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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 515 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

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 prisoners en 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 make 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 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-enforced it with several batteries of rifle pieces, which, firing, advanced ne echelon 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 detached 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 other Major Delozier Davidson, commanding Fourth U. S. Infantry - that I had to re-enforce it.

Being sent for by the general commanding at this 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 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 the enemy's cavalry, they leaving in their hurried departure the ground strewn with carbines


Page 515 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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