May 31, 1863 – This Day During The American Civil War – Skirmish in Greenwich

May 31, 1863 – Skirmish in Greenwich, Virginia – On May 31 , Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders had arrived at Grapewood Farm. The farm was the home of Charles Green and was located 2 miles from Greenwich. The Union force had been pursuing the Confederates and Mosby decided to make a stand here. He placed a rear guard and a howitzer at the entrance to the farm. The gun was placed on a knoll beside the farm lane, the gun facing the old post road which the Federals would have to come through. Fences lined both sides of the road, creating an avenue of fire for the Confederates.
When the Federals turned a bend in the post road, the howitzer opened up on them. The Federals started a charge up the road towards the Confederate position. When they were within 10 yards of it, the howitzer fired again on them with grapeshot canister. This leveled the first rank and part of the second rank of the Union column. The Federals halted to regroup and made another charge. Once again, the howitzer fired on them at close range. This time, the Federals did not stop but continued to move forward. Hand-to hand combat quickly ensued.
The Federals gained the upper hand and forced the Confederates to withdraw. They captured a number of prisoners and the howitzer. Afterwards, they headed back to the Union lines at kettle Run.
Union losses were 15 killed and 4 wounded.
After abandoning the cannon the Confederates lost some 20 men wounded and killed. Among the dead was Capt. Bradford Smith Hoskins, an English professional soldier, who was buried at nearby Greenwich Presbyterian Church.

Skirmish in Greenwich, Virginia

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