State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Raiding Along the Pamunkey

The Yankee raid near Richmond.
bridges burnt
capture of Gen. W. H. F. Lee.

The reports of the progress of the Yankee raid from the White House yesterday came into the city fact and furious, and it is remarkable to note that they were in very few cases exaggerated, except with regard to the numbers of the foe. There was no excitement, and we may safely assert that there never was a duller day here. Everybody was cool, and everybody, except those who were in militia organizations, were attending to their every day business as usual. The day has passed when Richmond can be stirred up by the news of a Yankee raid.

On Thursday evening a portion of the Federal troops — about 1,200--left the White House on the road to Hanover Court-House, and upon arriving camped for the night on Colonel Wickham's farm. Thursday night, at a late hour, the rest of the troops at the White House left in the same direction, and passed Old Church about breakfast time. It is believed by some that both parties met near Hanover Court House, and, on the other hand, it is supposed that the two divisions took different routes.--This latter supposition is strengthened by the fact that our pickets at Mechanicsville, four miles from Richmond, were driven in early in the day, and three of them captured.

Before leaving the White House they tore up the track from there to Tunstall's Station a distance of four miles. The rumor yesterday that they brought two locomotives and cars with them on their gunboats, and had put them on the road, is of course unfounded, as they did not leave the track down to use. They also burnt the store of Mr. Dabney, at Tunstall's Station, with a full stock of goods, which the proprietor had only received the day before. The excuse for this vandalism was that the building contained the Post Office. They did not rob the money drawer of the store, something most remarkable for a Yankee.

Late last evening a train arrived at the depot from Dispatch Station, and we learn by it that a gentleman during the day rode down to within 500 yards of the White House, and found there were but two wooden gunboats lying there. Not a Yankee soldier was to be seen. Those who saw the troops land from the gunboats say there were not more, and probably less, than 5,000. It is more than likely that the Yankees will attempt to get through to Aquia Creek, and there embark in safety on their gunboats. Yesterday afternoon there was not even a Yankee picket to be seen from Tunstall's to the White House.--The two gunboats there are probably left to cover their embarkation at that point, should they be intercepted in their way through by our troops.

There has been very little damage done by the Yankees in the vicinity of the White House and Tunstall's Station, they being restrained, perhaps, by the knowledge that our army is in their country now. They burnt some straw at the White House before leaving.

Still Later
The train which took out the troops on the Central road returned at 11 o'clock last night. Front the officers on board this train we have some fuller particulars of the raid upon the road yesterday afternoon. Before attacking the bring over the South Anna, the enemy destroyed the trestle work on the road near Han over Come House, and tore up the track for some distance. They then attacked the bridge which was guarded by only 80 men, belonging, we are informed, to the 44th North Carolina. Perhaps there has not been more determined and desperate gallantry exhibited during this whole was then was exhibited by these gallant men in defence of the bridge. For upwards of an hour they contended with twelve hundred of the enemy's cavalry and two pieces of artillery, and only yielded when completely over-powered. The Lt. Col. commanding this guard refused to surrender his sword, even after being overpowered, and it was not until he was ruthlessly knocked down with the butt of a market that it was wrested from him. According to one account we had eight men killed in the action, whilst another states that we lost but three. Our wounded, half dozen in number, were left at Hanover Court-House. The enemy is known to have had three killed and a number wounded.

After firing the bridge, the Yankees started in the direction of the bridge on the Fredericksburg road, but on being informed by a citizen, who was a prisoner of theirs, that we had two brigades at that point and Hanover Junction, they turned their course, and marched back in the direction of the White House, passing Hanover Court House only a few minutes before the arrival of our reinforcements. The gentleman who gave them the information with reference to our forces at the Junction, says they told him they had a cavalry force of 1,200, and a large infantry force at the White House and neighborhood, and they boasted of their intention to take Richmond last night or to-day.

Whilst in Hanover they went to the residence of Col. Wickham, where they captured Gen. W. H. F. Lee, who has been there since he was wounded in the battle of Brandy Station on the 9th. They conveyed him away in the carriage of Col. W., which they stole. They also burned the line barn of Col. Wickham, and one or two other out-buildings.

Seeking shelter.
--Large numbers of farmers in New Kent and King William are fleeing from their homes, with their servants and stock, and seeking shelter in the neighborhood of Richmond. The Yankees are said to be committing all sorts of depredations in the neighborhood of the White House, thus rendering that fertile section a desolate waste.

-from the Richmond Daily Dispatch, June 27 1863

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