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man, who sent a ball into the Colonel's hat, perforating the crown and lifting it from his head. An orderly dismounted and handed the Colonel his hat, who was saluted by three rousing cheers from the men of his command who observed his coolness and gallantry.

Captain Becker, of the Second New-York veterans, was shot through the neck Saturday morning, but vaulted into his saddle after his wound was dressed, and remained with his command during the entire day.

The rebels made seven distinct charges on General Dwight's line, which held the extreme right; the One Hundred and Fourteenth, One Hundred and Sixteenth, and One Hundred and Fifty-third New-York volunteers maintained their ground manfully, and repulsed the enemy most gloriously.

The Eighty-ninth Indiana regiment recaptured two batteries.

The Thirty-fifth Iowa repelled threo charges.

The Colonel of the Thirty-third Missouri was wounded.

The rebel General Scurry, commanding McCulloch's old Texas brigade, was slightly wounded; Major Mullcr, Seventeenth Texas rebel infantry, was killed.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gregg, one of the captured rebels, reports that Kirby Smith commanded the rebel forces in person, numbering twenty thousand the first day, and twenty-five thousand the second.

General Banks having fallen back to Grand Ecorc, thirty-fivo miles from Pleasant Hill, fiftyfive miles from Mansfield, and ninety-five miles from Shrevcport, will advance again as soon as he is reenforced and adequate supplies are received. The loss of artillery is a trivial matter, as nearly the whole fighting, owing to the nature of the heavily wooded country, must be done by infantry.

Admiral Porter's fleet will cooperate as far as possible. The extent of its cooperation depends on the depth of water in Red River.

Other battles must soon follow, and glorious victories will be won over tho trans-Mississippi rebels.

The enemy appears to have moved his whole forces near hero to crush out the Union army. According to the reports of prisoners, Kirby Smith, Dick Taylor, Green, Magruder, and Price are all in the field against General Banks and his commanders.

The rebel loss in the battles of Sabine CrossRoads and Pleasant Hill was three to our one. The lack of water between Pleasant Hill and Mansfield rendered it prudent to fall back to Grand Ecore, where new supplies will be issued sufficient for a long and uninterrupted forward march.

Graxd Ecoki, Li., April 14, 1864.

A detachment of the Third cavalry brigade, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Kieb, of the Eighty-seventh Illinois mounted infantry, made a reconnoissanco yesterday to the Double bridge, twenty miles on the road toward Pleas

ant Hill. Eight miles out, a small party of the enemy, fifteen or twenty in number, were seen, who fled precipitately. From the bridge, scouting-parties were sent out, who touched their pickets, but discovered no indications of the enemy in force. One of these scouting-parties, led by Lieutenant E. V. Hitch, Assistant AdjutantGeneral of the brigade, was fired at by the rebel pickets. Lieutenant Hitch received a slight wound in his arm, and leaves for New-Orleans to-day.

Our troops are in excellent spirits and anxious for another advance. They can whip the enemy in any stand-up fight, unless a much superior force is encountered, of which there is no fear whatever.

The repulse of our advance-guard at Sabine Cross-Roads, is freely discussed, as well as the victories which afterward followed. When Emory's division came up, the enemy was pressed hard, and his losses must have been terrible, as that division, though fighting almost alone, punished the rebels severely and forced them back with immense slaughter. Our losses in the early part of the action that day, must have been equalled by the enemy's loss at its close, though the capture of our artillery and trains was a point gained over us.

In the succeeding day's fight at Pleasant Hill, the enemy must have lost three to our one. The battle-field, which we occupied that night, was strewn with their dead and wounded, who also dotted the roads by which our victorious army pursued them, until night rendered longer pursuit impossible.

