Closing Scenes of the War about Richmond. 137
The troops of Swell's Corps were massed together, and Kershaw's Division sent to the reported scene of action, but it appearing that there was no enemy near enough to interfere with our march, the column was moved on.
A short distance from the Courthouse, however, we halted again for a considerable time, while the whole order of march was re- arranged and the column disposed as if moving through a hostile country.
Here we learned that a large portion of our wagon train had really been captured, and that the enemy in heavy force menaced our front and flank.
Much of the artillery, ambulances, etc., in our line turned back to take a different road.
At Amelia Courthouse our division received a large and efficient accession, but one which also added yet more to its heterogeneous character.
This consisted, in the first place, of the so-called " Naval Brigade," formed of the officers and men who had been stationed at Drewry's Bluff now organized into something like a regiment, the tars being armed with minie muskets.
They numbered about 1,500 (?) and were commanded by Com- modore Tucker.
There were also four or five companies of " Richmond Locals," which were incorporated with Barton's Brigade, and two or three companies of light artillery, armed with muskets, which were added to the heavy artillery brigade. Infantry, cavalry, light and heavy artillery, and sailors, " locals," " Richmond defenses," etc., we had thus in our small division all the elements of a complete army and navy.
During the entire day the retreat had been conducted with an ab- sence of order which caused endless delays and irregularities. Im- mediately after leaving Amelia Courthouse one of these halts occurred, which made an unnecessrry detention of an hour or two, and is an example of what was constantly taking place day and night. Riding ahead, with great difficulty, to ascertain the cause, I found a long train of artillery and wagons almost inextricably en- tangled, closed up in some places three abreast in the road, so that a horseman even could not pass by.
There seemed to be no one present exercising any authority, and the teamsters appeared to be waiting stolidly for Jove to help them out.