War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0640 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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squadron of cavalry. We followed this road for 2 miles, and then struck another leading from Cold Church. We were informed by residents of the vicinity that the enemy's pickets were established along this route, and had passed but a few moments previously. We immediately threw forward pickets from our escort, and in a short time discovered seven of the enemy's cavalry, whom we attempted to capture, but without success. Having heard all along the route that a large force was at the Old Church, we returned to General Stoneman's camp, about 5 miles back on the road.

On the following morning (19th) we started with an escort of three companies of the Sixth Cavalry, under Major Williams, and retraced our original route, continuing until we reached Cold Harbor, where we drove in the enemy's pickets, they retiring to Gaines' Mill, where our cavalry had a slight skirmish with them. In company with Lieutenants Bowen and Custer I then followed the road leading via Bottom's Bridge to Richmond for about 2 miles, when I could distinctly hear the whistling of the locomotive on the railroad.

In ordinary weather all the roads I traveled were passable, but in wet weather would require working in several places. There are plenty of good camping grounds along the whole route.

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


Captain, Eighteenth Infantry.

Brigadier General ANDREW PORTER, Pro. March General, Army of Potomac.

MAY 19, 1862.-Skirmish at City Point, James River, Va.

Report of Captain William H. Willis, Company I, Fourth Georgia Infantry.


May 20, 1862.

ADJUTANT: On Sunday, the 18th instant, I was ordered, with my command, to City Point, to relieve the company on picket duty there and to observe the movements of the enemy's gunboats.

We arrived in the afternoon and at once entered upon our duties. During the evening four additional boats arrived, making six steamers and two schooners, all of which were anchored a short distance below City Point.

On Monday morning two small parties left the fleet to visit the town, but my instructions were such as prevented me from attacking them. In the mean time I received a dispatch from Major-General Huger to push forward my pickets and keep them offshore. In the afternoon Captain Albert, of the Twenty-second Georgia Regiment, arrived, to relieve my command, and we were engaged in calling in my pickets and posting his, when we observed a boat, containing 20 persons, leave the fleet, and head for the landing in the town. We watched the landing of this party, and at once determined to attack them with our advance pickets, composed of a lieutenant, sergeant, and 9 men each. With my detachment I attacked the boat, while Captain Albert entered the town and captured 4 officers and 5 marines as prisoners. The party in the boat pushed off and we fired into them.

I called to them to come ashore and surrender, which they persistently refused to do, although their colors were down and some of the