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Battles

Stony Creek
June 29, 1864

On the 28th, starting at three A. M., the division at noon crossed the Nottoway river at the Double Bridge, (Bolling's), thirty miles south of Petersburg. Then turning to the north, Wilson moved toward Petersburg for ten miles, to Stony Creek. Here there began to be trouble. General Lee, kept informed of Wilson's route and still holding the Weldon railroad which Wilson had expected to be seized by Grant the day before he started on his raid, had reinforced his cavalry by two brigades of infantry under General Mahone; and three most of his cavalry, thus strengthened, across Wilson's homeward path. At Stony Creek Wilson found himself confronted by the enemy in force, and he was heavily attacked by Hampton about sunset. In resisting this attack the Vermont cavalry was dismounted and threw up some slight breastworks in a ploughed field, and held the enemy in check at that point with the help of about sixty men from the Second Ohio. The regiment was then advanced in the darkness, while the artillery was firing canister over the heads of the men. Captain Cummings here received a miniť ball in the face and Lieutenant Gilbert Steward of company G was mortally wounded.67

An other advance brought the regiment under very severe fire. The worst of the fighting was over before midnight, but throughout the night the enemy would occasionally feel of the line, and fusillades of carbines, and often discharges of artillery, would break out along the front. The loss, however, was slight, being two officers wounded, one mortally, one man killed and one wounded. Just before daylight of the 29th Chapman's brigade moved back a mile to the west, with the division, in an effort to reach the old stage road to Petersburg, but was again attacked by Hampton with Butler's and Rosser's brigades and cut off from the rest of the division. The men were once more dismounted and put in behind a breastwork of fallen trees constructed during the night, and while most of the division moved off toward Reams's Station which Wilson supposed to be in the possession of Union troops, the First Vermont, Third Indiana and Eighth New York were left to withstand Hampton. The fire in front became heavier, as Hampton brought up regiment after regiment, and soon the line was heavily attacked from the left and rear. The men with the led horses, in a field a few rods back, retreated, leaving a considerable part of the regiment without horses. A hasty retreat was the only course open. The portion of the regiment that succeeded in regaining their horses, followed the brigade toward Reams's Station. Of the rest, a part under colonel Wells cut their way through the enemy. The remainder, including Captain Grant, Lieutenant Higley and sixty men, were captured. After a rapid ride of eight miles, the regiment overtook what remained of the brigade and soon joined the main body of the division at Reams's Station. Here Wilson was attacked by a force of 9,000 infantry and cavalry, and lost 1,500 men and 12 guns. In this disastrous battle Chapman's brigade took little part, its men and horses being used up by its forced retreat from Stony Creek. Many of the exhausted men fell down and slept during the battle. General Kautz got around the enemy's left and made his escape through the woods. Wilson retreated toward the Double Bridge, abandoning his wagons and guns and leaving his ambulances with the wounded parked in a field by the roadside. It was hard for the poor wounded fellows, some of whom had been carried over a hundred miles with much suffering, to be thus left, and all who could mounted horses and rode on. In this retreat the First Vermont followed the First New Hampshire, which had the advance, and the two were the only regiments that retained their organizations. The retreat was made in a cloud of suffocating dust, and lasted during the afternoon and night. At the double bridge over the Nottoway, which was reached in the night, a terrible scene took place. Some 1,200 colored fugitives from slavery had accompanied the column. With these were hundreds of dismounted troopers. General Wilson placed a guard at the bridge and allowed no men on foot to pass till the mounted men had crossed. These had not all filed over the bridge, when the enemy rode up and opened fire on the helpless mass of unarmed men. The bridge at once became filled with a mass of footmen, black and white, mingled among the horsemen. Many were pushed over its sides, and fell upon the rocks or into the stream below. The enemy shot and sabred the negroes without mercy. Most of them that were not killed were surrounded and retaken, some 200 only succeeding in crossing the river and keeping up with the cavalry column.

Making his way back to Jarrett's Station on the Weldon railroad, Wilson struck off to the east and crossed the Nottoway river at Peter's Bridge, fording the stream, the bridge being destroyed, and then pushed north to Prince George Court House, crossing the Blackwater on a bridge constructed by the men, at three A. M., July 1st.

Footnotes:

67. Lieutenant Steward enlisted from Clarendon as a private, was promoted from a sergeantcy to be second lieutenant and then first lieutenant. He was considered one of the best swordsmen in the regiment and was a brave and capable young officer. He died June 29th.

Source: Benedict's "Vermont in the Civil War," Chapter XXVII, pp. 652-655.


