Report of Brig. Gen. James E. B. Stuart, C. S. Army, Commanding Cavalry Brigade, of Operations June 26-- July 10.
PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN--SEVEN DAYS' BATTLES
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XI/2 [S# 13]
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY BRIGADE,
Near Richmond, Va., July 14, 1862.
Col. R. H. CHILTON,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters Department of Virginia.
COLONEL: In compliance with the orders of the commanding general I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command from June 26 to July 10, embracing the series of battles with the Federal forces before Richmond:
The part assigned to my command is set forth in General Orders, No. 75 (confidential), of June 26, and I beg leave to congratulate the commanding general upon the signal fulfillment by our army of what was planned in that order of battle,so much so that the order itself affords a very correct history of the battle.
My command on the morning of the 26th ultimo consisted of First Virginia Cavalry, Col. Fitzhugh Lee; Third Virginia Cavalry, Col. T. F. Goode; Fourth Virginia Cavalry, Captain Chamberlayne; Fifth Virginia Cavalry, Col. T. L. Rosser; Ninth Virginia Cavalry, Col. W. H. F. Lee; Tenth Virginia Cavalry, Col. J. Lucius Davis; Cobb Legion Cavalry, Col. T. R. R. Cobb; Jeff. Davis Legion, Lieut. Col. W. T. Martin; Stuart Horse Artillery, Capt. John Pelham; a squadron of Hampton Legion Cavalry, Captain Scrivener [Screven] (attached to Fifth Virginia); three companies First North Carolina Cavalry, Lieut. Col. [James B.] Gordon.
The Third Virginia Cavalry was directed to observe the Charles City road; the Fifth Virginia and detachment First North Carolina Cavalry to watch the enemy's movements toward James River, and notify the commander nearest at hand of any attempt of the enemy to move across from White Oak Swamp to the James, and to harass and delay him en route till our forces could fall upon him.
The Tenth Virginia Cavalry was placed in reserve on the Nine-mile road.
With the remainder of my command, including the Horse Artillery, I marched late on the 25th, without baggage, equipped in light marching order and three days' rations in haversacks, and crossing Jackson's line of march after he had encamped, so as not to interrupt his progress, placed myself on his left flank, near Ashland.
It is proper to remark here that the commanding general had, on the occasion of my late expedition to the Pamunkey, imparted to me his design of bringing Jackson down upon the enemy's right flank and rear, and directed that I should examine the country with reference to its practicability for such a move. I therefore had studied the features of the country very thoroughly, and knew exactly how to conform my movements to Jackson's route. As that part of my former mission was confidential I made no mention of it in my former report, but it is not, I presume, out of place to remark here that the information obtained then and reported to him verbally convinced the commanding general that the enemy had no defensive works with reference to attack from that direction, the right bank of the Totopotomoy being unoccupied; that his forces were not disposed so as successfully to meet such an attack, and that the natural features of the country were favorable to such a descent.
General Jackson was placed in possession of all these facts. Having bivouacked near Ashland for the night, on the morning of the 26th-- the Jeff. Davis Legion and Fourth Virginia Cavalry having joined me here from an advanced position of observation on South Anna, which effectually screened Jackson's movements from the enemy-- my command swept down upon Jackson's left. Extending its observations as far as the Pamunkey River road, passing Taliaferro's Mill, where the enemy had a strong picket, which fled at our approach, I reached General Jackson s line of march at the cross-roads at Dr. Shelton s in advance of his column. From Taliaferro's Mill to this point there was constant skirmishing between the enemy's pickets and my advance guard, Colonel Lee's (Company D, sharpshooters) First Virginia Cavalry, displaying the same courage and address which has already distinguished it on many occasions, killing and wounding several of the enemy without suffering any loss.
At Dr. Shelton's I awaited the arrival of General Jackson, sending a squadron in advance (Captain Irving, First Virginia Cavalry) to seize and hold the bridge at the Totopotomoy. The enemy, anticipating us, had torn up the bridge and held the opposite bank and obstructed the road, without, however, making any determined stand. Capt. W. W. Blackford, Corps of Engineers, assigned to duty with my command, set about repairing the bridge, and in half an hour, with the details furnished him, the bridge was ready.