In the continued prosecution of the campaign there are difficulties to encounter which General Banks and his army hope to overcome. The Red River, navigable usually over the falls above Alexandria, is lower now than ever before at this season of the year, and it is possible that the safety of the gunboats and monitors above Alexandria will render the abandonment of military occupation impracticable. Light-draught transports can pass the falls for some weeks yet, and the army cannot be cut off from its supplies. Still the supplies will not come forward so rapidly as if the waters of the Rod River were of the ordinary depth at this time of the year. Should the river fail to bo navigable, and an advance, therefore, be rendered impracticable, the certainty of holding and occupying Alexandria and Natchitoches remains, and so far the forward movement is a success.

Between Pleasant Hill and Mansfield, a distance of twenty miles, there is a deficiency of water, without which an army cannot be subsisted or marched. It is therefore quite desirable that the movement from one to the other of these points shall be rapid.

Rebel citizens and rebel prisoners have all agreed in the statement that the enemy were determined to dispute this road, and that they expected to fight against us there because it was remote from the river, and where we could not receive the cooperation of the gunboats.

The latest advices from General Steele were that he was within either sixty miles or one day's inarch of Shreveport, with fifteen thousand men.

Admiral Porter, with two monitors and his flag-ship, went up the river from Grand Ecore a week since, it is presumed to operate against the rebel seat of government in Louisiana.


The following is General Taylor's address to

his army:

Headquarters District Western Louisiana, I
Mahshkld, La., April 11, 1864. f

General Orders, No. —.
Soldiers of the Army of Western Louisiana:

At last have your patience and devotion been rewarded. Condemned for many days to retreat before an overwhelming force, as soon as your reenforccments reached you, you turned upon the foe. No language but that of simple narrative should recount your deeds. On the eighth of April you fought the battle of Mansfield. Never in war was a more complete victory won. Attacking the enemy with the utmost alacrity when the order was given, the result was not for a moment doubtful.

The enemy was driven from every position, his artillery captured, his men routed. In vain were fresh troops brought up. Your magnificent line, like a resistless wave, swept every thing before it. Night alone stopped your advance. Twenty-one pieces of artillery, two thousand five hundred prisoners, many stands of colors, two hundred and fifty wagons, attest your success over the Thirteenth and Nineteenth army corps. On the ninth instant you took up the pursuit and pressed it with vigor. For twelve miles, prisoners, scattered arms, burning wagons, proved how well the previous day's work had been done by the soldiers of Texas and Louisiana.

The gallant divisions from Missouri and Arkansas, unfortunately absent on the eighth instant, marched forty-five miles in two days, to share the glories of Pleasant Hill. This was emphatically the soldier's victory. In spite of the strength of the enemy's position, held by fresh troops of the Sixteenth corps, your valor and devotion triumphed overall. Darkness closed one of the hottest fights of the war. The morning of the tenth instant dawned upon a flying foe, with our cavalry in pursuit, capturing prisoners at every step. These glorious victories were most dearly won. A list of the heroic dead would sadden the sternest heart. A visit to the hospitals would move the sympathy of the most unfeeling. The memory of our dead will live as long as noble deeds arc cherished on earth. The consciousness of duty well performed will alleviate the sufferings of the wounded. Soldiers from a thousand homes, thanks will ascend to the God of battles for your victories. Tender wives and fond mothers will repose in safety behind the breastworks of your valor. No fears will be felt that the hated "foe will desecrate their homes by his presence. This is your reward; but much remains to be done* Strict discipline,

prompt obedience to orders, cheerful endurance of privations, will alone insure our independence.

II. Taylor,

Major-General Commanding.

Headquarters District Westers Louisiana, I
Manstield, La., April 13, 18M. [


Soldiers: A chief has fallen. A warrior of warriors has gone to his home. On the twelfth instant fell Thomas Green. After braving death a thousand times, the destroyer found him, where he was wont to be, in the front line of battle. His spirit has flown to the happy home of heroes, where the kindred spirit of Alfred Mouton awaited it. Throughout broad Texas, throughout desolated Louisiana, mourning will sadden every hearth. Great is the loss to family and friends; much greater is the loss to this army and to me. For many weary months these two have served me. Amidst the storm of battle, by the lonely camp-fire, at the solitary outpost, my heart has learned to love them. Their families shall be as mine; their friends my friends. To have been their beloved friend and trusted commander is the highest earthly honor I can ever attain.

