State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Friday, July 19, 2013

". . . facts and rumors . . ."

From the Peninsula

Yesterday morning was reported that the Yankees the Peninsula from in New Kent, where they were force the day before. The city mustered and have A great many rumors prevailed in the morning, but died out before The facts of the reported all there was with rivalry and artillery, up to Dr. L. Crump between Bridge and the Road. After they had been there was given that the rebels were and the Yankees deployed in line of battle. The was for a force of Confederates after drove in their pieces and continued their on the . The Confederates who only numbered about upon of Yankees in which they were . They report that it was the down the that the main force would match and that preparing to be made upon county, on the Richmond.

The advance on Richmond.
fighting on the Peninsula — defeat of the enemy — demonstration on Hanover Junction, &c.

In the city yesterday there was little of interest to note. The city troops assembled at 6 o'clock in the morning and were marched to their respective positions, and beyond the amusement afforded by squads of provost guards going around picking up stragglers, there was very little to amuse the few who remained in Richmond. The York River train arrived about 12½ o'clock, and brought the particulars of the fight below Bottom's Bridge, in New Kent. From an intelligent gentleman, who was in the fight, we gather the following particulars.

Gen. D. H. Hill advanced a portion of his force to feel the enemy, and found him about 6 ½ o'clock P. M., Thursday, at Dr. L. Crump's farm, just this side of the Cross Roads. Our troops formed in line of battle. Gen. Jenkins's South Carolina and Gen. Ransom's North Carolina brigades took position across the Williamsburg road, at Mrs. Crump's farm, with Major Branch's Virginia artillery in the centre, and Col. Shingler's and the Holcombe Legion cavalry on the right and left. Skirmishing speedily and actively commenced with the infantry, and the artillery opened an accurate and incessant cannonading. The enemy, consisting of three regiments of infantry, a force of cavalry, and four pieces of artillery, under Colonel West, commanding, at first presented a bold front, but as our infantry advanced in splendid order, at the double quick, they retreated. Gens. Jenkins's and Ransom's onslaught was bold and fearless, but as the enemy retired rapidly, Gen. Hill ordered Col. Shingler, with his cavalry, to the charge, which was executed in gallant and impetuous style, driving the enemy to Tunstall's, four miles, when darkness put an end to the pursuit. The enemy two or three times took an ambuscade, and poured heavy volleys upon the cavalry, but, most providentially, without inflicting any injury. Our loss was only one killed--a member of the 24th North Carolina regiment.--Four of the enemy's dead were found in the woods where there line of battle was formed, and we captured six prisoners, one of whom was mortally wounded. The enemy ran off in great confusion, strewing the road with knapsacks, haversacks, blankets, oil cloths, and sabres. The prisoners stated that the number of troops under Dix was about 22,000. They think that there is not much fight in the troops. Two of them who arrived at the Libby prison say that the force which fought our troops numbered 4,000, and was the advance of the army. There were, they said, 20,000 troops in their rear, and they were being reinforced. There were five or six Brigadier Generals with the force. They did not know what point the army was marching on, but, from what they had heard their officers say, thought Richmond was to be taken. General Corcoran, with his force, from Suffolk, was with Dix.

The train which came up on the York River Railroad yesterday afternoon brought the intelligence that there had been no fighting yesterday morning, and that the Yankees had disappeared from the Cross Roads, taking the route towards Hanover Court-House. Also, that a large force from the White House had crossed the Pamunkey into King William, and, were making for the same point. A citizen of King William county, who lives near the centre of the county, sent. He informs us that on Wednesday afternoon, about 4 o'clock, some 1,500 of the enemy's cavalry passed his farm. They had with them two pieces of field artillery and one caisson. Two hours later in the day they were followed by an infantry force, estimated to number from 1,000 to 1,200, with sixteen pieces of artillery and about twenty wagons — whether baggage or ordnance wagons our informant could not tell.

The next morning, about 6 o'clock, a squadron of cavalry--two companies — passed up in the same direction. The force that passed up on Wednesday evening stated that their destination was Hanover Junction. At sunset they stopped for an hour at the intersection of the Hanover Town and New Castle Ferry roads and fed their horses. Leaving there, they went in the direction of Nelson's Bridge, on the Pamunkey, and halted for the night in the neighborhood of King William C. H.; where they destroyed the harvested crop of Mr. Richard Pemberton, on the alleged ground that Mrs. P. had insulted them.

The next morning they crossed the Pamunkey, either at Nelson's Bridge or Taylor's Ferry, and proceeded in the direction of Hanover Junction, about twelve miles distant.--At different points along the route they declared it to be their purpose to destroy effectually the railroad communication between Richmond and the army of Gen. Lee, and to capture the city, or so threaten its capture as to require the withdrawal of Gen. Lee's forces from the North. They are represented by all who had an opportunity of talking with them as being exceedingly impudent, and boastful of their prospects of entering the Confederate capital.

Yesterday, early in the day, a report reached the city that this force had tapped the railroads at Hanover Junction, and were threatening the bridge on the Fredericksburg road over the South Anna. In the afternoon this report received a seeming confirmation in the fact that the train which was due at 5 o'clock did not arrive. Upon inquiry we learned that the Central train had stopped at Beaver Dam Station, having been apprised of the threatening presence of the enemy. The information received at the War Department at 8 o'clock in the evening was not such as to justify the belief that they were really in possession of the Junction, and it was hoped, at least, that our forces at that point would be sufficient to repulse them.

Regarding the number of troops the enemy has, there is of course much doubt. An exchanged prisoner who came by the last flag of truce boat laid off Fortress Monroe on Tuesday, and while there saw on board a Federal vessel an old acquaintance whom he had known, in Baltimore. The Federal told him that Dix had taken almost every man able to carry a musket on this expedition to Richmond, including Peck's troops, and that he had about 20,000 men. Some of the men belonged to companies whose time was up, but their regiments time not having expired, they were forced to accompany it on the march. Our informant, while lying off Fortress Monroe, saw several transports plying between Norfolk and there, which he was told had Peck's troops on board. There were ten transports lying in Hampton Roads with regiments whose time was up going North.

The Yankees still picket up as high as Tunstall's.

- from the Richmond Daily Dispatch of July 4, 1863

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