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Trevilian Raid

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TREVILIAN RAID and BATTLE OF TREVILIAN STATION. On 5 June 1864 General Grant ordered General Sheridan to take two divisions of cavalry and move into Charlottesville, destroy the railroad bridge over the Rivanna near that town, the Central Rail road from that point to Hanover Junction, if practicable, and then rejoin the army. To General Hunter, whom it was expected he would meet at Charlottesville, Sheridan carried instructions to unite with him and join the Army of the Potomac. Sheridan started on the morning of the 7th with Torbert's and Gregg's divisions and four batteries of artillery, in all about 8,000 men. He crossed the Pamunkey at New Castle Ferry, moved up the north bank of the North Anna, marching by way of Aylett's and Chilesburg, crossed both branches of the North Anna on the 10th and at night encamped a little over three miles northeast of Trevilian Station on the Central Railroad. He had heard the day before that General Breckinridge,•with an infantry division, was moving up the rail road to Gordonsville and that the Confederate cavalry. was marching in the same direction on the south side of the North Anna to intercept his own column, and during the night it was ascertained that it was in his front. General Lee had heard on the morning of the 8th that Sheridan was on the march, and ordered Gen. Wade Hampton, with his own division of cav alry, to follow in the direction of Gordonsville, directing Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, with another di vision to follow Hampton as speedily as pos sible. Hampton had in the two divisions about 5,000 men and three batteries of artillery. On the morning of the 9th Hampton marched from Mice's Station of the Virginia Central Rail road toward Beaver Dam Station, passed Louisa Court House on the 10th and encamped that night in Green Spring Valley, three miles north west of Trevilian Station; Fitzhugh Lee near Louisa Court House, about six miles east of the station. During the night Hampton learned where Sheridan had encampegl and determined to attack him at Clayton's store, about midway between Trevilian Station and Carpenter's Ford of the North Anna. His own division was to advance by way of the station; Fitzhugh Lee by the direct road from Louisa Court House to the store. Hampton started early, and by day light had reached the station and was moving on the road to Clayton's store, with Butler's and Young's brigades, Rosser's brigade advancing by a road on his left, when Sheridan was en countered, having scarcely left his camp, Tor bert's division in advance and about three miles from the station. There was a sharp skirmish between the advance parties, and Hampton dis mounted his men and formed them in dense timber across the road. General Custer, with his brigade, was sent by a wood road on the left to strike the Louisa Court House road and move up in Hampton's rear, passed unnoticed and unopposed to his assigned position, cap tured many of the Confederate led horses and created much confusion. Sheridan says that as

soon as he heard of this the trio remaining brigades of Torbert's division were dismounted, assaulted Hampton's position, and carried it, though with severe loss, capturing many pris oners and driving Hampton's men at a run back on Custer at Trevilian Station, some of them through Custer's line, and that Custer began fighting in all directions, capturing many of the enemy. Hampton, however, says he was not driven from position, but that, finding Cus ter in his rear, he withdrew to a new position, and that Rosser punished Custer severely, driv ing him back against Fitzhugh Lee, who was coming up, recapturing some ambulances, wagons and three caissons, and taking in addi tion fc;ur caissons and Custer's headquarters wagon. General Gregg attacked Fitzhugh Lee on the Louisa Court House road, drove him and pursued until night. Hampton's division fell back in the direction of Gordonsville and, during the night, was joined by Fitzhugh Lee, who made a detour for that purpose. Sheridan encamped at Trevilian Station. At night Sheridan learned from some of his 500 prisoners that Hunter was moving on Lynchburg and that Breckinridge was at Gordonsville. He, there fore, determined to return, as his ammunition had been much reduced. On the morning of the 12th Gregg's division began the destruction of the railroad toward Louisa Court House and at 3 P.M. Torbert's division, reinforced by a brigade of Gregg's, went up the Gordonsville road to secure a by-road leading over Mallory's Ford of the North Anna, as Sheridan intended to return by way of Spottsylvania Court Torbert became heavily engaged with Hamp ton, the battle continuing until 10 P.M., the advantage remaining with Hampton. During the night Sheridan moved back by the route he had come, recrossing the North Anna at Car penter's Ford, abandoning some of his very severely wounded, but carrying 377 with him in conveyances of every description, and some 370 prisoners. He reached the White House on the Pamunkey on the 21st, followed by Hamp ton, who moved on the south side of the North Anna. Sheridan's loss at Trevilian Station on the 11th and 12th was 102 killed, 470 wounded and 435 captured or missing. Hampton says he captured 570 prisoners in the battle and in pursuit, and that the loss in his own division was 59 killed, 258 wounded and 295 missing, a total of 612. The loss in Lee's division is not given. Sheridan marched from White House on the 22d, had a severe engagement with Hampton at Saint Mary's Church (q.v.) on the 24th, and on the 25th and 26th crossed the James River near Bermuda Hundred and re joined General Grant. His entire loss, June 7-24, was 150 killed, 738 wounded and 624 cap tured or missing. Consult 'Official Records' (Vol. XXXVI); Humphreys, 'The Virginia Campaign of 1864-65' ; Sheridan's 'Personal Memoirs' (Vol. II) ; The Century Company's 'Battles and Leaders of the Civil War' (Vol. IV).