Soldiers! the fall of these heroes shall not be in vain. Inspired by their examples, this army will achieve great things. Moistened by the blood of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, and Blair's Landing, the tree of national independence will grow apace, and soon overshadow the land, so that all may repose in peace under its grateful shade. The memory of our glorious dead is a rich legacy to future generations, and their names will be remembered as the chosen heroes of the chivalric Southern race.

The colors of the cavalry corps of this army will be draped for thirty days in memory of their late heroic commander. R. Taylor,

Major-General Commanding.

Doc. 132.


Camp Louisa, Lawrence Co., Kt., Feb. 20,1364. On the twelfth instant our District Commander, Colonel Gallup, with his usual sympathy for suffering Unionists, sent a scout over into Western Virginia to rid the citizens of the unscrupulous Colonel Ferguson, who, with his plundering band, had pillaged the country until even the women and children were brought to starvation. This impudent rebel, knowing that Virginia was not in this district, and therefore not under the protection of our gallant Colonel, sent him word that he would quarter there until March, but would not molest our troops provided we would let him alone. Colonel Gallup treated the message with that silent contempt it deserved. His silence was taken for acquiescence by the other party. So the wily old fox was allowed to play around until he met with an unpleasant surprise in the capture of himself and command. This hap

pened in the following manner: At dark on the evening of the twelfth, a portion of these troops left camp under the lead of tho District Commander, and marched all night in an easterly course. At dawn next morning the force was divided into two detachments. Colonel Gallup, at the head of one, pursued a trail which led toward Wayne Court-Housc, ordering his senior Captain, J. C. Collins, with the other, to scout through the hills in the opposite direction, and follow any track which he supposed would bring him in collision with the enemy. This enterprising young officer, whose quickness of perception is equalled by his celerity of action, is as sharp-scented on a rebel trail as the hound in chase of a hare. He was attended by Captain William Bartrum, who is as quiet and unassuming as he is faithful and resolute, and the trusty Lieutenant Osborne. These officers at the head of companies B, G, and H, soon succeeded in discovering among the dead leaves signs of marching cavalry, which led some eight miles further into the uninhabited hills, to a famous rebel rendezvous known as the Rock House. This is a concealed recess, sheltered by an orchard and overhanging rock in the side of a steep cliff which bounds it on the west. On the northern and eastern sides the surface slopes to the edge of the cave, where there is an almost perpendicular offset of some fifteen or twenty feet. In this place, and in the ravine a few steps below, the rebels were busy chopping wood, cooking rations, and guarding prisoners. When our forces reached the summit of the hill, Captain Collins ordered the strictest silence, deployed his men in skirmishing line, directing them, when they had silently surrounded the cave, to give a shout as the signal of attack. As soon as the signal was given, Captain Bartrum stepped to the edge of the precipice and demanded an unconditional surrender. The astonished rebels instantly sprang toward their guns, whereupon our boys opened on their ranks a scathing fire, which soon brought them to terms. The fight lasted about four minutes, with mortal effect, twelve men being killed, and four-others wounded—-three of them mortally. Not one of the attacking party was harmed. The only sad feature in the affair was the killing of three Union prisoners who were in tho hands of the rebels—Captain Pinckard, Assistant Quartermaster, of General Scammon's staff, from Alton, Illinois; Lieutenant Griswold, of the Thirteenth Virginia; and a private whose name has escaped me. Fifty prisoners were taken, sixteen Union prisoners released, eighty stand of arms captured, with all their ammunition, horses, and 6ubsistance. Colonel Ferguson was captured apart from the command by Stephen Wheeler, a private of company G. In the battle of Bock House such accurate and fatal shooting was done, that of sixteen wounded men, only two are now living, and .one must die; the counties of Wayne and Logan are cleared by it of the plundering guerrillas who had been infesting them. The results of this success are more important than that of Middle Creek, inasmuch as

a larger number were killed and captured here than in that engagement—this work gratuitously done by the generous and efficient Colonel Gallup. His command has captured over one thousand prisoners in this valley, and he is still pushing the work vigorously along.