 Casualties

Ayer, Orange S., 21, St. Johnsbury, VT; enl 12/2/63, m/i 12/19/63, Pvt, Co. D, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, Florence, d/prison 11/30/64

Bostwick, Royal E., 18, Pawlet, VT; enl 10/9/61, m/i 11/19/61, PVT, Co. H, 1st VT CAV, reen 12/26/63, pr SGT 3/1/65, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 12/11/64, m/o 6/21/65

Brigham, Antipas, 33, St. Albans, VT; enl 11/1/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. B, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 11/30/64, m/o 2/8/65

Bromley, Erwin Eugene, 18, Danby, VT; enl 12/16/63, m/i 1/4/64, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 11/30/64, m/o 6/29/65

Colby, William E., 23, Rupert, VT; enl 8/18/62, m/i 9/26/62, Pvt, Co. G, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 12/13/64, m/o 6/21/65

Cook, Charles M., 19, St. Albans, VT; enl 5/2/61, m/i 5/9/61, Pvt, Co. A, 1st VT INF, m/o 8/15/61; enl 9/16/61, m/i 11/19/61, SGT, Co. B, 1st VT CAV, reen 2/11/64, pow, Broad Run, 4/1/63, prld 4/7/64, red 8/2/63, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 9/24/64, pr SGT 3/1/65, tr to Co. E 6/21/65, m/o 8/9/65

Courtwright, Joseph, 23, Bennington, VT; enl 10/17/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. G, 1st VT CAV, pow, Middletown, 5/24/62, prld 9/13/62, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 11/19/64, pr CPL, m/o 1/18/65; courtright

Cowles, Charles C., 21, Wells, VT; enl 12/23/63, m/i 12/23/63, Pvt, Co. I, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 2/28/65, d/dis 5/19/65, Mltry Hosp, David's island, NY Harbor (chronic diarrhoea)

Fay, Ransom Taylor, 19, Williston, VT; enl 12/15/63, m/i 1/4/64, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, d/prison n.d.

Fuller, William J., 19, Dorset, VT; enl 10/8/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. G, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, d/prison 8/25/64 (diarrhea)

Gibbs, Francis A., 19, Rutland, VT; enl 12/11/63, m/i 12/22/63, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, d/prison 10/16/64

Gordon, John W., 19, Moretown, VT; enl 11/12/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. C, 1st VT CAV, pow, VA, 9/22/63, prld 9/29/63, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 5/9/65, m/o 5/26/65

Green, Lewis, 26, Richmond, VT; enl 8/20/62, m/i 9/26/62, Pvt, Co. A, 1st VT CAV, wdd, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, d/prison, Salisbury, 7/23/64 (buried in unmarked grave)

Griswold, Lucius D., 26, Londonderry, VT; enl 10/7/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, reen 12/28/63, pr CPL, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 3/3/65, d/prison 3/20/65

Horn, John, 28, Walden, VT; enl 12/7/63, m/i 12/23/63, Pvt, Co. D, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, p/prison supposedly

Jenne, Harvey A., 18, Walden, VT; enl 12/8/63, m/i 12/23/63, Pvt, Co. D, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 4/21/65, m/o 5/23/65

Jerdo, Henry, 21, Burlington, VT; (Jeandreau) enl 11/21/63, m/i 12/1/63, Pvt, Co. A, 1st VT CAV, wdd, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, sent to Wilmington NC, d/prison 3/2/65

Kendall, Albert Allen, 18, Barnard, VT; enl 10/3/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, reen 12/28/63, tr to Co. A 6/21/65, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 2/24/65, m/o 8/9/65

Kimball, Benjamin Franklin, 37, Stockbridge, VT; enl 11/5/63, m/i 11/5/63, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, wdd, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 10/17/64, m/o 2/22/65 (enl as Franklin)

Lee, Alonzo N., 18, Williston, VT; enl 9/10/62, m/i 10/10/62, Pvt, Co. F, 13th VT INF, m/o 7/21/63; enl 12/15/63, m/i 12/15/62, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, tr to Co. A 6/21/65, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 11/30/64, m/o 8/9/64

Mallary, Lorenzo D., 21, Marshfield, VT; enl 8/15/62, m/i 9/26/62, Pvt, Co. C, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 12/6/64, d/prison 12/14/64

Maple, John Jr., 18, Burlington, VT; enl 12/16/63, m/i 12/23/63, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 12/13/64, tr to Co. A 6/21/65, m/o 8/9/65

Martin, Israel O., 21, Weybridge, VT; enl 12/19/63, m/i 12/19/63, Pvt, Co. H, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 5/8/65, m/o 5/25/65

McDermot, Hugh, 43, Essex, VT; enl 12/14/63, m/i 12/16/63, Pvt, Co. A, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 12/10/64, pr CPL 6/1/65, tr to Co. B 6/21/65, m/o 8/9/65

