War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0438 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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to General Cooke, that brought the order, and that his words were, as nearly as I can recollect, "The general wishes you to go through the woods and attack a battery on the enemy's extreme left." The battery to which we went was the only force the enemy had on his extreme left when we arrived. If I am wrong in this statement, it is very strange that my adjutant, who heard the order Lieutenant Beach communicated, should have received the same impression that I did, and also the sergeant that guided me to the battery. The report should read, "Battery on the enemy's extreme left" instead of "right flank."

LAWRENCE WILLIAMS,

Major Sixth Cavalry, Commanding.

[Indorsement Numbers 3.]

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION, In the Field, June 4, 1862.

SIR: The brigadier-general commanding directs me to state that very little experience should have taught that your immediate commander was either General Stoneman or General Cooke, but he requests you to specify what order in the engagement of the 4th of May you received from General Stoneman. General S. undertook, at the request of Captain Merritt, to send you an order to retire, but your report shows you did not wait for it. The expression that your report, "regarding the order to take the battery on the enemy's extreme left may or may not be correct in the opinion of the commanding general "cannot be understood. Do you mean the alternative, that in his opinion it may be correct?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. P. MARTIN,

Lieutenant, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Major L. WILLIAMS,

Commanding Sixth Cavalry (through General Emory).

[Indorsement Numbers 4.]

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH CAVALRY, Camp in the Field, June 4, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date. When I made out my report of the operations of the Sixth Cavalry at the battle of Williamsburg I stated simply what occurred as far as was in my knowledge to state. It was simply what I believed to be a truthful statement of what occurred. I had no idea that it involved anything that would give rise to so much dissatisfaction. General Cooke pleased to contradict one of my statements. I simply say that the statement regarding the attack of the battery may or may not be correct; that is, I either got the order or I did not get the order. If I did not get the order, it is very strange that both my adjutant, the sergeant who guided me, and myself should have all received the same impression from its communication. The order received from General Stoneman was to retire with my regiment and form it on the field in front of the White House, afterward General Sumner's headquarters. I was performing this when Lieutenant Beach brought me the order to attack the battery on the enemy's extreme left, which I