The Greatest Cattle Victory of the War
From a history of Company C, Twenty-eighth North Carolina.
“After retiring from the fights at Ream’s and Malone’s stations in late July 1864 many sharp encounters took place between the hostile cavalry forces, the most brilliant of all those affairs was the dash made by Gen. Wade Hampton into the federal lines in September.
It was known that Grant had a large drove of cattle grazing near Sycamore Church in Prince George county, the information gained by Hampton from a letter to Grant which was intercepted. Hampton at once determined to secure the beeves which were much needed by our army.
Hampton’s force left Petersburg on the 14th of September and arrived at Sycamore Church the night of the 15th; at daylight on the morning of the 16th he surprised and stormed the enemy position, capturing their works and camp, taking three hundred prisoners and all the cattle, about twenty-five hundred in number.
Hampton set off on his return with the beeves and Fitzhugh Lee as his rearguard. The entire column stretched out over a line of four miles but were skillfully handled despite having to drive off enemy cavalry from time to time. He finally reached Petersburg safely with all his captives at 6AM the morning of September 17th having lost only fifty men during the expedition.
This was the greatest cattle victory during the war and a nice presentation by Gen. Hampton to the hungry soldiers of the Confederacy who enjoyed steak for breakfast, steak for dinner and steak for supper.”
(The Catawba Soldier of the Civil War, George W. Hahn, Clay Publishing Company, 1911, pp. 171-172)