War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0437 Chapter XXIII. SKIRMISHES NEAR WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

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and endeavored to cut off Captain Sanders' company, then in the ravine. Captain Sanders wheeled his company about, charged and repelled the enemy with great gallantry. I cannot speak too highly of both officers and men of this occasion. Though every one felt that few would survive if the guns of the fort were turned upon us while advancing to its rear, not one showed the slightest concern. Captain Sanders showed great prudence and bravery in the timely manner in which he met the enemy, though taken at a disadvantage and by superior numbers. I regret exceedingly to report that Lieutenant McLellan was wounded by a shell in the leg while engaged with the enemy. His gallant bearing was observed by all, and he is a great loss to the regiment. I inclose Captain Sanders' report and that of Captain Hays, which will give an account of the casualties.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major Sixth Cavalry, Commanding.

Lieutenant JAMES P. MARTIN,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Cavalry Division.

[Indorsement Numbers 1.]


The brigadier-general commanding directs me to return this report with the following indorsement:

1. The report is addressed to no one. Major Williams will supply the omission and give his reason for this neglect.

2. If the Sixth Cavalry was a part of an "advance guard," which is very inaccurate, it is unnecessary and very unusual to inform his commander, to whom alone he was responsible, who this commander was; and its leaves obscure what is usually expressed-from whom he received the order for the flank movement.

3. It is not a fact that he received an order to "take a battery on the enemy's right flank" or left flank either. He was ordered to attack the enemy's left flank. When the order was given "Gibson's battery" had not opened fire; a section only was up, and the enemy had shown but small force, and only two guns, and at long range, on their extreme "right."

By command of Brigadier-General Cooke:


Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Indorsement Numbers 2.]

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH CAVALRY, Camp in the Field, June 3, 1862.

The mistake regarding the non-address of the communication is a clerical error. The improprieties referred to, if they are such, are the result of inexperience, and from the fact that on the day of the battle I was somewhat confused as to who was my immediate commander. Both Generals Cooke and Stoneman gave me orders. The statement regarding Gibson's battery, if incorrect, is a misapprehension on my part. It was what I was told. That regarding the order to take the battery on the enemy's extreme left may be or may not be correct in the opinion of the general commanding. I don't know from whom the order came. I only know that it was Lieutenant Beach, aide-de-camp