State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 1864- " I am at a loss to understand why the enemy has retired for the small repulse received"

Reports of Brig. Gen. Eppa Hunton, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS,
Chaffin's Farm, February 7, 1864.
MAJOR: The enemy reached Bottoms Bridge at 4.15 o'clock last night, of which I presume you have been informed by Colonel Shingler, who was directed to report all the enemy's movements to you by telegraph. I am anxious about the positions above Bottoms Bridge, lest Colonel Shingler's position should be turned and his command endangered. If the enemy succeed in crossing the Chickahominy, I shall move out the rest of my command on the Farina(sic) and New Market roads, The artillery from the other side of the James River has not reported. Some firing has been heard this morning in the direction of Bottoms Bridge. I have not heard a word from Major Robertson. Sent him a dispatch a little after light this morning, to know if any enemy menaced his front.
Respectfully, & c.,

EPPA HUNTON,
Brigadier-General.

Maj. T. O. CHESTNEY,* 
Assistant Adjutant-General.




HEADQUARTERS, Chaffin's Farm, February 7, 1864 12.10.
I have just received a dispatch from Major Robertson, who learned from a Mr. Christian that the enemy at Bottoms Bridge are 10,000 strong, and others advancing on another road (the numbers and road not stated). He also incloses a dispatch from Lieutenant Hayenner that the enemy is advancing on the Telegraph and Diascond roads (numbers not stated). The Southside Artillery has arrived, and is in position on the Varina road at fortifications, for the present; six splendid Napoleons. I have directed Major Robertson, in case a retirement before the enemy should be unavoidable, to retire on my infantry pickets at New Market. Colonel Shingler will retire toward Richmond. I hope a back step will not be necessary.
Respectfully, & c.,
EPPA HUNTON,
Brigadier-General.

Maj. T. O. CHESTNEY, 
Assistant Adjutant-General.




HEADQUARTERS,
Chaffin's Farm, February 7, 1864.
MAJOR: One of my men (of the Thirty-second Regiment), serving under Lieutenant Hume, has just arrived to give the particulars of the late advance of the enemy. He says he was in 15 yards of the column when it passed. It consisted of one brigade of cavalry, three brigades of infantry, and twelve pieces of artillery. He says that independent of this force there was a large force below, 3 miles below the Burnt Ordinary. He could form no accurate idea of this force, as they were below the scouts; judged it was large from the incessant beating of drums. The cavalry was some distance ahead of the infantry and artillery. He thinks the infantry did not come farther than Barhamsville last night; this is 27 miles from Bottoms Bridge. If he is right in this, the infantry and cavalry had not gotten to Bottoms Bridge before the cavalry fell back. He does not know who commanded the expedition. This scout reports that they killed 3 Yankee sergeants on the upward march. A dispatch just received from Colonel Shingler says his cavalry pursued the enemy to Crump's Cross-Roads, which is about 5 miles. Now, if this report of the forces of the enemy is correct (and I have no doubt of it), I am at a loss to understand why the enemy has retired for the small repulse received. Query: Have they abandoned the object of the expedition? I do not yet feel sure of it. They brought very few wagons (not over fifteen or twenty in all), and a rapid raid only seems to have been contemplated. It would not surprise me if they had fallen back to make a better start, probably on some other road. I shall keep up the utmost diligence until I am satisfied. Please inform me if I shall recall the infantry and Major Starks artillery, as soon as Colonel Shingler is satisfied the expedition is abandoned. Please answer this last inquiry to-night.
Respectfully, & c.,
EPPA HUNTON,
Brigadier- General.

[Maj. T. O. CHESTNEY,
Assistant Adjutant- General.]





HEADQUARTERS,
Chaffin's Farm, February 9, 1864.
MAJOR: From information deemed reliable and received last night, the enemy's force recently threatening my front consisted of the following commands: Cavalry, First District of Columbia, Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania, First New York Mounted Rifles, Fifth Pennsylvania, Third New York, and Fifth U. S. Colored Troops; infantry, three regiments negroes, One hundred and thirty-ninth New York, one Delaware regiment, and fifteen pieces of artillery. The enemy, as reported by Colonel Shinglers scouts, passed Slatersville yesterday morning, and he (Colonel Shingler) thinks they are now in Williamsburg. His estimate of their force is 5,000, and Major Robertson's 8,000.
I have heard nothing definite of any movement on the other side of the York River, and I presume there is no danger to the wagon train under Captain Smith, sent for pork to King and Queen. This train consists of thirteen of my best teams, and the loss of it would break me.
Respectfully, & c.,
EPPA HUNTON,
Brigadier-General.

Maj. T. O. CHESTNEY,
Assistant Adjutant-General.


- The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.; Series 1 Volume 33



*Maj. T. O. Chestney was Adjutant to Major General Arnold Elzey, Commandant of the Department of Richmond.

No comments:

Post a Comment