Saturday, April 26, 2014

March 1, 1864 (Tuesday): Long Checks Kilpatrick

Defenses of Richmond

March 1, 1864.
    GENERAL: Yesterday about 12 m. the enemy were reported advancing in considerable force upon my position. I immediately placed my artillery in position to resist cavalry. With the assistance of 120 sharpshooters I was in hopes of being able to repel any attack that might be made. The enemy, about 1,000 or 1,500 strong, advanced to within half a mile of my advanced camp, but finding a force in front of them, changed their direction to the left, taking farm roads toward Bumpass Station. They struck the railroad about 3 miles below me, above Bumpass. They hastily tore up a few rails and passed on in the direction of Cartersville. Their whole movement about me was masked by the thick timber by which we are surrounded, and although they were very close to me, I could not find and opportunity of doing them any damage.
    Later in the day I received reports that another and large force was advancing (which I think, from the report of a prisoner taken by my scout, may have been Kilpatrick moving toward Hanover Junction), and as the first force was moving toward my rear, I was induced to ask for a re-enforcement of one or two regiments of infantry, which force reached me last night. I sent out parties to follow and watch the movements of the enemy. They were pursued as far as the Red House on the mountain road to Richmond. At dark they were moving rapidly in that direction.
    I regret to inform you that all the members of the court-martial of this command, who were in session, were captured. A vacant house some distance from camp had been selected for the meeting of the court, and the movement of the enemy was so sudden there was not time to notify the court of their approach. The following officers were captured: Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, Captains Page, Watson, and Dement, Lieutenants Blair and Deas; probably Lieutenants Lambie and Walthall. Several enlisted men were also captured, but were released after being carried some distance.
     I notified General Elzey and the commanding officer at Hanover Junction yesterday of the enemy's movements, and I hope they may be able to intercept them. I greatly felt the want of a few hundred infantry. With these I am sure I could have inflicted a severe chastisement upon them. The nature of the country would have greatly assisted me. My sharpshooters were too few, and I had too much at stake to hazard any movement against them.
     I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

     A. L. LONG,
     Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Long and a scratch force with six cannons had slowed Kilpatrick outside the defenses of Richmond.  Dahlgren was in the vicinity of Goochland, trying to locate a ford by which to cross over and come up on Richmond from the South.  It would appear Kilpatrick lost his nerve at the check by Long.  He headed east and recrossed the Chickahominy in the vacinity of Mechanicsville.  There he waited near Cold Harbor, skirmishing and waiting to link up with Dahlgren.  The location of Long's encounter with Kilpatrick is now the intersection of Brook Road and Laburnum Avenue in Richmond.

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