State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cavalry Scouts and Corner Talkers . . .

The Peninsula.

There are no movements on the Peninsula. Our cavalry are scouting below Barhamsville, in New Kent, and on Sunday killed a Yankee picket and wounded another. This occurred between Barhamsville and the Brick House. The Yankees are clearing out the country below there. They burned the house of Mr. Pinckney Walker last week, and are carrying off all the negroes they can lay their hands on. The York River train last evening brought up about fifteen men and one woman, who were caught trying to get through our lines to the enemy. Most of the men had been employed in the Government workshops here. The citizens on the Peninsula took the parties in custody and sent them up to Richmond. All hands of them were sent to Castle Thunder. There are no gunboats lying off Yorktown.

-from the Richmond Daily Dispatch, June 23 1863

Yankee Raiding.

The corner-talkers and the reporters had a busy time yesterday afternoon. As usual, a raid on Richmond was the cause. It was rumored on the streets, and the rumor repeated in public by a high State official, that the Yankees had landed at the White House, on the Pamankey river, 20,000 strong, and also at Lower Brandon, on James river, 7,000 strong. Our people have become so accustomed to raid rumors that very little excitement is caused by them. Everybody seems cool, and seem to understand just what is expected of them — that to arm and to fight. The militia, to the number of about 3,000, had their usual turn out on the Square yesterday evening, and if there had been any use for so large a number, we suppose 5,000 men, armed and equipped could have been mustered before this morning. This number could have been thrown in the fortifications, independent of the Department and workshop organizations, which are all, more or less, drilled in the use of arms. The true statement of the case, as we learn it and which may be relied on, is this:

On Tuesday evening, a gunboat and two transports came up to West Point, the transports having timber on board, to be used, it is supposed, in rebuilding the wharf there which was burnt by our forces. The fact was promptly reported by our pickets. Yesterday morning, at 9½ o'clock, the same vessels were still there, and had not been reinforced by any others. There had been no Yankees at all at the White House up to 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, when the York river train left for Richmond. So much for the twenty thousand at the White House.

Of the landing at Lower Brandon, situated 90 miles from Richmond, on James river, we have fewer and less reliable particulars. It was signaled to Drewry's Bluff yesterday that the enemy's gunboats had appeared and were landing troops there. The number is put at 7,000 by rumor, and is probably about as correct as the estimate of the 20,000 at the White House. This landing is probably a thieving raid to carry off the negroes from Upper Brandon, there being a considerable number there.

From the fact that the Federal are about to rebuild the wharf at West Point it may be inferred and reasonably, too, that they intend to make that a base of operations for a feint, if not a real attack, on this city, with the hope of diverting a position of Lee's army from its march Northward. It behooves us, therefore, calmly to make preparation for the contingency. Let the militia be properly organized, so that every man, and every company, and every regiment, may assemble at the proper place at a signal without the confusion and disorder which unfailingly attend the movements of unorganized bodies of men. With this precaution, and with the large number of regular troops around Richmond, no one need feel the least fear of a "raid."

-from the Richmond Daily Dispatch, June 25 1863

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