State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Friday, February 27, 2015

Still Jittery in Williamsburg- 1865

         FORT MAGRUDER, VA., February 18, 1865.

Brig. Gen. JOHN W. TURNER,
    Chief of Staff, Headquarters Army of the James:

I received information yesterday from rebel deserters that there was a force, quite a large one, between me and the Chickahominy. At the same time the officer in command at Jamestown Island telegraphed that there was a force of them at the Burnt Ordinary(Toano), on the Richmond road. They took a pair of mules from a farmer in the immediate vicinity of the island, and the people outside our lines report the same. The pickets report seeing them outside of our lines. I think their object is to get horses to remount their own cavalry. My cavalry force is too small to scout the country. I have only 115 for duty, and there are daily detailed for guard thirty-three of that number. The only damage that I fear is that they may destroy or injure the telegraph wire between Fort Monroe and the front. Should I see or hear anything further I will immediately telegraph. It is quite possible that this may be a portion of the rebel cavalry reported from the front as coming down our way.
    Very respectfully,
                JULIUS C. HICKS,
    Major Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, Comdg. Post.

        FORT MAGRUDER, February 18, 1865.
    Assistant Adjutant-General:

All is quiet in this vicinity at present. I will promptly notify you if the enemy appears. I think that it will do no harm to grant the furloughs now in hand; I have stopped them here. I have plenty of infantry. I will not approve any more furloughs, if I had the cavalry I would send out scouting parties. I have no doubt of quite a force of rebel cavalry above, as they are seen on York River, Jamestown Island, and by our picket-line; also, by reports of deserters and refugees, which tend to confirm the reports. I have a strong picket-line, also a reserve. I think that I am all right. My cavalry force is so small that they are overworked. Thirty three are on duty every day, and as I have only 115 total you can see the amount of work to be done.
    Very respectfully,
                        J.C. HICKS,
        Major Sixteenth New York Artillery, Comdg. Post.

A note on the 16th New York Heavy Artillery . . .
The Sixteenth New York Volunteer Artillery, commanded by Col. J. J. Morrison, headquarters at Yorktown, Va., is the largest regiment ever recruited in the United States, and has men in the following places: At Yorktown, 1,140; at Williamsburgh, 736; at Gloucester Point, 147; at Bermuda Hundred, 270; putting up telegraph, 60; with One Hundred and Forty-eighth New York Volunteers, 46; with First New York Mounted Rifles, 272—transferred; with Eighty-fifth New York Volunteers, 46; with light batteries United States Artillery, 22; with Army of the Potomac, 201—transferred; making a total of 2,928 men and 63 officers.
-N.Y. News, June 20, 1864

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