Passing Pole Green Church, General Jackson's march led directly toward the crossing of Beaver Dam Creek, opposite Richardson's. Reaching that point, he bivouacked for the night and I disposed my command on both his flanks and rear, with five squadrons on picket, looking well toward Cold Harbor and Old Church. About sundown the enemy made h is appearance near Jackson's flank, on the Old Church road, but a few rounds of shell put him to flight, and my pickets on that road were not disturbed during the night.
The next morning, General Jackson moving directly across Beaver Dam, I took a circuitous route to turn that stream, turning down, first, the Old Churchroad, both aiming for Old Cold Harbor, and directing my march so as to cover his left flank, he having formed at Beaver Dam a junction with the divisions which marched by way of Mechanicsville.
All day we were skirmishing with, killing and capturing, small detachments of the enemy's cavalry, mostly the Lancers, Colonel Rush. Passing Bethesda Church, I sent the Blakely gun, of the Horse Artillery, and a portion of my command, under Colonel Martin, off to the left to see if any force was about Old Church. Colonel Martin found nothing but some flying cavalry, and I continued my march by way of Beulah Church, taking several prisonersen route to Cold Harbor, where I found General Jackson. He directed me to take position on his left in reserve. I kept a squadron in observation down the Old Church road, on the Dispatch road, and made dispositions for action whenever opportunity might offer. Owing, however, to the nature of the ground, the position of the enemy in a wood, and the steadiness of our own troops, the cavalry proper had no hand-to-hand conflict with the enemy, though subject to the severe ordeal of a raking artillery fire from guns beyond its reach. Vedettes placed on our left kept me advised of the enemy's operations, and about 5 or 6 p.m. a movement of artillery was observed and reported on the road from Grapevine Bridge. The only artillery under my command being Pelham's Stuart Horse Artillery, the 12-pounder Blakely and Napoleon were ordered forward to meet this bold effort to damage our left flank. The Blakely was disabled at the first fire, the enemy opening simultaneously eight pieces, proving afterward to be Weed's and Tidball's batteries. Then ensued one of the most gallant and heroic feats of the war. The Napoleon gun, solitary and alone, received the fire of those batteries, concealed in the pines on a ridge commanding its ground, yet not a man quailed, and the noble captain directing the fire himself with a coolness and intrepidity only equaled by his previous brilliant career. The enemy's fire sensibly slackened under the determined fire of this Napoleon, which clung to its ground with unflinching tenacity. I had an opportunity of calling General Jackson's attention to the heroic conduct of the officers and men of this piece, and later he, by his personal efforts, re-en-forced it with several batteries of rifle pieces, which, firing, advanced en échelon about dark and drove the enemy from his last foothold on the right.
I received information that General D. H. Hill was pursuing the enemy down that road at the point of the bayonet. Expecting a general rout, I immediately joined my cavalry and dashed down the road leading by Dr. Tyler's to its intersection with the White House road, about 3 miles. It was quite dark, but no evidence of retreat or other movement could be detected on that road, so, leaving a squadron for observation at that point, I returned to Cold Harbor with the main body late at night.
Early in the morning that squadron was so burdened with prisoners, mostly of the Regular Army-- among others Maj. Delozier Davidson, commanding Fourth U.S. Infantry-- that I had to re-enforce it.
Being sent for by the general commanding at his headquarters, at New Cold Harbor, I galloped up, leaving my command prepared for instant service. I received from the commanding general instructions to strike for the York River Railroad at the nearest point, so as to cut the enemy's line of communication with the York and intercept his retreat. General Ewell s division (infantry) was put in motion for the same object, and Colonel Lee, of the Ninth, with his regiment, preceded him as advance guard, finding en route two fine rifle pieces of artillery abandoned by the enemy. With the main body of cavalry I pursued a parallel route, and arriving near Dispatch, passed the head of General Ewell's column, and pushing a squadron of Cobb Legion Cavalry rapidly forward, surprised and routed a squadron of the enemy's cavalry, they leaving in their hurried departure the ground strewn with carbines and pistols. They fled in the direction of Bottom's Bridge. I directed the immediate tearing up of the trak and cutting the wire, which was done in a very few minutes, and the result reported to General Ewell and to the commanding general. General Ewell decided to await further orders at Dispatch. I determined to push boldly down the White House road, resolved to find what force was in that direction and, if possible, rout it. A train of forage wagons with a few cavalry as escort was captured before proceeding far, and farther down several sutler's establishments. The prominent points on the roads were picketed by cavalry, all of which fled at our approach, and long before the column of cavalry had reached half-way to the White House the fleeing pickets had heralded the approach of what no doubt appeared to their affrighted minds to be the whole Army of the Valley, and from the valley of the Pamunkey a dense cloud of smoke revealed the fact of the flight and destruction in the path of a stampeded foe.
