Frank Moore, ed. Vol. 6. New York: G. P. Putnam, 1863.
A skirmish took place on the Ridgeville road, at a point five miles distant from Petersburgh, Va., between a reconnoitring [sic] force of Union troops under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Quirk, and a detachment of the rebel General Stuart’s cavalry, resulting in a rout of the latter and the capture of sixteen of their number, with about two hundred head of cattle which the rebels were driving to their camp.
Fight on the Ridgeville Road, Va.
Lieutenant-Colonel Quirk’s Report.
Headquarters Irish Brigade, Camp Jessie,
New-Creek, Va., October 30, 1862.
T. Capt. Melvin, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Captain: One hour after the reception, and in pursuance of orders from brigade headquarters, I left this camp at half-past five o’clock P. M., in command of company A, Lieut. Hart; company C, Capt. Young; company D, Capt. Wort; Ringgold Pennsylvania cavalry, numbering one hundred and fifty men, and one section of Rourke’s battery, commanded by Capt. John Rourke.
I arrived with my command at Greenland Gap (twenty-one miles) at eleven o’clock P. M., where I was informed that the enemy (Stuart’s cavalry) four hundred strong, with about two hundred head of cattle, crossed the mountain near Greenland at two o’clock that afternoon
We then immediately advanced in pursuit, through the Gap, along the Ridgeville road, determined, if possible, to intercept them before they reached the crossing of that road, five miles from Petersburgh.
When we arrived within three miles of the crossing, I halted the detachment, and sent forward Lieut. Hart and ten of his men to ascertain whether the enemy had passed the crossing, and he ascertained from a reliable source that the enemy, consisting of from three hundred to five hundred of Stuart’s cavalry, Lee’s brigade, were encamped within two miles back of the other road. At daylight we advanced upon the enemy, and when within seven hundred yards, I ordered Capt. Rourke to the front with his guns, when a few well-directed shell and shot, fired by Capt. Rourke in person, threw the enemy into confusion, and caused them to fly into the woods.
I then ordered the cavalry to charge, which order was promptly and gallantly executed, particularly by company A, Lieut. Hart. After sixteen of the enemy were captured, being unable to find any more of the enemy, I ordered the cattle to be collected and driven with the greatest possible despatch toward our own camp, especially as I was apprehensive of an attack by Imboden, who was reported with a force of seven hundred men at Petersburgh, only five miles distant.
I am glad to inform you our loss was none, while that of the enemy is known to have been at least three killed, sixteen were taken prisoners, nineteen horses captured, and one hundred and sixty head of cattle.
I have been informed by one of the prisoners that the enemy’s force consisted of two picked men from each company of Lee’s brigade, Stuart’s cavalry.
The success of the expedition is owing to the rapidity of our movements, having advanced some thirty-five miles during the night, and to the cheerful and active cooperation of the officers and men composing the detachment.
Lieut. John A. Ayres, of my regiment, Acting Adjutant of the detachment, rendered me valuable and efficient aid.
The report is respectfully submitted.
I am, Captain, very respectfully yours,
Lieut. Colonel Commanding.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: October 1862