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Lee, Fitzhugh (1835-1905) [draft account of cavalry operations of Army of Northern Virginia]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03917 Author/Creator: Lee, Fitzhugh (1835-1905) Place Written: Garrisonville, Virginia Type: Autograph manuscript Date: December 1866 Pagination: 19 p. : docket ; 35 x 19 cm.

Summary of Content: Draft account of cavalry operations sent to Robert E. Lee, detailing actions of Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry division during May through June 1864, from Grant's crossing of the Rapidan River through the death of General J.E.B. Stuart. Details movement of his forces, battles fought, and general events during the time period. Laments the death General Stuart. Also discusses Union African American troops, whom he accuses of committing "outrages."

Full Transcript:

General
I have the honor in conforming with your request to be informed in reference to the operations of my command from the period Gen. Grant crossed the Rapidan on ...tenth May, 1864 until the surrender of the Army of Northern Va. upon the 9th April 1865, to submit the following report. It will embrace the period designated, except during the interval of my absence from duty in consequence of a wound and save the time already included in a communication previously transmitted to you.
The 1st May 1864 found my Division of Cavalry encamped in the vicinity of Fredericksburg. It consisted of two Brigades, the 5th Va. Cal. H. Clay, Pate, 6th Va. Colonel Julian Harrison then under Major Thomas Flourney and 15th Va. Col. Collins constituting the one under the command of Brig. Gen. L.L. Lomax, and the 1st Va. Col. Welly Carter, 2nd Va. Col. Thomas Munford, 3rd Va. Col. Owen and 4th Va. Col. W.H. Payne, then commanded by Lt. Col. Robert Randolph composing the other under Brig. Gen. Wm. C. Wickham. My total effective force in the saddle was about three thousand, three hundred troops (3,300). I guarded & watched the right flank of our army then located along the Rapidan River, in front of Orange C.H. My pickets connected with the those of the Infantry at Germanna ford when that stream and extended to points upon the Rappahannock below the town of Fredericksburg. Stafford County lying adjacent & opposite was diligently scouted and carefully observed in order that the earliest intelligence might be transmitted to the Comdg. General of the anticipated move of the enemy, when our right on May 4th he was informed that my pickets at Germanna and Eley's Ford were driven in & that the enemy were crossing heavy bodies of cavalry and Infantry at these points. Chancellorsville some five miles from Eleys was soon occupied and their Cavalry marched down the flank road towards my position near Fredericksburg. Their advance was halted three miles from Chancellorsville and at once moved a force under Col. Munford, 2nd Va. Cav; to their front to retard their further progress in. the direction of Fredericksburg and develop their intentions, scouts ably made their way to Chancellorsville & soon returned with the information that the heads of the enemy columns were all turning west from that place, marching towards Orange C.H., and that it was a general offensive more of Grant's army, their cavalry having merely moved out on the Fredericksburg Road to mask & protect such a movement. Leaving a corresponding force to match this one, I marched with the main front of my command to Massapomax Church to be in position to cover the approaches towards Hannes junction from any movement by the enemy's left flank.
The crossing & progress of the enemy were promptly reported to Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, near the H.Q. of the army in the vicinity of Orange C.H.,, and Commander of its Cavalry.
On the 5th I moved through Spotsylvania C.H. towards Todd's Tavern, keeping south & a little in rear of the enemy's left marching flank & confirming to its course. Two miles from the Tavern, my advance, Lomax's Brigade, encountered the enemy's Cavalry coming from it, marching upon the same road I was moving upon having faced about from their position on Grant's left. A sharp skirmish resulted - the enemy were driven back with a loss of two (2) killed and twenty (20) wounded upon our side, including among the latter Gen. Lomax's intelligent and efficient A.A.G. Capt. Powell