All accounts agreed that Generals Stoneman and Emory, with a large command of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, had gone in the direction of the White House, where Casey was said to be in command. I found no resistance till I reached Tunstall's Station; here I found a vacated field work and captured a cavalry flag near it. This work, as well as the evidences of recent encampments along the line of railroad, showed that one of the great results anticipated from my late expedition-- the detaching a large force to protect the enemy's line of communication-- -had been accomplished.
At the crossing of Black Creek near this place the enemy had a squadron drawn up on the farther bank in line of battle and what appeared to be artillery on a commanding height beyond. He had destroyed the bridge over this difficult stream, whose abrupt banks and miry bed presented a serious obstacle to our progress. The artillery was ordered up to the front and a few well-directed rounds of shell dispersed the squadron, as well as disclosed in a scrambling race an adroitly-formed ambuscade of dismounted men on the banks of the stream, and produced no reply from what was supposed to be artillery. A small party of dismounted men under the daring Captain Farley soon gained the farther bank and scoured the woods beyond, while the ever-ready and indefatigable Blackford set to work to repair the crossing. It was dark, however, before it could be finished, and we slept on our arms till morning, finding ample corn for our jaded horses at Tunstall's Station.
The conflagration raged fearfully at the White House during the entire night, while explosions of shells rent the air. I was informed that 5,000 men held the place. Early next morning I moved cautiously down, catching the scattered fugitives of the day before as we advanced, till, coming in plain view of the White House at a distance of a quarter of a mile, a large gunboat was discovered lying at the landing.
I took the precaution to leave the main body about 2 miles behind, and proceeded to this point with a small party and one piece of artillery. Col. W. H. F. Lee, the proprietor of this once beautiful estate, low in ashes and desolation, described the ground and pointed out all the localities to me, so that I was convinced that a few bold sharpshooters could compel the gunboat to leave. I accordingly ordered down about 75, partly of First Virginia Cavalry (Litchfield's Company D), and partly Jeff. Davis Legion and Fourth Virginia Cavalry. They were deployed in pairs, with intervals of 40 paces, and were armed with rifle carbines. They advanced boldly on this monster, so terrible to our fancy, and a body of sharpshooters were sent ashore from the boat to meet them. Quite a determined engagement of skirmishers ensued, but our gallant men never faltered in their determination to expose this Yankee buggaboo called gunboat. To save time, however, I ordered up the howitzer, a few shells from which, fired with great accuracy and bursting directly over her decks, caused an instantaneous withdrawal of sharpshooters and precipitate flight under full headway of steam down the river. The howitzer gave chase at a gallop, the more to cause the apprehension of being cut off below than of really effecting anything. The gunboat never returned.
The command was now entirely out of rations and the horses without forage, and I had relied on the enemy at the White House to supply me with these essentials I was not disappointed, in spite of their efforts to destroy everything. Provisions and delicacies of every description lay in heaps, and the men regaled themselves on the fruits of the tropics as well as the substantials of the land. Large quantities of forage were left also.
An opportunity was here offered for observing the deceitfulness of the enemy's pretended reverence for everything associated with the name of Washington, for the dwelling-house was burned to the ground, and not a vestige left except what told of desolation and vandalism.
Nine large barges loaded with stores were on fire as we approached; immense numbers of tents, wagons, cars in long trains loaded and five locomotives, a number of forges, quantities of every species of quartermaster's stores and property, making a total of many millions of dollars-- all more or less destroyed.
During the morning I received a note from the commanding general directing me to watch closely any movement of the enemy in my direction, and to communicate what my impressions were in regard to his designs. I replied that there was no evidence of a retreat of the main body from the position before Richmond down the Williamsburg roads, and that I had no doubt the enemy since his defeat was endeavoring to reach the James as a new base, being compelled to surrender his connection with the York. If the Federal people can be convinced that this was a part of McClellan's plan, that it was in his original design for Jackson to turn his right flank and our generals to force him from his strongholds, they certainly can never forgive him for the millions of public treasure that his superb strategy cost the nation. He had no alternative left, and, possessed with the information that his retreat was not progressing toward the York, the commanding general knew as well as McClellan himself that he must seek the only outlet left.
