Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 26, 1863 (Friday): Custer Strikes at King George Court House

First Emanuel Church, Port Conway

Report of Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick, commanding Third Division, Cavalry Corps.
HARTWOOD, VA., August 26, 1863.
     COLONEL: General Custer has just returned from a reconnaissance in the direction of King George Court-House. He found the enemy 2 miles south of the court-house. Had a skirmish with the Forty-Eighth Alabama Infantry, forced the enemy back to within 2 miles of Port Conway, where he found a brigade of infantry and 4 pieces of artillery under General Law. He returned this morning without the loss of a man.
    The enemy lost 2 killed and several wounded. A few prisoners will reach you to-day. With this rebel force on this side the river my lower line is unsafe. Cavalry can cross at Port Conway at the rate of 75 in fifteen minutes. The enemy are obtaining large supplies from the Northern Neck, besides conscripts. With my picket line supported by a small force of infantry at Hartwood Church I could move down the neck with six regiments and a battery, and capture this force and destroy the ferry at Port Conway.

    Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 29, Part 1, Page 78.

A small affair, but an example of the energy displayed throughout the war by Custer.  He had struck east from near Fredericksburg at Hartwood and ran into a small detachment at King George Court House.  Getting the better of them he moved further east along the Rappahannock until he met a superior force at Port Conway and retired.  Would that he had exercised such discretion later on the Western plains.

No comments:

Post a Comment