Battle of Deserted House
Confederate forces under Brig. Gen. Roger A. Pryor crossed the Blackwater River into southeast Virginia on a foraging expedition. Maj. Gen. John J. Peck commanded the Union garrison at Suffolk. Peck organized a force to drive Pryor out of the area and assigned Brig. Gen. Michael Corcoran to its command. Anticipating an attack from the Union garrison, Pryor prepared his forces for battle near Kelly’s Store, located 8 miles west of Suffolk. Corcoran’s cavalry engaged Pryor’s forces near a place called Deserted House. The Confederates retreated two miles before making another stand. The 13th Indiana Infantry charged and routed this new line. A final stand by the Confederates was made along the Blackwater River which was broken by the 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Corcoran’s force returned to Suffolk the following day. In April, a larger foraging effort and demonstration against Suffolk was carried out by Lt. Gen. James Longstreet.