It took the remainder of Sunday to ration my command and complete the destruction of some property I was apprehensive the enemy might return and remove, but I sent that day a regiment (First Virginia Cavalry, Col. Fitz. Lee) across to observe the enemy's movements from Bottom's Bridge to Forge Bridges.
On Monday I moved my whole command in the same direction, except one squadron (Cobb Legion), which was left at the White House. Colonel Lee, First Virginia Cavalry, was stationed near Long Bridge, and the remainder near Forge Bridge. The former reported the enemy's pickets visible on the other side, and at the latter place I observed a force of infantry and two pieces of artillery. The Napoleon was left with Colonel Lee, but it was disabled at the first shot, the trail breaking. The Blakely being disabled at Cold Harbor left me with only 12-pounder howitzers (one section being present). Captain Pelham engaged the enemy across the Chickahominy with these, and after a spirited duel against one rifle piece and one howitzer the enemy was driven from his position with the loss of 2 men and 2 horses killed, we escaping unhurt. The infantry abandoned their knapsacks in their hurry to depart. I tried in vain to ascertain by scouts the enemy's force beyond, and it being now nearly dark, we bivouacked again.
During the entire day Colonel Lee, of the First, as also the main body, captured many prisoners, but none seemed to know anything of the operations of the army. One was a topographical engineer.
At 3.30 a.m. next morning I received a dispatch from Colonel Chilton, the hour of his writing being omitted, stating that the enemy had been headed off at the intersection of the Long Bridge and Charles City roads and that his destination seemed for the present fixed, and expressing the commanding general's desire for me to cross the Chickahominy and co-operate with the forces on that side, suggesting Grapevine Bridge as the most suitable point. I asked the courier when it was written. He replied at 9 p.m., which point of time was after the heavy firing in the direction of White Oak Swamp Bridge had ceased, and I believe, therefore, that the status of the enemy referred to was subsequent to the heavy firing. I therefore started at once for Bottom's Bridge, 11 miles distant, pushing on rapidly myself. Arriving at Bottom's Bridge I found our troops had passed down. Galloping on to White Oak Swamp Bridge I found many on the march, and saw at once that from the lack of firing in front and the rapid rate of march the only way I could co-operate with the main body was by retracing my steps (fortunately the head of my column had not passed Bottom's Bridge) and crossing at the Forge Bridge to come up again on Jackson's left. I wrote a note to General Jackson to apprise him of this intention and hurried back to carry it out.
I found upon reaching Forge Bridge a party of Hunford's Second Virginia Cavalry, who informed me of the route taken by Jackson's column, and pushed on to join him, fording the river.
Passing Nance's shop about sundown, it was dark before we reached Rock's house, near which we stampeded the enemy's picket without giving it time to destroy a bridge further than to pull off the planks. I aimed for Haxall's Landing, but soon after leaving Rock's encountered picket fires, and a little way beyond saw the light of a considerable encampment. There was no other recourse left but to halt for the night, after a day's march of 42 miles.
As it was very dark very little could be seen of the country around, but I had previously detached Captain Blackford to notify General Jackson of my position and find where he was. He returned during the night, having found our troops, but could not locate General Jackson's hue. I ascertained also that a battle had been raging for some time and ceased about an hour after I reached this point. My arrival could not have been more fortunately timed, for, arriving after dark, its ponderous march, with the rolling artillery, must have impressed the enemy's cavalry, watching the approaches to their rear, with the idea of an immense army about to cut off their retreat, and contributed to cause that sudden collapse and stampede that soon after occurred, leaving us in possession of Malvern Hill, which the enemy might have held next day much to our detriment.
It is a remarkable fact worthy of the commanding general's notice that in taking the position I did in rear of Turkey Creek I acted entirely from my own judgment, but was much gratified the next day on receiving his note to find that his orders were to the same effect, though failing to reach me till next morning, after its execution.
