June 19, 1864: As Carroll M. Garnett in 1981 wrote in the Essex County Historical Society newsletter (“Tappahannock Vol. 19, November 1981), “The Principal Invasion of Tappahannock Occurred in the Famous Draper Raid of the Northern Neck.”
In June, 1864, Colonel Alonzo G. Draper, USA, was the commander of the military base at Point Lookout, Maryland, as well as being in command of hte 36th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, assigned there; this regiment [was] assigned to participate in the Joint Army-Navy Expedition to the Northern Neck, June 11-21, 1864, known as Draper’s Raid…
Tappahannock became the last targetof the raid early on Sunday morning, June 19th, 1864. The purpose of the raid was to take prisoners, collect cattle, horses, sheep; destroy boats, seins, nets; collect farming implements and rescue contrabands (slaves)….
At 4:00 AM Sunday, June 19th, the ships began moving towards Tappahannock, arriving at 7:00 AM. Present wer the Commodore Read, Jocob Bell, Fuchsia, and the Thomas Freeborn. At about 5:00 PM this date Confederate Cavalrycharged the Union pickets stationed ashore but were repulsed by the guns of the USS Bell. The crews of the gunboats worked all night embarking horses, cattle, and other captured supplies and the transports were so loaded that agai the troops and horses had to be taken aboard the gunboats. This was completed by 5:00 AM, Monday, June 20th.
The raid was judged a success as between 400-500 head of cattle were obtained, nearly 200 horses, like number of sheep, several hundred contrabands, and a streamer load of farming implements. The Raid resulted in teh following casualties: Union Army – two killed and two taken prisoners; Union Navy – one seriously wounded, one missing and two or three slightly wounded. Confederates: Two morally wounded and fifteen captured.