War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0439 Chapter XXIII. SKIRMISHES NEAR WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

suppose came from General Cooke, as it was communicated by his aide-de-camp.

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

LAWRENCE WILLIAMS,

Major, Sixth Cavalry, Commanding.

Lieutenant JAS. P. MARTIN,

Lieutenant and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Cavalry Division.

[Indorsement Numbers 5.]

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY RESERVE, In the Field, June 6, 1862.

On the 4th day of May, 1862, in accordance with instructions from General Cooke, I directed Major Williams to "attack the enemy's left flank."

FRANK BEACH,

Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.

Numbers 10. Report of Captain William P. Sanders,

Sixth U. S. Cavalry.

SIXTH CAVALRY CAMP, May 26, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the transactions of my squadron on the 4th of May, 1862, near Williamsburg, Va.:

When it became necessary for the regiment to retire from its position near Fort Magruder my squadron, Companies A and M, was in the rear. In order to get back we had to cross a long and narrow ravine, where we could only march by twos and by file, and afterward through a narrow wood road. Just before reaching the ravine the enemy's artillery commenced a fire of shell from the fort with a very accurate range. As my rear files got into the ravine I found that the rebel cavalry was following us, and immediately sent Lieutenant Madden to report this fact to the commanding officer. While in the worst part of the ravine the cavalry appeared on the edge and opened a destructive fire from carbines and pistols. I hurried across as fast as possible and formed platoons. The enemy followed across the ravine and up the hill. I wheeled about by platoons and charged, driving the enemy back into and across the ravine with considerable loss, equal to if not greater than ours. Not a man of the rebels was in sight mounted, or apparently alive, when I returned. I saw some 15 lying on the ground in the ravine.

Captains Hays, commanding Company M, was with me during the charge, and displayed coolness and great bravery. Lieutenant McLellan, Company A, though severely wounded by a shell while crossing the ravine, remained until after the charge. The men all acted bravely and turned at the command, after having been subjected to a very severe fire while retiring across the ravine, and charged gallantly. Sergeant Durboran, of Company M, First Sergeants [Joseph] Bould and [Michael] Cooney, of Companies A and M, and all the men, I think, deserving of praise.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. P. SANDERS,

Captain, Sixth Cavalry, Commanding Fifth Squadron.