War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0440 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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Numbers 11. Report of Captain J. Irvin Gregg,

Sixth U. S. Cavalry.

WILLIAMSBURG, May 5, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that when it became necessary to retire from the position in rear of Fort Magruder, when one-half the squadron under my command had crossed the swamp word was passed along the line that our rear was attacked. A portion of my squadron, under Lieutenants Paulding and Ward, seeing Captain Sanders' squadron engaged, wheeled about and joined in the melee. Sergeant [Andrew F.] Swan, of G company, and Sergeant [Emil] Swartz, of F company, are especially deserving of praise for their gallant bearing. Sergeant Swan and Private [Parker] Flansburg, of G company, were wounded and three horses missing.

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


Captain, Sixth U. S. Cavalry.


Commanding Sixth Cavalry.

Numbers 12. Report of Captain William P. Chambliss,

Fifth U. S. Cavalry.


SIR: I have the honor to state that at an early hour on the morning of the 4th instant I received an order from the general commanding the division to move forward with my squadron across the dam at Garrow's Ford, to take the road to Williamsburg, continue on it as far as I could with safety, and to gain what information I could as to the movements of the enemy and the condition of his rear. In obedience to this order I crossed the dam as soon as it was repaired, having been delayed some time for this work to be done, and took the road branching to the left, in the rear of the enemy's abandoned works, and which the guide whom the general had sent me said was the road taken by the enemy. About a mile in advance I passed the infantry pickets of the division. Continuing on what I was informed was the direct road to Williamsburg, I found a great number of the enemy's tents still standing and other evidences of a hasty retreat.

About this time the guide said he wished to put me in possession of all the information he had as to the intentions of the retreating army. He stated that some heavy guns had been placed in position so as to command the road 2 or 3 miles ahead of where we then were, and that a strong force would be left in the vicinity of Williamsburg to dispute our passage at that point. Subsequent events have shown this information to have been well founded. It determined me at the time to be very cautious in my movements. On reaching a large, open field I discovered on the opposite side of it, with heavy timber in the rear, a picket of rebel cavalry. I halted for the purpose of sending a party to reconnoiter, when I saw what appeared to be a column of infantry posted in the woods; and information at the same time having been