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Grady. The enemy's Cavalry engaged proved to be Gregg's Division. I, that evening opened communication with Gen. Rosser's Brigade of Hampton's Division.
During the 6th I remained in line of battle all day across the Spotsylvania Road in close proximity to Todd's. A heavy force of Cavalry was still in my front & skirmishing ensued until night, neither side making a decided attack. I was located as to retard any prolongation of Grant's left towards Stuart's on the Central R.R.
At daybreak on the 7th the enemy having disappeared from my front I marched to Todd's Tavern, where I was soon attacked by the advance of their Infantry coming from the Orange Plank road. My command was retired down to Spotsylvania road to my old position two miles from Todd's, and a dismounted line of battle formed through a piece of woods and across the road. The enemy's cavalry having returned, preceded their infantry, & soon attacked me in this position. A severe combat raged until dark. My command fought most gallantly & night found them holding every part of their hastily constructed rail breastworks - having effectually resisted the previous onsets of the enemy to dislodge them & then open the way to Spotsylvania C.H. Grant then immediate objective point. My loss was heavy in officers & men. I deeply deplore to be obliged to mention that Col. Collins of the 13th Va. Cavalry Lomax's Brigade was among the killed. He was a graduate of West Point, of Northern extraction - an officer of high scientific attainments, spotless integrity, and great courage, he was justly esteemed one of the rising officers of our army and his death was universally lamented. Colonel Owen, 3rd Va. Cav was reported among the wounded, though not seriously. At early dawn upon the 8th I was again attacked by Torbets Division of Cavalry, and again repulsed them. They were soon relieved by the 5th Army Corps, whose advanced troops immediately renewed the attack, and also were repulsed. I only discovered after this last repulse from the dead left dose to our lines, that I had been fighting Infantry, the density of the woods having made it difficult to distinguish them before from dismounted Cavalry. From prisoners I ascertained their Corps & that the whole of it was en route for Spotsylvania CH.
During their preparation to renew the assault I withdrew my line, mounted it & sent if back under Gen. Lomax to take up another position for the purpose of again retarding their march, and here occurred an instance of personal daring worthy of being officially recorded, and unparralled in my experience. I had heard through the woods the enemy giving the orders preparatory to another attack as their freshly arriving troops were massed, & thinking that when reaching our position and finding it abandoned they would resume the march in column, I ordered 2 pieces of horse artillery to be halted upon a small eminence commanding the from the woods, for the purpose of firing a few times into their column to retard it. A line of mounted skirmishers were thrown out in front of them to indicate that a line of battle existed behind and to induce corresponding preparation upon their part. All of which consuming time, would increase the chances of our Infantry then marching by a parallel route reaching Spotsylvania C.H. the earliest a strategic point of much importance to the army first occupying and fortifying it.
The head of the enemy's column soon made its appearance. Maj. Bratcher in person had remained with the two pieces and at once opened fire upon it. Under his supervision shells were accurately exploded, 8z the desired effects obtained. Their advance was thrown into confusion, & some little time elapsed before a line of battle could be formed with its corresponding line of skirmishes. I was sitting on my horse near Bratcher and directed him to rapidly retire his guns and form the command in its new position further down the road. One gun was retired, but at his urgent request the other continued to fire. In the meantime the enemy were rapidly advancing a heavy line of skirmishes supported by a line of battle towards the piece, the former firing as they advanced. My mounted skirmishes had been forced to retire, there was nothing between this gun and the enemy save a portion of open field & no troops to support it. The enemy were now so close that their shouts for the surrender of the gun could be distinctly heard. The order to "limber up" was Bratcher's response, was done instantly; the cannoneer's ran down the hill and leaped upon their horses. The

