, on Monday morning, and who was sent to Richmond as a supposed spy. This charge will doubtless, be dismissed on investigation. It seems that when the Yankees appeared in Hanover on Sunday Patman and other neighbors were at church, and that on returning home from it, he and a neighbor named Alex. Wingfield rode towards the Bash church, near Mrs. Goodall's, to reconnoitre (sic) and to meet some of their friends, who proposed to concert measures for resisting the Yankees.--It was found that the Yankees had been by the church and dispersed those who proposed to assemble, and captured Eldridge Cross, a neighbor. On the return of Wingfield and Patman towards their homes they were taken prisoners by the Yankee cavalry, led by Col. Davis, of the 12th Illinois. These troopers had a large number of mules and horses and negroes, which they had stolen from the farmers, and, taking the three men with them, proceeded to Ashland. Their proceedings there have been given in detail. From Ashland they pushed on towards the Central Railroad, and, arriving there Sunday night, burnt the depot buildings, all the Government wagons, tents, &c, and stole all the mules and horses they could lay their hands on, and staid all night near the scene of their depredations. In the morning they proceeded in the direction of the York River Railroad, pursuing the line of the Pamunkey, which they did not attempt to cross. Arriving near Tunstall's, they were charged on by Wire's troops, and after making some show of fight retreated with their, booty. During the firing Cross and Wingfield succeeded in making their escape, but Patman's horse being shot he wandered about in the woods until accosted by our troops, when be was sent prisoner to Richmond. Davis's cavalry were said to have been led by a negro fellow owned by Mr. Winston, Clerk of Hanover county. Though nine companies were represented, and it was called a regiment, there were only 350 men in it.

The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), May 6, 1863

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