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



Report 9


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. 

Harrison's Bar, July 20, 1862.

Our side lost not a man. This little affair produced an excellent effect in
clearing the roads, as the contrabands informed me that all the cavalry we
did not kill had run away to Richmond. I desire to call particular
attention to the fact that Lieutenants Munk and Dougherty were ready with
their guns to fire when the enemy appeared. Lieutenant Munk had measured
the ground in front of his guns, and was thus able to cut his fuses to the
proper length.

Respectfully submitted.
Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.


July 11---4 a.m.

Intelligent contrabands on all the roads and at the court-house, with
uncommon unanimity, informed us that no force of the enemy had been seen
since Tuesday or Wednesday last, on which latter day a force of some 300
cavalry passed down to Sandy Point, but returned immediately. I am
convinced there is now no force of any kind in the country over which we
passed. I will do myself the honor to call upon you this morning and make
you a report at greater length, if you desire it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Colonel AVERELL,
Comdg. First Brigade Cavalry.



BUDD'S FERRY, MD., March 22, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS:
Have seen General Heintzelman. One regiment, with the cavalry, is
sufficient to occupy this post. The rebels have one gun at Aquia Creek and
a small party to work it. Patrols and pickets constantly make their
appearance, but it is not known from what point they come. The rebels have
about 3,000 men on the north side of the Rappahannock, and encamped a
little to the west of the road leading from Dumfries to Fredericksburg. If
they have a larger force I do not know it.
General Sickles reports to me that the depot of Aquia is not destroyed.
Captain Wyman informed me several days since that it was. Contrabands
 have stated the same thing. I forwarded to the provost-marshal
to-day a prisoner of the name of Grimes, who lives at the mouth of Potomac
Creek; is a man of wealth and standing. He says that the rebels have
destroyed a part of the railroad bridge at Fredericksburg. It is confirmed
by no one else.

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.



BUDD'S FERRY, March 28, 1862.



I am informed by contrabands just in from the Rappahannock that several
regiments have left their camps about Fredericksburg for the South. It is
stated that they left for North Carolina. Almost all the rails have been
removed from the road between Aquia and Fredericksburg. The common talk is
that the rebels intend to burn the bridges at Fredericksburg on our advance.




One mile beyond Warwick Court-House, April 5, 1862---11 a.m.

Brig. Gen. R. B. MARCY,

Chief of Staff Army of the Potomac:
SIR: The last of General Smith's division has just closed up at Warwick
Court-House, the First Brigade being in line of battle at this point. Two
contrabands report that the enemy is in very great strength just in front
of us, with the means of overflowing the ground in front of his strongest
battery, which is at a distance estimated by them between 1� and 3 miles. I
am trying to get information, but as yet have nothing except vague
conjecture to send, nor can I ascertain much about the roads between this
and your headquarters. I have, however, found a mulatto, who professes to
know the road and will go over as a guide. I will send another dispatch in
a very short time by another road, as I fear there may be great uncertainty
about this reaching you.

Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.



WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D.C., April 13, 1862.

Major-General BANKS:
Deserters from Yorktown to Fort Monroe and contrabands that have come into
McDowell's camp agree in the statement that the enemy's force has left the
Rappahannock for Yorktown.

Secretary of War.


Warwick Court-House, Va., April 21, 1862.

Maj. J. H. TAYLOR,
Chief of Brigadier-General Sumner's Staff:
SIR: In reply to your telegram, just received, asking to know the best
ground on which to concentrate my corps, I respectfully request that I may
be allowed to defer my final reply until Brigadier-Genera! Sumner and
Major-General McClellan shall have examined the minutes of information
derived from three contrabands who came over from the enemy this morning.
Their reports correspond so nearly with so many rumors, reports, and
appearances which had before come to my  knowledge, that I am
unable, without knowing the general plan of operations, to suggest a
concentration of my corps. Independently of the general plan of operations,
I would recommend a concentration of one division in rear and to the left
of my headquarters, and two divisions on the front, now guarded by
Brigadier-General Couch; in which case I could effect nothing without a
larger supply of heavy artillery.

The three contrabands and the minutes of their examination will be sent
over with this letter.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.



FORT MONROE, May 24, 1862.
(Received 10.25 p.m.)

Secretary of War:

I am preparing to ship forward my troops to Suffolk and beyond, depending
on circumstances. Most of my troops are in advance of Norfolk. If General
McClellan should be driven back, I shall stand  in greater need
of troops to keep Norfolk than he will to sustain himself at West Point and
Yorktown, with gunboats to support him. If I had as many troops as the
general, I would not ask for more. I would march and take Richmond, which I
have no doubt General McClellan will do. The forces of the rebels are by no
means equal to his. Deserters and contrabands from Richmond say the rebel
army is leaving Richmond. They are, at least most of them, pressed into the
army against their will, and not to be relied on in time of need. I cannot
spare General McClellan a regiment. He does not want it.





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Category: Civil War | Subcategory: Contrabands | Tags: North Carolina , Washington
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