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drivers supposing the gun could not be saved jumped from their horses and disappeared. Maj. Bratcher's horse was killed under him, but he sprang upon a lead horse of the gun. It too was shot. In an instant he had cut the leaders bose and was upon one of the middle horses & whilst in the act of turning the gun it also fell pierced by a ball. Quickly severing this line, & his mate from the piece he mounted one of its wheel horses, turned the gun around when the enemy were almost close enough to reach it, and galloped off with it down the hill, miraculously escaping unharmed amid the shower of bullets that whistled after him & safely carrying the gun to the remainder of the battery, in position some miles further down the road.
In this new line the enemy again advanced upon us and were again repulsed. At this time information reached me that a portion of the enemy's Cavalry had occupied Spotsylvania C.H. in my rear, having advanced upon it from the direction of Chancellorsville & driving out the picket squadron of the 3rd Va. under Capt. Field's. Fortunately just then the head of Longstreet's Corps under Gen. R.H. Anderson arrived to my assistance from the direction of Shady Grove. All further advances of the enemy were stopped. They were driven from the C.H. & at dark our army in possession of it, confronted inline of battle that of Gen. Grant.
The strategic importance of Spotsylvania C.H. was never understood and in the race that ensued for its occupancy, we were successful mainly I feel it due to my command to say, by reason of their stubborn fighting in resisting the enemy's advance towards it upon the 7th & 8th instants. The position of Grant in the Wilderness placing him much nearer and almost between our army and the C.H.
Early on the morning of the 9th my Division was in line of battle dismounted, upon the right of the army checking the advance of the leading troops of Burnside's Corps and I regret to mention that on this occasion, one of my most gallant & excellent officers Major W.B. Woolridge, 4th Va. always conspicuous throughout the command for his great coolness under fire was dangerously wounded in the knee and amputation rendered necessary. At 1 p.m. I was relieved by infantry. I had previously reported to Gen. Stuart the movement of a large force of the enemy's Cavalry down the telegraph road towards the Central R.R. They passed some miles to my right & I had been prevented from moving out to retard them by being engaged with the enemy's Infantry, but I now received orders to mount and follow.
Striking the telegraph road two miles below Massapomax Church, I moved by Mud Tavern in to Jerrold's Mill. There it was ascertained that the force of the enemy consisted of their large Divisions under Sheridan & had marched towards Beaver Dam on the Central R.R. I rapidly followed and just before night hotly engaged the enemy's rear. Gen. Stuart in person joined me after dark but with no additional troops. We were in the saddle all night and at dawn on the 10th forced the passage of North Anna River at Anderson's Ford with Wickham's Brigade at Davenport's Bridge with Lomax's, our forces left at those points by Sheridan to check any pursuit.
Beaver Dam was occupied by the enemy & some cars and commissary stores destroyed. Three hundred and eleven (311) prisoners awaiting transportation to Richmond at that point were also liberated. Sheridan marched towards Richmond from that place and we promptly followed. One mile from station our advance 3rd Va. Cavalry under Col. Munford again came upon and charged their rear consisting of a portion of the 5th U.S. Regulars, routed them killing some capturing others together with some of their quidons.
Discovering Richmond to be the object of the enemy and knowing the entire absence of troops in the works guarding its western side, Gen. Stuart determined to move upon the of the arc the enemy were advancing upon, and by outmarching them interfuse our little force in the enemy's front at some point contiguous to the city. Gordon's N.C. Cay. Brigade which had been intended to follow orders were left for - from Spotsylvania C.H., but which had not yet caught up, to continue on and harass the enemy's rear. We accordingly marched by Trinity and Fork Churches reaching Taylorsville near Hannover Junction at 9 p.m. - at 3 a.m. on 11th the march was resumed down the telegraph

road to Ashland which place just before our arrival had been occupied by a force detached from Sheridan's column then marching some few miles further west. The nature of the ground preventing a mounted attack the 2nd Va. of Wickhams Brigade \vas quickly dismounted & under its efficient Colonel gallantly charged this force & drove them from the village killing eight wounding many and capturing some prisoners of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry. Our opportune arrival was not a moment too soon as the enemy were in the act of burning the town having already set fire to three of the buildings. We then moved on to Yellow Tavern 6 mites from Richmond - this point is the junction of the telegraph and mountain roads and as the enemy were known to be approaching upon the latter road, I was ordered by Gen. Stuart to make dispositions to resist their further advance. Accordingly Lomax's three regiments were placed in line of battle directly across the route Sheridan was moving upon, whilst Wickhams forces were placed in line al. right angles to that occupied by Lomax, being concealed and protected by a piece of woods. It was designed to move it up and attack in flank any force attempting to clear the road of Lomax, helping them to be enabled the better to retard the overwhelming numbers of the enemy. The artillery under Bratcher was placed upon a little eminence in rear of Lomax's right. The preceding movements of the enemy, his progress towards the city with our corresponding movements were all duly reported to the officer commanding the defenses of Richmond. In about an hour the enemy made his appearance. Lomax was soon attacked and most courageously met the onset - Wickham promptly attacked in flank and after a long and severe encounter the enemy were repulsed at every point. Gen. Stuart superintended Lomax's line in horses whilst I remained with Wickham.
At the cessation of firing Gen. Stuart rode over to my position and after a conference I started to go to Lomax, but had not preceded far before the enemy made another most determined attack with largely increased numbers. Our force was too small to withstand it and began to give away. Rapidly riding back in the direction I had left Gen. Stuart I was informed he had been wounded and refused to be brought off the field. I at once detailed some members of Co. "K" 1st Va. Cavalry, the company nearest to me, and sent them after him, with orders to bring him and get him in an ambulance. They rushed forward most gallantly and some returned supporting him on his horse, an ambulance was procured, in which he was placed and sent to Richmond. My own time was so much occupied I could not give more of it to his comfort at that time and did not even know the extent of his wound. Orders were at once issued for the withdrawal of the troops across the Chickahominy at Half Sink. The enemy did not follow though necessitated to withdraw in that direction by reason of the enemy's getting possession of the Richmondroad. I nevertheless considered it best. During the progress of the fight I had received information that troops had arrived in the works upon that side of the city in sufficient numbers to hold them. I therefore moved down during the night along the north side of the Chickahominy to stop at the crossing at Meadow Bridge the only exit of the enemy in that direction. The fight at Yellow Tavern though resulting in our finally being forced out of the way reflected great lustre on my command. Opposed to three Divisions of the enemy cavalry - say nine thousand men, my two Brigades numbering then about twenty-four hundred (2400) barely sustained their former reputation.
Sheridan's arrival at Yellow Tavern six (6) mites from Richmond before 11 am on the 11th and not confronting the troops in the lines two miles from the city - until that morning of the 12th, in testimony in itself to show the check imparted to him. Gen. Bragg then on duty in Richmond attributed the safety of the capital to the fight made at Yellow Tavern for it was not until the afternoon of the 11th that the troops arrived from Chaffins Bluff and vicinity to man the works upon that side. Yet the immunity of the city, was dearly p_"~ urchased with the life blood of Stuart whose subsequent death resulted form the wound then received. I feel that it might be considered out of place in what is intended as an official report to indulge in a tribute to the memory of my greatly beloved commander. His rare genius, high toned spirit,indifference to danger, indefatigable energy, wonderful endurance in the saddle, supreme coolness in action, and enthusiastic devotion to the cause in which

