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Friday, February 20, 2015

Affair on the Road to Williamsburg, Va.- February 1865

                          February 11, 1865.- Affair at Williamsburg, Va.

Report of Lieut. Ira L. Dudley, Sixteenth New York Heavy Artillery.
                    February 11, 1865.
Sir: I have the honor to state that our picket-post at Williamsburg was surprised this morning about 3 o'clock by a party of rebel cavalry, numbering from twenty to twenty-five men, who advanced by the Richmond road. The vedette on the Richmond road challenged them, and, receiving no reply, attempted to discharge his carbine, but the cap snapped. He then retreated on the reserve, but was wounded in two places. The enemy then advanced as far as the reserve, evidently with the design of capturing the horses there stationed. I regret to state that they succeeded so far in their object, capturing 4 and killing 1. The following casualties occurred in the force stationed at the reserve: Private Hall, Company H, Twentieth New York Cavalry; Privates Belden and Dix, Company G, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, and Private Libee, Company D, Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, wounded; Private Cowan., Company D, Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, missing; Private Gannon, Company D, Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, killed; 3 horses, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, captured; 1 horse, First New York Mounted Rifles, killed, and 1 captured.
I have to state that, as soon as the alarm was brought into camp, Captain Bóuve, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, and Lieut. David Earle, First New York Mounted Rifles, lost not a moment in turning out their respective commands.
 I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
                        IRA L. DUDLEY,
             First Lieutenant Company L, Officer of the Day.

    Commanding Post.

The rebel cavalry were dressed in Union uniforms, and deceived our pickets at first by pretending to be our men; they were soon found out, and we opened fire upon them, and there were a number of them wounded, which they carried off with them I have strengthened the picket-lines, and sent a strong force to re-enforce the reserves. I will render a good account of them if they come again. All is quiet at present.
             Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                          JULIUS C. HICKS,
           Major Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, Comdg. Post.

                FEBRUARY 11, 1865- 8.45 p.m.
Major-General KAUTZ:
The enemy's cavalry attacked the picket-line of Fort Magruder this morning. General Ord wishes to know if you can cut them off. The force is supposed to be small.
                JNO. W. TURNER,
            Brigadier- General and Chief of Staff.

                        February 11, 1865.
Brigadier-General TURNER,
                  Chief of Staff:
 I see very little prospect of finding a small force on the peninsula, and the Chickahominy is a serious obstacle at this season to any force, in view of the fact that there are no bridges nearer than New Bridge, and it is not certain that there is one there. The distance from here to Williamsburg by that route cannot be less than eighty miles. I do not see much prospect of cutting off a small force; it would be chance work.               
                                                                          AUGUST V. KAUTZ,
                                                    Brigadier and Brevet Major-General.

 -The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 46

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