Early next morning I received orders from General Jackson, unless you had otherwise directed, to take position near his left. Not yet apprised of the enemy's move in the night I proceeded to execute this order, and having halted the column near Gatewood's, where Colonels Rosser, Baker, and Goode, with their respective regiments joined my command, I went forward to reconnoiter. Meeting with General Jackson, we rode together to Dr. Poindexter's, where we met Major Meade and Lieut. Samuel R. Johnston, of the Engineers, who had just made, in the drenching rain, a personal examination of the enemy's position and found it abandoned.
I galloped back to my command and put it in motion for Haxall's, hoping there to intercept the enemy's column. The Jeff. Davis Legion preceded and soon reached the river road in rear of Turkey Creek, capturing scores of the discomfited and demoralized foe at every turn-- wagons, tents, arms, and knapsacks abandoned, and the general drift of accounts given by the prisoners spoke eloquently of the slaughter and rout that will make Malvern Hill memorable in history.
Colonel Martin dashed off with a few men toward Haxall's, and in plain view of the monitor captured one of her crew on shore and marched back several other prisoners; the very boldness of the move apparently transfixing the enemy's guns.
Appreciating the importance of knowing the enemy's position with reference to Shirley I endeavored to gain the fork of reads near that point, but it was strongly defended by two regiments of infantry-- a prisoner captured near by said Sickles' brigade. The indications were plain, however, that the enemy had gone below that point.
The day was consumed in collecting prisoners and arms back toward Malvern Hill, the road from which was thoroughly blockaded, and in harassing the enemy's rear, which, in spite of his good position, was very effectually done by Colonel Martin with one of Pelham's howitzers, causing marked havoc and confusion in his ranks. I also reconnoitered in the direction of Charles City Court-House, with the view to fall on his flanks if still in motion. The result of the last was to the effect that at 10 a.m. no part of his forces had reached Charles City Court-House. I therefore sent down that night a howitzer toward Westover, under Captain Pelham, supported by Irving's squadron First Virginia Cavalry, with orders to reach the immediate vicinity of the river road below, so as to shell it if the enemy attempted to retreat that night.
A squadron (Cobb Legion) was left near Shirley and the main body bivouacked contiguous to oat fields, of necessity our sole dependence for forage since leaving the White House, bat the regiments were warned that the pursuit might be resumed at any moment during the night should Captain Pelham's reconnaissance apprise us of a continuance of the retreat.
During the night Captain Pelham wrote to me that the enemy had taken position between Shirley and Westover, nearer the latter, and described the locality, the nature of Herring Creek, on the enemy's right, and indicated the advantage to be' gained by taking possession with artillery of Evelington Heights-- -a plateau commanding completely the enemy's encampment. I forwarded his report to the commanding general through General Jackson, and proceeded at once to the ground with my command, except one regiment (the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, Col. W. H. F. Lee), which was ordered down the road by Nance's shop, and thence across toward Charles City Court-House, so as to extend my left and keep a lookout toward Forge Bridge, by which route I was liable to be attacked in flank and rear by Stone-man, should he endeavor to form a junction by land with McClellan. I found Evelington Heights easily gained. A squadron in possession vacated without much hesitation, retreating up the road, the only route by which it could reach Westover, owing to the impassability of Herring Creek below Roland's Mill.
Colonel Martin was sent around farther to the left and the howitzer brought into action in the river road to fire upon the enemy's camp below. Judging from the great commotion and excitement caused below it must have had considerable effect. We soon had prisoners from various corps and divisions, and from their statements, as well as those of citizens, I learned that the enemy's main body was there, but much reduced and demoralized. I kept the commanding general apprised of my movements, and I soon learned from him that Longstreet and Jackson were en route to my support. I held the ground from about 9 a.m. till 2 p.m., when the enemy had contrived to get one battery into position on this side the creek. The fire was, however, kept up until a body of infantry was found approaching by our right flank. I had no apprehension, however, as I felt sure Longstreet was near by, and although Pelham reported but two rounds of ammunition left, I held out, knowing how important it was to hold the ground till Longstreet arrived.
The enemy's infantry advanced and the battery kept up its fire. I just then learned that Longstreet had taken the wrong road and was then at Nance's shop, 6 or 7 miles off. Pelham fired his last round, and the sharpshooters, strongly posted in the skirt of woods bordering the plateau, exhausted every cartridge, but had at last to retire; not, however, without teaching many a foeman the bitter lesson of death.
