Numbers 260. Report of Brigadier General Ronald S. Mackenzie, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Division.
HDQRS. CAVALRY BRIGADE, ARMY OF THE JAMES,
Near Richmond, Va., May 8, 1865.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command during the late campaign:
The command left camp near New Market road on the 28th of March, and was composed as follows: The First Brigade, under the command of Colonel R. M. West, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, consisted of the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry and Company G, Twentieth New York Cavalry; the Second Brigade, under the command of Colonel S. P. Spear, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, [consisted of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry,] First Maryland Cavalry, and Battalion First District of Columbia Cavalry. The remaining companies of the Twentieth New York Cavalry and the dismounted men of the whole command were left in camp, all under the orders of Lieutenant Colonel D. M. Evans, Twentieth New York Cavalry, who was ordered to report to Major General Godfreay Witzel, commanding forces. The command which started in the campaign numbered 54 officers and 1,629 enlisted men. The march was continued till early on the morning of the 29th, when the command bivouacked near Varina Station, on the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad; and moving again about 8 a. m. continued the march to the vicinity of Humphreys' Station, where the command went into camp, but was ordered the same evening to force dot the crossing of the Rowanty, in the vicinity of Reams' Station, and guard the trains of the Army of the Potomac assembled there. The command remained on this duty till the 1st of April, when orders were received from Lieutenant-General Grant, through Major-General Ord, to proceed a once to Dinwiddie Court-House and report to Major-General Sheridan. The command moved about 3.30 a. m., and reported as ordered. I was directed to move by a cross-road to the white Oak Swamp road, at a point about three miles to the right of Five Forks, to take possession of the White Oak road. This was done after a sharp skirmish, in which two companies of the Eleventh pennsylvania Cavalry made a very handsome charge, dislodging the enemy, much superior in numbers to the charging party, from breast-works. Three valuable officers were lost in this charge-Major Monroe, Captain Lancaster, and Lieutenant Mathews; Colonel S. P. Spear, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, was also wounded about the same time. The enemy were dispersed, and shortly afterward the command, with the exception of a battalion of the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry which was left to picket the right flank, was moved down the White Oak road in the direction of Five Forks. The First Maryland Cavalry, in advance, was just about charging down the road, when the infantry of the Fifth corps made their appearance and instructions were received from General Sheridan to move on their right flank. The command was moved rapidly on the right of this infantry, and soon reachinged the right and rear of the enemy's line, the enemy giving way without much resistance. A large number of prisoners were captured and turned over to the infantry. A large number of prisoners were captured and turned over to the infantry. Captain Erich's squadron of the first Maryland Cavalry were in the advance and charge handsomely through thick