Lieutenant Preston, of the Thirtieth, who was sent up Sandy on a scout a short time since, returned on the twenty-second with eleven prisoners. Reuben Patrick, a contract scout, brought in a rebel captain and ten privates the same day. Lieutenant Brown, of company G, Fourteenth, with twenty-five men, left on the eighteenth for Cat's Fork, to break up a thieving band which had been disturbing that quarter. He returned the following day, having killed one and captured two of the marauders. Captain Charles A. Wood, of Louisville, of the Fourteenth, is having fine success in recruiting veterans in this brigade. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, of Ftankfort, is now in command of the Fourteenth. In camp he is jolly, genial, and generous, and his military qualities are best estimated by those who have seen his commanding coolness in the excitement of battle, and his unshrinking intrepidity when exposed to a heavy fire. The regiment is proud of him, and may well bo of such a "noble Roman." Major Yates, Medical Director of this district, informed the writer to-day that he had seen a deserter from the rebels whom he knew to be reliable. This man brings news that John Morgan is collecting a force of twenty thousand cavalry at Abingdon, Virginia, preparatory to a raid into this State.

Doc. 133.


Cetlpeper Coprt-housr, Ya 1

Wednesday Morning, March 2, 1804. f

General Custer's reconnoitring expedition returned to camp last night after having completed, when the time employed and the numerical force engaged is considered, one of the most daring raids of the war.

In my despatch of Monday I mentioned the fact that the expedition, which consisted of detachments from the First, Second, and Fifth United States, Sixth Ohio, Sixth Pennsylvania, First New-York, and First New-Jersey cavalry, in all. one thousand five hundred men, passed through Madison Court-IIouse early that morning. One section of Captain French's battery, commanded' by Lieutenant Porter, accompanied the cavalry.

The troops were in light marching order, and moved rapidly toward Stannardsville, distant south-west from Madison twelve miles, crossing the Rapidan at Banks's Mills Ford. At Stannardsville the enemy's pickets were discovered, who retired precipitately before our advance. Meeting with no opposition, General Custer' pushed forward to the Rivanna River, crossing at Berner's Bridge, a long wooden structure spanning the river at a point distant three or four

miles from Charlottesville, which place he had received orders to reach if possible. The rebel pickets on the opposite bank withdrew over the hills as our force crossed, and soon after the enemy opened with artillery, without, however, doing any injury to our men, who were sheltered by the hills on the other side of the river.

Owing to the peculiar topography of the country, which was wooded and hilly, the exact location of the enemy was not at first discovered, and a squadron of the First regulars was deployed up the river on our right to reconnoitre the enemy's position, while a squadron of the Fifth regulars, under command of Captain Ash, was sent down the river on our left for a similar purpose. Discovering an artillery camp some distance down tho river, Captain Ash, with his squadron, consisting of only sixty men, immediately charged it, destroying the huts, blowing up six caissons, and burning two battery-forges, together with a quantity of harness belonging to the battery.

Captain Ash's gallantry, and the bravery of his men in accomplishing this feat in the face of a rebel cavalry brigade (Wickham's) drawn up in the woods not over three hundred yards distant, are universally mentioned in terms of the highest commendation. The enemy seemed entirely at fault as to ovir strength, and for some time made no direct advance. Flanking columns of infantry were afterward seen, however, moving on our right and left, and General Custer, having ascertained to his satisfaction that Wickham's brigade of cavalry, together with a considerable force of infantry, were in his immediate front, seeing the hopelessness of'advancing further in that direction, determined to rccross the river. While on the other side of the river, five trains of cars were distinctly heard at Charlottesville, undoubtedly bringing up reinforcements. On crossing to the north bank of the river, the bridge, together with a large flouring-mill, was burned by order of General Custer.