My command had been so cut off from sources of supply and so constantly engaged with the enemy that the abundant supply which it began with on June 26 was entirely exhausted. I kept pickets at Bradley's store that night, and remained with my command on the west side of the creek, near Phillips' farm. General Longstreet came up late in the evening; he had been led by his guide out of his proper route.
The next day, July 4, General Jackson's command drove in the enemy's advanced pickets. I pointed out the position of the enemy, now occupying, apparently in force, the plateau from which I shelled their camp the day before, and showed him the routes by which the plateau could be reached to the left, and submitted my plan for dispossessing the enemy and attacking his camp. This was subsequently laid before the commanding general. The enemy's position had been well reconnoitered by Blackford, of the Engineers, the day before from a close view, and farther on this day (July 4), demonstrating that his position was strong, difficult to reach except with rifle cannon, and completely flanked by gunboats; all which were powerful arguments, and no doubt had their due weight with the commanding general against renewing an attack thus far of unbroken successes against a stronghold where the enemy had been re-enforced beyond a doubt. The operations of my own command extended farther to the left, except one regiment (Cobb Legion Cavalry) which was directed to follow up the enemy's rear on the river road, and First North Carolina Cavalry, which remained in reserve near Phillips' farm.
The remainder of July 4 and 5 were spent in reconnoitering and watching the river.
On the afternoon of the 5th Col. S. D. Lee, of the artillery, reported to me with a battery of rifle guns, Squires' Washington Artillery, to which I added Pelham's Blakely, which had just returned from Richmond, for attacking transports on the river below the Federal forces. The point selected was Wilcox's Landing, which was reached after dark. The only transport which passed during the night was fired into with evident damage, but she kept on.
On the 6th the battery was augmented by two rifle pieces of Rogers' battery, and proceeded to Wayne Oaks, lower down the river.
During that night and next day (7th) the batteries commanded the river, seriously damaging several transports and compelling the crews from two to take to their small boats for the opposite shore, leaving one boat sinking. The batteries were subject to incessant firing from the gunboats, which invariably convoyed the transports, but Colonel Lee, whose report is very interesting, says no damage was done to the batteries, demonstrating, as was done at the White House, that gunboats are not so dangerous as is generally supposed.
On the afternoon of the 7th the batteries returned to their camps, the men being much exhausted from loss of rest and continuous exertion.
During the 6th, 7th, and 8th the enemy persistently annoyed our pickets on the river road below Westover, and with all arms of service tried to compel us to retire from that position. Colonel Rosser, commanding Fifth Virginia Cavalry, was present in charge of the post, and inspired his men with such determined resistance-- arranging them so as to resist to best advantage-- that the enemy failed in the effort within three-quarters of a mile of his main body and in his rear.
At sundown on the 8th, it being decided to withdraw our forces from before the enemy's position, the cavalry covered the withdrawal of the infantry, and prevented the enemy having any knowledge of the movement.
At daylight on the 9th the cavalry proceeded above Turkey Island Creek with the view to establish a line of cavalry outposts from the vicinity of Shirley across by Nance's shop to the Chickahominy.
On the 10th a portion of the cavalry was left on this duty, and the remainder, by direction of the commanding general, marched to a reserve camp.
I regret that the very extended field of operations of the cavalry has made this report necessarily long. During the whole period it will be observed that my command was in contact with the enemy. No opportunity occurred, however, for an overwhelming charge; a circumstance resulting first from the nature of the positions successively taken by the enemy in woods or behind swamps and ditches, he taking care to change position under cover of night, the distance being so short-- only fifteen miles-- -as to be marched in one night. Added to this was the uncertainty of whether the enemy would attempt the passage of the Chickahominy where I awaited him, or under cover of a demonstration toward Chaffin's Bluff he would gain the James. The country being obscurely wooded and swampy his facilities for effecting the latter were great.
The portion of the cavalry operating under my instructions on the Richmond side of the Chickahominy was under the command at first of Colonel Rosser, and afterward of Col. Lawrence S. Baker, First North Carolina Cavalry. The latter made a gallant charge on the 30th ultimo at Willis' Church with his and a portion of Colonel Goode's command, but were repulsed with some loss. Their reports, inclosed, will give particulars of their operations.