he offered up his life, are too well known and form too large a part of the "history of the times" for me to dwell upon here. The Cavalry of the Army of Northern Va. only more keenly feel the irreparable loss the service had sustained.
I deeply deplore to be obliged to mention the renames of Col. H. Clay Pate and Capts. Fox Clay and Wilson all gallant officers of the 5th Va. Cay. Lomax's Brigade, as among the killed. Two pieces of the Baltimore Light Artillery were also lost but one of them had been previously disabled.
My invaluable A.D.C. Lt. Charles Minnigerode whilst carrying an order was captured in a charge of the enemy and was being rapidly carried off, when a squadron of Wickhams made a counter charge drove back the enemy and rescued him. Upon May 12th my position at Meadow Bridges was assailed by the enemy, who finding the entrance to the city debarred by our Infantry, estrayed to cross the Chickahominy at that point - after an obstinate engagement I was forced to retire, and the way was then opened for Sheridan's escape. Had the troops in the trenches moved upon him whilst he was engaging me, he would have been hemmed in on the Chickahominy, and I confidently believe his destruction would have been the result.
Lt. Col. Robert Randolph Comdg. 4th Va. Wickhams Brigade was among those killed in this last encounter. He was the former commander of Co. "H of that Regiment better known as the "Black Horse" an officer of excellent _ zeal and efficiency. Driven from my position at Meadow Bridges by the superior numbers of the enemy, I moved around to Pole Green Church four miles from Mechanicsville and placed my command once again across Sheridan's path, holding the Shady Grove and Old Church, and Mechanicsville and Old Church roads to prevent his moving toward the "White House" or north to rejoin Grant. Here I was again attacked by a portion of the enemy's advance & repulsed them. Sheridan then marched for James River and succeeded in reaching it, and the protection of the Gunboats at Curls Neck. Cavendish an officer of the English Cavalry & who had but recently arrived in this country, reported to me during this fight in pursuance of orders of the Sec. of War. He at once went into the charge with the 6th Va. Lomax's Brigade, killed one of the enemy with his sabre and had his horse killed under him in the space of a few moments after he had reported his presence and orders.
Nine consecutive days of fighting and marching had completely exhausted the ammunition and rations of my command and I marched on the 13th to Mechanicsville to better facilitate procuring another supply from Richmond. The N.C. Cavalry Brigade of Hampton's Division here reported to me under Col. Andrews. It had suffered a severe loss in an engagement with the enemy's Cavalry the day before, in being denied of the further services of its gallant commander Brig. Gen. Gordon, who had been mortally wounded. The death of this officer was severely felt in all subsequent operations. His personal courage and intelligent handling of his troops was bringing him rapid distinction when he so inopportunely fell. Sheridan still remained on the James having moved to the vicinity of Malvern Hill. I marched via New Bridge and Severe Pines to Darly Town to be in better position to watch and counter act the subsequent movements of the enemy. On the 18th Sheridan left his camp and crossing the lower Chickahominy at the Forge Bridges moved in a northerly direction through New Market towards the Pamunkey. I at once marched in a parallel line, covering Richmond, and passing through Mechanicsville, reached Alle's Station in Central R.R. nine miles from the city. During the night of the 20th a portion of the enemy's Cavalry arrived at Hannover C.H. and destroyed the trestle work of the R.R. bridge at that point, but retired before they could be attacked.
Upon the 21st the C.H. was again occupied by them. I moved up at once to attack having been reinforced by the 5th S. Ca. Cavalry under Col. Donovant that had just arrived from their native state.
The enemy precipitately retreated upon my approach. It found to be only a Brigade under
d Custer. Sheridan's main force being at the White House. I accordingly returned to Allee's.
Upon the 23rd in pursuance of verbal instructions from Gen. Bragg I started with detachments from Wickhams, Lomax's and Gordons Brigades and the 5th S. Ca. Cavalry with one piece of artillery to surprise and capture if possible a garrison of negro soldiers at Kennans Warf on James River, in