The utter impracticability of reaching Charlottesville with his insignificant forco being apparent, General Custer retired his column up the Stannardsville road, halting soon after dusk to feed the horses, jaded by their march of over forty miles. Several faint charges were made on our rear-guard by a small pursuing party, but no casualties were sustained by our men.

Owing to the hilly nature of the country and the bad condition of the roads, it was found necessary to halt for the night eight miles south of Stannardsville, in order to recuperate the exhausted artillery-horses.

Lieutenant-Colonel Stedman, of the Sixth Ohio, commanding the detachment of five hundred men from General Gregg's division, being in advance of the main body and ignorant of the fact that the column had halted, continued the march toward Madison Court-House, arriving there some time during the night. Orderlies were despatched by General Custer to Colonel Stedman, directing him to return, but owing to the darkness of the night and the distance Colonel Stedman had ad

vanced beyond the main column, they were unable to intercept him.

By this, General Custer was left with only one thousand mon, nearly twenty miles from any infantry support, and in extreme danger of being intercepted and cut off by a vastly superior force of the enemy. Understanding the peril of this isolated condition, General Custer was prepared for any emergency which might arise. Should he be intercepted and find himself unable to retire by the road he went out, he was prepared to strike to the northward into the Luray Valley, returning through one of the gaps of the Blue Ridge. The skilful manner in which he subsequently completely outgeneraled the enemy, rendered this route unnecessary.

Early yesterday morning the column began its march toward Madison Court-House, being but slightly harassed by the enemy, who seemed to be manoeuvring not for the specific purpose of fighting, but with the intention of surrounding and capturing General Custer's whole party. A short distance below Banks's Mills, the point at which General Custer intended to recross the Rapidan, is Burton's Ford, from which is a road running north-west, and striking the Stannardsville road two miles from the river. At tho junction of these roads, on an eminence, a large force of rebel cavalry was discovered posted. They were immediately charged and driven back in confusion on the Burton's Ford road, while our artillery, which was soon placed in position on the hill formerly occupied by them, poured in a well-directed fire upon them, the first shell killing three of the enemy.

In the first charge, thirty rebel prisoners were taken, who stated that the whole of Wickham's brigade, commanded by Stuart in person, was in our front, the major portion being at Banks's Mills Ford awaiting Custer's approach. Without a moment's hesitation, General Custer conceived and executed a plan for his extrication from his perilous situation. Ordering another charge upon the enemy on the Burton's Ford road, and leading it in person, as he is wont to do, he again drove back the rebels still further toward the Ford, until their allies at Banks's Mills, comprehending the danger of their friends' position, and believing Custer determined to cross at Burton's Ford, came down the river to their support It was then that Custer's tactics became apparent to the astonished enemy.

Facing his battle-lines by the flank, his whole force was almost instantly moving down the road with the speed of the wind toward the Stannardsville road, which striking, he wheeled to the left, and reaching Banks's Mills Ford, recrossed the river, thus completely eluding the mass of the enemy, who seemed confident of "gobbling" his whole command. The tactical ability displayed by General Custer, is spoken of in the most complimentary terms.

There can now be no impropriety in disclosing the object of the late movement. It is doubtless generally known that the reconnoissance by Custer, supported by infantry, was a simple diversion in favor of Kilpatrick, who has not yet returned from his raid in the direction of Richmond. That the attention of the enemy has, to a considerable degree, been drawn to the left wing of Lee's army by Custer's demonstration, is confirmed by rebel prisoners, who report their officers to have been in a great state of trepidation, believing a monster raid in progress on their left. Confirmation is also had in the fact that a large number of troops were concentrated around Charlottesville to resist our advance.

Among our captures are sixty prisoners and a number of valuable horses. Three flouring-mills, six caissons, two forges, a complete set of artillery-harness, and eight wagons loaded with commissary stores, were destroyed during the raid. Captain Paine, of the Topographical Engineers, accompanied the expedition for the purpose of making observations, and gained very important and valuable information appertaining to his department We lost none in killed, and but ten or twelve wounded. We lost none in prisoners.


