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Wise, Henry A. (Henry Alexander) (1806-1876) to Arnold Elzey

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00662 Author/Creator: Wise, Henry A. (Henry Alexander) (1806-1876) Place Written: Richmond, Virginia Type: Letter signed Date: 14 January 1863 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 25 x 20 cm.

Summary of Content: Retained copy of a letter to Elzey on which a pencil signature of Wise has been added by a secretary. General Wise (Confederate) describes a recent Union raid near White House, Virginia. Informs Major General Elzey, commander of the Department of Richmond, that during the raid, Union troops stole thirty cattle from William P. Taylor's farm. Discusses coordination with Colonel Tabb (possibly William B. Tabb) and Captain Wynn at locations such as Bush's Mill, N. Kent Court House, and the wharves at West Point in order to prevent further raids. States "all the slaves of abandoned estates and all the free Negroes below the White House will have to be removed-- I ask your orders to move them all up to Richmond-- especially the fifty of Mr. Wm. P. Taylor at West Point. They and the free Negroes at Indian Town are positively dangerous to all that section of county and endanger every Military operation." Asks that Elzey authorize the replacement of the telegraph line from Richmond to White House and from White House to N. Kent Court House. Requests the employment of couriers and operators between various points. Signed in pencil.

Full Transcript: Richmond Va
Jany 14th 1863
6 P.M.
To Maj.r Elzey
Comd.g &c
Gen.l - At 11 O'clk A.M. to-day I took a hand-car, overtook an Engine & proceeded to ...White House. Found there persons who left West Point this morning. The enemy came up the river, as reported, last ev.g; landed 300 infantry, a few cavalry, went to Mr. Wm. P. Taylor.s farm at the Point and took off some 30 head of cattle and departed before sun-down, Co.l Tabb had promptly with his cavalry and a section of artillery moved up to the White House. Cap.t Wynn.s company had reached there yesterday. The cavalry had returned to-day to their post at Diascund. - I gave particular orders to Co.l Tabb, confirming his orders to advance his pickets to Bush.s Mill and below the Burnt ordinary as I will mark on your map; and to leave the section of artillery at N. Kent C.H.
I ordered Capt. Wynn to pick ten or twenty of his best men and go down to West Point & burn the Wharves. That will [2] in future prevent the landing of cavalry or artillery there.
But, General, all the slaves of abandoned estates and all the free Negroes below the White House will have to be removed. I ask your orders to move them all up to Richmond - especially the fifty of Mr. Wm P. Taylor at West Point. They and the free negroes at Indian Town are positively dangerous to all that section of country and endanger every Military operation.
I beg you to authorize me to have the telegraph line from Richmond to White House, & from White House to N. Kent C.H. repaired & to employ operators from the White House to Richmond. There is, I am sure, quite wire enough on the two lines for the one. - With couriers from Drake.s via Slatensville to White House & from West Point, after the Wharf is destroyed, to White House and a telegraph line from White House to Richmond, you will receive intelli[3]gence from low down York River in two hours. Until the wires are put up I have ordered a hand-car to be at White House under Capt Wynn.s command.
I returned here at 6 P.M. this evg.
Very respectfully
Yr obdt Serv.t
Henry A. Wise
Brig. Genl.


[docket:] Brig' Genl H.A. Wise/Richmond, Jany 14th/63./Describing Yankee raid/at White House, and/measures taken to prevent/recurrence of same.
See More

People: Wise, Henry Alexander, 1806-1876
Elzey, Arnold, 1816-1871
Taylor, William P., fl. 1863
Tabb, William Barksdale, 1840-1874

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: African American HistoryWartime Pillaging and DestructionMilitary HistoryCivil WarUnion ForcesConfederate General or LeaderConfederate States of AmericaFreemenSlaveryTelegraph

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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