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Charles City. Co. My object was to break up the nest and stop the further outrages in that vicinity. Accordingly I left camp at 4 pm and marching all night hoped to get in front of the position by day-light, but the distance bineg much greater than I had been led to expect, my advance did not get in sight of Kennans until 11 am the next day.
The enemys pickets and advanced scouts were quickly driven in, when a close reconnaissance developed their main body strongly entrenched in a fort a mile wide ditch ran along its entire front with steep scarps and counter scarp & strong abutts in front. Its wings rested on the river, upon which in close proximity floated two gunboats. Though a very different state of things existed, than was represented by citizens, upon whose accounts the expedition had been sent I nevertheless resolved to make an effort for the capture of the place, now that the march had been made. My command was divided into two detachments the troops from Wickhams Brigade being commanded by that officer, and those from Lomax's Gordons & the 5th S. Ca. being placed under Colonel Dunnovant. Lomax had been left at Allee's in command of the camp and remaining troops. I then moved up dismounted my command, andinvested the work. A staff officer was sent to demand a surrender - after a parley its commander Gen. Wilde decided as he expressed it "to try and hold it" - keeping up constant skirmishing, Wickhams detachment under that officer was moved by a circuitous wooded and concealed route to the eastern or corner side with orders to assault it. Whilst he was getting into position, Dunovant was directed to make a demonstration upon the upper and opposite side, with a view of drawing the garrison to his front whilst Wickham got in. The orders were admirably carried out. Wickham's men made a most gallant charge under a hot fire across an open space,but after getting to the very ditch itself, were forced to retire; the nature and thickness of the intentioned abutts and width of ditch being in themselves insurmountable obstacles to an ingress. His loss, principally in returning when the fire was more confidently delivered was heavy - being ten killed and forty-two wounded with four missing. Donovant's loss was only six mounted. I then determined to assault with my whole force and made the necessary dispositions, hoping to be able to get in at some point, but a subsequent close personal reconnaissance showed the work to be too elaborate and the orders were countermanded. Accordingly I withdrew my command encamping for the night at Charles City C.H. The force of the enemy as, reported by prisoners consisted of the 4th, 10th and 22nd Regiments of Colored troops with 1 battery (white) and two gunboats when I first arrived. They were reinforced before I could attack by a number of transports (reported at fire) bearing white troops from a neighboring fort across the river. These colored regiments were exceedingly large, the three I was informed numbering over 2500 men. My total force was about 1600. It is proper to say that their numbers were represented to be about 1500 encamped only behind rifle pits and upon that data the Expedition was planned. It had the good effect, though unsuccessful of keeping the negro troops more within the fort and lessening their outrages consequent upon wandering outside. Upon the 25th the march back to Allee's was resumed reaching that place on the 26th. I was joined there the next day by Divisions of Hampton and W.H.F. Lee and on the 28th the three Divisions marched under the command of Hampton the senior Maj.Gen. in the direction of Hawes Shop, with the purpose of enveloping the position of the enemy's main army; which, marching through Caroline and King William Counties had crossed into Hanover over pontoonslaid on the Panumkey at Hanover Town and New Castle. My Division reduced to its former size of two Brigades was in advance. Near Enaves Church I encountered the enemys advance of Cavalry and immediately engaged them. Rossers Brigade of Hamptons Division formed and attacked on my left. W.H.F. Lee came in on his left. The remaining troops of Hamptons Divison supported me. A sharp fight ensued and the enemys Cavalry were driven back upon their Infantry, which prisoners reported as the 6th Corps. That fact
ascertained we fell back a half mile and the fighting ceased.
That afternoon Gen. Breckenridge's Division arrived and relieved my command along the Talpot Onion Creek near Gardners House.
In compliance with orders from the Comdg. Gen. I marched on 29th to Allee's Station and