Mitchell, Simon, 21, Albany, VT; enl 1/1/62, m/i 2/28/62, Pvt, Co. I, 1st VT CAV, pow, VA, 9/5/62, prld 9/13/62, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 2/28/65, tr to Co. F 6/21/65, m/o 8/9/65

Nownes, George H., 18, Marshfield, VT; enl 12/16/63, m/i 12/31/63, Pvt, Co. C, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, d/prison 8/23/64 (diarrhea)

Orr, Chester, 26, Ryegate, VT; enl 8/29/62, m/i 9/26/62, Pvt, Co. D, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 4/28/65, m/o 5/23/65

Parks, Lemister Milan, 26, Springfield, VT; enl 10/12/61, m/i 11/19/61, PVT, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, reen 2/29/64, pr CPL, pr SGT 1/1/64, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, d/prison 8/30/64

Preston, Philander A., 27, Middlesex, VT; enl 9/21/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. C, 1st VT CAV, wdd, Hagerstown, 7/6/63, reen 12/31/63, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, sent to Florence SC, d/prison 1/20/65

Quimby, Elias M., 19, Newport, VT; enl 11/12/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. I, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, d/prison 8/31/64

Reed, Warren Norris, 43, Craftsbury, VT; enl 8/18/62, m/i 9/26/62, Pvt, Co. I, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, d/prison 9/15/64, Andersonville/Charleston?

Ross, Eli C., 21, Underhill, VT; enl 8/29/62, m/i 9/26/62, Pvt, Co. K, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 12/6/64, m/o 6/21/65

Rounds, Orville, 31, Huntington, VT; enl 8/14/62, m/i 9/26/62, Pvt, Co. A, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, d/prison 10/4/64

Russell, Frank A., 25, Elmore, VT; enl 8/18/62, m/i 9/26/62, Pvt, Co. I, 1st VT CAV, wdd, 9/13/63, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 2/28/65, d/at sea, 3/28/65, lost on steamer which sailed from Wilmington NC

Scott, George W., 18, Middlesex, VT; enl 12/11/63, m/i 12/31/63, Pvt, Co. C, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, d/prison 8/17/64 (diarrhea)

Sharland, Theodore, 21, Burlington, VT; enl 12/16/63, m/i 12/16/63, Pvt, Co. A, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 11/23/64, d/prison 12/18/64

Southworth, Edwin W., 21, Concord, VT; enl 10/28/61, m/i 11/19/61, PVT, Co. D, 1st VT CAV, pow, Broad Run, 4/1/63, prld 4/7/63, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, prld 11/30/64, pr CPL, pr SGT 12/1/64, tr to Co. C 6/21/65, m/o 8/9/65

Town, Lucian G., 25, Franklin, VT; enl 9/19/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. B, 1st VT CAV, reen 12/28/63, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 11/30/64, pr CPL 5/15/65, m/o 6/21/65

Webster, Truman B., 25, Sheldon, VT; enl 8/26/62, m/i 9/29/62, PVT, Co. L, 1st VT CAV, pr CPL 9/1/63, pr SGT 1/1/65, dsrtd 2/9/64, rtnd n.d., pow, Hagerstown, 7/6/63, prld 9/22/63, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, prld 12/10/64, m/o 6/15/65

Wheeler, Charles, 19, Springfield, VT; enl 5/2/61, m/i 5/9/61, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT INF, m/o 8/15/61; enl 10/2/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT CAV, pr SGT 3/17/63, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 11/30/64, m/o 2/6/65

Wheeler, Mark M., 22, Peacham, VT; enl 11/12/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. D, 1st VT CAV, reen 2/23/64, tr to Co. C 6/21/65, dis/dsb pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 11/30/64, m/o 7/26/65

Willey, John E., 26, Chester, VT; enl 5/2/61, m/i 5/9/61, Pvt, Co. E, 1st VT INF, m/o 8/15/61; enl 8/29/62, m/i 10/23/62, 3SGT, Co. C, 16th VT INF, m/o 8/10/63; enl 12/1/63, m/i 12/25/63, Pvt, Co. C, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, prld 11/30/64, d/dis 12/18/64, Camp Parole, Annapolis, MD (diarrhoea)

Worthing, Silas T., 18, Windsor, VT; enl 12/14/63, m/i 12/25/63, Pvt, Co. D, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, d/prison 11/6/64 (dysentery)

Wright, Darwin J., 22, St. Johnsbury, VT; enl 10/21/61, m/i 11/19/61, Pvt, Co. D, 1st VT CAV, pow, Stony Creek, 6/29/64, Andersonville, sent to Florence SC, d/prison 10/20/64