Headquarters Second Rhode-island Volunteers, 1
Brandy Station, March 3, 18M. J

On Friday evening, the twenty-sixth ultimo, our entire corps, the Sixth, together with the Third division of the Third, received orders to be prepared to move early on Saturday morning with five days' rations and forty rounds of ammunition. All baggage, stores and tents were to be left, and the weak and sick wore to remain as camp-guards. Already our pickets had been relieved by the First division of the Third corps, and the extra rations issued. We at once concluded that this was no false alarm. Saturday morning came, as bright and beautiful as ever winter saw. The roads were in splendid condition, the men in good trim, and all was propitious. Off we started at the appointed time, moving by way of Culpepcr in the direction of Madison. James City, a point ten miles west of Culpeper, and sixteen miles from camp, was reached by half-past four P.m., and here we bivouacked for the night. The grassy plains and groves of pine around were fired, and the bands played their liveliest airs. The Sabbath dawned with promise, and the sun smiled propitiously as we moved forward to Robertson's River, which was reached by the advance at eleven A.m. Here the cavalry pickets of the enemy were met, but hastily betook themselves to the sunny side of the Rapid Ann. The Jersey brigade was pushed forward to Madison Court-House, two miles beyond the river, and our brigade thrown across to occupy the heights. The Second Rhode Island was put on picket As upon the previous night, and all that day, large fires were built over extended tracts of country, and the bands, both at Madison and on the river, entertained the rebels resident thereabouts with national and other patriotic airs, played with full chorus and evident intention to be heard. That night at twelve, General Custer, with two brigades of cavalry and two pieces of artillery, started for Charlottesville

by way of Barboursville. Charlottesville is thirty-three miles south-west of Madison. On the Way a detached encampment of infantry and artillery was surprised, the camp was destroyed and seven caissons blown up. At a point about four miles north of Charlottesville a superior rebel force, consisting of one entire division of infantry, Stuart's and Fitz-Hugh Lee's cavalry, and twenty pieces of artillery was met, which permanently stopped further progress southward.

After a brief engagement General Custer retreated on the Stannardsvillo road. Finding himself cut off at Stannardsville by a cavalry force sent out by the enemy for that purpose, only one means of escape offered, which was to cut his way out. This was immediately resolved upon and speedily and brilliantly executed, with the loss of five wounded. About twenty prisoners were here captured, and were brought in, the entire command reaching the infantry lines at Madison about four P.m. on Tuesday. The infantry were all immediately withdrawn to the north side of Robertson's River, and the south side left to the possession of the rebel cavalry who followed closely in small numbers without attempting to molest our rear. We started home again Wednesday morning, reaching our old camp at half-past four P.m. Hundreds of contrabands returned along with us, men, women and children, on horseback, in all conceivable sorts of vehicles, drawn by oxen, horses, or mules, as could be obtained for the purpose, or on foot where no conveyance offered. These were "goin norf by de grace of God," having "been in de souf long enough now."

The ostensible purpose of the expedition was the destruction of military stores, of which Charlottesville is an extensive depot and the cutting of the railroads concentrating at that point. It succeeded only in destroying the camp and caissons, of which we spoke above, one large turnpike bridge, several tiouring-rnills with several hundred barrels of flour, and a few other manufactories of various kinds. But while this was the ostensible purpose, the whole character and manner of the move indicates that it was but a feint to draw attention and forces in this direction while other and more important movements are made elsewhere.


Washington, March 2, 1864.

General Custer, with one thousand five hundred picked men, in light marching order, left Culpeper Court-House about two o'clock on Sunday afternoon.

The Sixth and Third corps marched from their winter quarters earlier in the day. The former halted at Madison Court-House, and threw out a strong cordon of pickets, while the latter bivouacked in the neighborhood of James City, and held the lino of Robertson's road. About two A.M., on Monday, the raiders left their resting placo near James City, and took the road for Charlottesville.

The men had been picked from Merritt's and

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