War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0430 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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front, and charged the enemy, repulsing them handsomely and driving them back in confusion, protecting the battery and the wounded. In this charge a regimental standard, with the coat of arms of Virginia, was captured and a captain taken prisoner. The squadron was again charged by the enemy, who were again repulsed, and retired to the other side of the woods, where they remained. While waiting at the entrance of the woods the enemy's fire was particularly severe. Several of the enemy were killed and wounded-number not known.

Very respectfully,


Lieutenant-Colonel, First Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant J. P. MARTIN,

Acting Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Cavalry Reserve.

Numbers 5. Report of Colonel Henry J. Hunt,

U. S. Army, commanding Artillery Reserve.

HDQRS. ARTILLERY RESERVE, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Camp near Roper's Meeting-House, Va., May 11, 1862.

Immediately after sending my last report, dated the 4th instant, I received orders to send Hays' brigade of horse artillery, consisting of Gibson's, Benson's, Robertson's, and Tidball's batteries, to report to General Stoneman and accompany the cavalry in pursuit of the enemy in his retreat from Yorktown. The brigade moved accordingly, and was engaged, portions of it, at various points on the road and at the battles fought on the 4th and 5th instant near Williamsburg. The reports* of Lieutenant-Colonel Hays, commanding the brigade, and of Captains Gibson and Benson, commanding batteries, are inclosed herewith. From these it appears that Lieutenant D'Wolf, Third U. S. Artillery, and 4 men of Gibson's battery and 1 of Tidball's men were wounded severely and Captain Gibson lost 17 horses killed and 5 wounded.

Captain Gibson was engaged under the concentrated fire of eight pieces of artillery and a cross-fire at short distance of large bodies of infantry. He maintained his position without any infantry support for an hour and was then ordered by General Cooke to withdraw. Such was the nature of the ground that one piece and four caissons sunk in the mud. Twenty minutes were spent in unavailing efforts to move them; but the loss of horses and the manner in which the carriages were bogged rendered all his efforts unavailing, and he was reluctantly compelled to abandon them. Three of the caissons were afterwards recovered. The loss was due to the mud; the piece was abandoned, not captured. The conduct of officers and men is represented as admirable.

Captain Gibson speaks in high terms of Lieutenants Fuller, Pendleton, Meinell, and D'Wolf, Third U. S. Artillery; the latter had his horse killed under him and is very dangerously wounded. He also specially notices the gallant conduct of Sergt. G. A. Niforth, of his battery (C, Third U. S. Artillery), and of Private John Thompson, who captured a guidon from the enemy, and was sobered by some of our own men in the melee, receiving four wounds.


*Reports of Hays and Benson not found.