Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
					Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

ex HEADQUARTERS SMITH

Contrabands

Report 8

REPORTS 
(Complete)
 

SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 128 Volumes. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901. 


(Excerpt)
HEADQUARTERS SMITH'S DIVISION,
May 10, 1862.


CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, for the information of the
brigadier-general commanding Fourth Army Corps, that on the morning
of the 4th instant, soon after daylight, General Hancock rode up
to me bringing two contrabands, who informed me that the works in front of
us had been evacuated. I immediately directed General Hancock to call for a
few volunteers from each regiment of his brigade to cross the dam in front
of us, and made the necessary dispositions of my artillery and infantry to
cover as much as possible the crossing of these men, in case the work
should still be occupied. Before, however, the troops arrived at the points
designated, at about 5.30 a.m., Lieutenant Custer, Fifth Cavalry, and
Captain Read, assistant adjutant-general to General Brooks, had crossed the
dam and taken possession of the works. The Fifth Vermont being near at
hand, I ordered it forward at once to occupy the works, and other regiments
were immediately ordered in as a support.



WM. F. SMITH,
Brigadier-general, Commanding Division


Capt. C. C. SUYDAM,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Fourth Corps, Array of the Potomac.



-----------------------------------------

(Excerpt)

CAMP NEAR ELTHAM, VA.,
May 11, 1862.


CAPTAIN: In obedience to instructions I have the honor to submit herewith a
report of the operations of my command during the 4th and 5th instant:
On the morning of the 4th instant at daybreak two contrabands came into
our camp at Lee's Mill and reported that the enemy had evacuated their
lines during the night. They were sent to General Smith at once, and
arrangements were immediately made to send troops across the dam opposite
our position to ascertain if the enemy had in fact abandoned their works
there. I called for four or five volunteers from each regiment of my
brigade (the names are herewith inclosed) to cross the creek and cake the
chances of the works being evacuated. I was also directed to take three
regiments to cover my front, and to follow the volunteers across the dam.
However, by the time I was ready General Brooks had determined the fact of
the abandonment, and the works were immediately occupied by our troops. A
squadron of our cavalry which had been sent to the front reported that they
had seen the retreating force of the enemy, and I was at once sent by
General Smith in the advance with the regiments immediately at hand--the
Fifth Wisconsin, Forty-third New York, and Forty-ninth New York Volunteers.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It was learned from some contrabands that the enemy had occupied this work
the previous night in force, but for some unexplained cause it was now
believed to be evacuated. However, to meet any emergency, I made my
dispositions for an assault under the supposition that the enemy might be
present.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


WINF'D S. HANCOCK,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Capt. L. D. H. CURRIE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Smith's Division.

--------------------------------------------


(Excerpt)
CAMP NEAR WHITE HOUSE, VA.,
May 18, 1862.


SIR: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with verbal orders from
Brig. Gen. A. Porter, I left this place at 9 o'clock a.m. yesterday, with a
small force, consisting of Companies F and G, Eighth Infantry, 10 men of
Company B and 15 men of Company D, Seventeenth Infantry, and 34 of Captain
Steel's company of Sturges Rifles, making a total of 140 enlisted men, with
the following-named officers: Capt. R. T. Frank, Lieuts. A. R. Smith and E.
Carter, Eighth Infantry; Captain Steel and Lieutenant Foster, of the
Sturges Rifles; Lieut. F. A. Field, Eleventh Infantry, and Asst. Surg. J.
H. Frantz, medical department. We embarked on board the tug-boat Seth Lowe,
where I found Captain Murray, U.S. Navy, with whom I had been directed to
co-operate in an attempt to capture or destroy a fleet of steamers and
schooners the Confederates had taken up the Pamunkey River. Capt. R. B.
Ayres, Fifth Artillery, with two guns, soon came on board, when we steamed
up the river, and at 10 o'clock a.m. overtook the gunboat Currituck. She
preceded us up the river. Contrabands came aboard at Putney's Mill, and
reported the enemy's pickets 30 strong at Smith's Store, 10 miles from the
White House. White flags were flying from nearly all the houses on the
banks of the river.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


G. L. WILLARD,
Major, Nineteenth Infantry.


Capt. JAS. MCMILLAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

-----------------------------------------


(Exceprt)
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY,
White House Landing, June 18, 1862.


Four contrabands escaped from the vicinity of the rebel camp yesterday
afternoon, and informed my scouts at Cumberland the enemy intended
attacking Cumberland that (last) night, to destroy the Government property
there. I sent a company at 9.30 o'clock from camp to warn the gunboats and
shipmasters and to patrol toward Baltimore Cross-Roads and advance their
pickets to New Kent Court-House. They will be relieved in a few hours. I
have a permanent picket of 20 men, under a lieutenant, at Garlick's, which
is decidedly a dangerous station, liable at any moment to attack by
cavalry, who can and do swim the river from King William County anywhere
between Hanover Ferry and Garlick's Mill. The guard report from that
station for last night states that 6 or 8 mounted men unsuccessfully
attempted a surprise.


JOSIAH HARLAN,
Colonel, Commanding Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry.


General S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.

 


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Category: Civil War | Subcategory: Contrabands | Tags: Washington , Wisconsin
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 1862, 1880, 1901, Ark, Army, Army of the Potomac, Assistant Adjutant-General, Baltimore, Cavalry, Company A, Company B, Cumberland, New York, Pennsylvania, Scouts, United States War Department, Vermont, War Department, Ward, Williams, Wisconsin,