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upon the 30th to Mechanicsville. on the 31st I moved. to Coal Harbor and relieved Butlers South Ca. Cay. Brigade at 3:30 pm I was attacked by a Divison of the enemy cavalry under Torbert and after a severe fight repulsed them. Soon afterwards their regiments of Clingmans Brigade constituting the advance of Hokes Division with Gen. Hoke in person reinforced me. Just then the enemy renewed his attack having also been largely reinforced particularly with artillery. It was the advance of their army striving for the position at Coal Harbor. An obstinate fight resulted and at the end of three hours we were driven back about 1/4 mile. It was then dark - the remainder of Hokes Division arrived but too late to assume the offensive, as was contemplated. My loss had been severe including among the killed Major Thomas Flournoy Comdg. the 6th Va. of Lomax's Brigade a daring zealous officer whose loss was severely felt and deeply regretted. Gen. Clingman was of those wounded. Two captured staff officers of the 5th Corps reported supporting Torbert. During June 1st Hokes Division and my own maintained the position at Cold Harbor skirmishing heavily with the enemy's Infantry and Cavalry. On the afternoon of the 2nd Breckenridge's Division, the advance of the army arrived, and relieved me.
My Division was then marched to Bottoms Bridge to strengthen the local troops holding that position under the command of Gen's Robert Ransom and Custis Lee. I remained at that point during the 3rd & 4th. The enemy's Cavalry only were visible upon the opposite side of stream. Upon the 5th the Comdg. Gen. inspected our position and we were reinforced by Gen. O.R. Ransom's Infantry Brigade. During the 6th & 7th my command remained in the same place and upon the latter day I reported to the Hd. Qtrs. of the Army the arrival of Pontoons in James River as indicative of Grant's extending his left and crossing that stream. On the 8th information was received that Sheridan with a large force of cavalry and artillery had crossed the Iamunkey into King Wm. County and was moving north. Gen. W.H. Lee's Division arrive to relieve me and I received orders after dark to join Gen. Hampton who had been sent with his Division to counteract the movement. By a rapid march I reached the vicinity of Louisa C.H. on the night of the 10th. I did take one of his Brigades with me. Hampton being then a few miles behind Trenilians Station. Sheridan had moved up the north side of the Pamunkey into Caroline and had crossed the south side of the North Anna, a fork of the Pamunkey and was marching for Trevilians on the Central R.R. His intention was ascertained to be to unite his command with that of Hunters who had previously moved up the valley and occupied Staunton. It was decided to attack Sheridan before he reached the R.R. and Gen. Hampton as senior officer sent me word he would attack at daylight on the 11th on the road leading from Trenilians to Claytons Store and desiring that I should move out: to the road from Louisa C.H. to the same place with similar intent. The converging point though was to distant and before I could reach its vicinity the enemy had found it and was in Hampton's front near Trenilians Brigade (Custers) having forced his right and reached his rear capturing some lead horses a few ambulances and their caissons. Quickly retracing my steps I moved ar once for Trenilians. The head of my column soon came into contact with Custers Brigade - charged it and recaptured everything - capturing in addition Custer's 1 H.Q. wagons - his A.A.G. and four caissons. This handsome charge was made by the 15 Va. of Lomax's Brigade, led by _ Robert Mason of my staff who had been temporarily assigned to its command, an officer distinguished for his dashing gallantly upon every occasion when engaged during the war. The fight soon became general and heavy my left uniting with Hamptons right and at right angles to it. Night ended the conflict and found the relative positions of both sides about the same. My loss had been severe and I much have to regret to report the mortally wounding of Lt. Col. W.R. Carter of 3rd Va. Wickhams Brigade; an officer of large intelligence and high courage and greatly endeared to the whole command. I also recall that Lieut. Wm. Hoxton a cool intrepid artillerist was among those severely wounded. During the night I shifted my position and the next day reported to

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Hampton who had taken up a new line west of Trenilians covering the Charlottesville and Gordonsville roads. My command was held in rear as a reserve, and the morning passed away awaiting enemys attack. It was made at 3:30 pm & most gallantly met.
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People: Lee, Fitzhugh, 1835-1905

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Civil WarMilitary HistoryConfederate States of AmericaConfederate General or LeaderCavalryChildren and FamilyArmy of Northern VirginiaUnion GeneralBattleDeathAtrocityAfrican American HistoryAfrican American Troops

Sub Era: Reconstruction

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