The Virginia in the Civil War Message Board

Mission of Jones' Virginia Brigade June 1863

I am looking for more information about the mission given to John M. Jones' 2nd Brigade, Edward S. Johnson's division, in June 1863, to cut and disrupt the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. What I have from the OR and other sources is summarized below. Can anyone help clarify? Is anyone aware of the existence of the report by Jones that is referred to by Johnson?

Maj. Gen. E. Johnson, cmdg div, reported later that when the division reached Shepherdstown [18 June], Jones' 2d Bde was temporarily detached and ordered "to destroy a number of canal-boats and a quantity of grain and flour stored at different points, and cut the canal (Chesapeake and Ohio Canal) [48Va: OR Serial 44,503]
[Note: Johnson's report indicates that J.M. Jones' report "of his operations and the disposition made of his captures" had been forwarded by 30 Sept 1863. At present [October 2008] a copy of Jones' report has not been located. In addition, the date on which Jones' Bde was detached is not clear, but given the Hotchkiss entry at 863/06/17, the detachment took place by 17 June – not when the division reached Shepherdstown on 18 June as Johnson reported it – and may have taken place before 16 June.]

Lt. Col. J.A. Robinson, 25Va, on 16 June signed a report to the asst AG, Johnson's div, as "Commanding Brigade." In the report, Robinson says that the 21Va, 25Va, 44Va "are now under my command," and that they had no casualties during the recent engagements around Winchester. [42Va: OR Serial 44, 535]. [Note: This is a curious report because J.M. Jones commanded the brigade that contained these regts. One possible explanation for Robinson signing as bde commander would be that he and the three regts in his command had been left behind with Johnson's div when Jones' took the other three regts in the bde on the canal destroying operation noted in entry at 863/06/16-863/06/17 above. Another explanation is that Jones split the brigade into two or more elements so as to better accomplish his mission "at several points," and that Robinson was commanding one of these temporary demi-brigades.]

Jedediah Hotchkiss wrote that on this day “our men were destroying the canal,” and Early’s and Johnson’s divisions moved towards Shepherdstown with Johnson in front [42Va: 130a, frame 765]