Major Crumpier was mortally wounded and Captain Ruffin taken prisoner. For other casualties you are respectfully referred to Colonel Baker's report. During the series of engagements in which the portion of the brigade with me participated very few casualties occurred, notwithstanding frequent exposure to the enemy's fire.
During the whole period the officers and men exhibited that devotion to duty, thorough discipline, and efficiency which characterize regular troops, and claim at my hands the highest measure of praise and grateful acknowledgment.
Cols. T. R. R. Cobb, Fitz. Lee, W. H. F. Lee, and Lieut. Col. W. T. Martin, under my immediate command, were frequently intrusted with distinct isolated commands, and displayed that zeal and ability which entitle them to favorable notice and give evidence of capacity for higher trusts. Capt. John Pelham, of the Horse Artillery, displayed much signal ability as an artillerist, such heroic example and devotion in danger, and indomitable energy under difficulties in the movement of his battery, that, reluctant as I am at the chance of losing such a valuable limb from the brigade, I feel bound to ask for his promotion, with the remark that in either cavalry or artillery no field grade is too high for his merit and capacity. The officers and men of that battery emulated the example of their captain, and did justice to the reputation already won.
Capt. William W. Blackford, of the Engineers, assigned to duty with me the day before the battles, was always in advance, obtaining valuable information of the enemy's strength, movements, and position, locating routes, and making hurried but accurate sketches. He is bold in reconnaissance, fearless in danger, and remarkably cool and correct in judgment. His services are invaluable to the advance guard of an army.
Capt. J. Hardeman Stuart, Signal Corps, was particularly active and fearless in the transmission of orders at Cold Harbor, and deserves my special thanks for his gallant conduct.
Capt. Norman R. Fitzhugh, assistant adjutant-general, chief of staff, though but recently promoted from the ranks, gave evidence of those rare qualities, united with personal gallantry, which constitute a capable and efficient adjutant-general.
Capt. Heros von Borcke, assistant adjutant-general, was ever present, fearless and untiring in the zealous discharge of the duties assigned him.
Maj. Samuel Hardin Hairston, quartermaster, and Maj. Dabney Ball, commissary of subsistence, were prevented by their duties of office from participating in the dangers of the conflict, but are entitled to my thanks for the thorough discharge of their duties.
The following officers attached to my staff deserve honorable mention in this report for their valuable services: Capt. Redmond Burke; Lieut. John Esten Cooke, ordnance officer; Lieut. J. T. W. Hairston, C. S. Army; Lieut, Jones R. Christian, Third Virginia Cavalry; Lieut. Chiswell Dabney, aide; Capts. W. D. Farley and W. E. Towles, volunteer aides, they having contributed their full share to whatever success was achieved by the brigade.
My escort did good service. Private Frank Stringfellow, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, was particularly conspicuous for gallantry and efficiency at Cold Harbor. The majority of the Hanover Company (G), Fourth Virginia Cavalry, possessing invaluable merits as guides, were distributed as such among the various generals. First Lieut. D. A. Timberlake accompanied me, and from his intimate acquaintance with the country, as well as his personal bravery, was an indespensable aid to my march. His deeds of individual prowess in Hanover place him high among partisan warriors, and enabled us to know exactly the enemy's position and strength near Atlee's Station.
Accompanying this report I have the honor to submit a map, drawn by Captain Blackford, Corps of Engineers, of region of country traversed by the cavalry, showing the extent of its operations and exhibiting the various engagements in which cavalry took part; also report A , Col. T. R. R. Cobb, Georgia Legion Cavalry; report B , Col. L. S. Baker, First North Carolina Cavalry; report C. Lieut. Col. W. T. Martin, Jeff. Davis Legion; report D, Col. T. L. Rosser, Fifth Virginia Cavalry; report E, Col. S. D. Lee (artillery), Fourth Virginia Cavalry; report F , Col. Thomas F. Goode, Third Virginia Cavalry; map G, already referred to; H, my instructions to officer commanding cavalry west of the Chickahominy; I, list of killed, wounded, and missing.
The reports of other commanders have not been received; should they be sent in subsequently they will be forwarded. My command captured several thousand prisoners and arms, the precise number it being impossible to ascertain. The detachment of cavalry left at the White House secured much valuable public property, enumerated already.
I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,
J. E. B. STUART,
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