War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1011 STUARTS RAID. Chapter XXIII.

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made me a sketch of the country in the immediate vicinity and toward New Castle. I sent him on to Old Church, with directions to send for- ward the cavalry to the New Castle fork of the road, just as his rear regiment, the Zonaves, passed. 1 sent to recall it, thinking to leave it to cover my rear on moving, and ordered its commander to send a com- pany to occupy the bridge over the Totopotomoy at dawn of day to relieve the cavalry thereall but five men. Afterward I changed my mind, and about 2 oclock ordered the regiment to move forward to rejoin the brigade at 3 oclock. (I dont know by what misunderstand- ing or fault or by whom the company had been ordered to the bridge and not relieved when the regiment marched but overtook the regi- ment at Old Church before it marched, but I believe very soon after the proper time for its march to come.) But to resume in order. I then received, every few moments dis- patches or ordersone informing me that General Sykes has been directed to assume command of your force and to join you early in the morning with a large infantry force and artillery. He will also send you instructions. Another from General Porter, which I marked Received 11.10, desiring me to bring all the information concerning the enemy you (1) can get hold ot2 Another, marked Received 11.20, desiring me to hold my own, and maintain your (my) position. Do not attack a superior force, & c.; informing me that General Emory had been ordered to Tunstalls Station with four squadrons; directing me to send two squadrons to report to General Sykes as soon as pos- sible. About midnight Major Doull came to me from Colonel Warren with information (for which ~he stated they had from previous acquaintance there peculiar facilities) that the enemy was believed to be within a mile and a quarter, near the New Castle fork of the road, beyond which I was informed there was but one road below in a pretty open country, and was so confident of it that Colonel Warren had not sent there the cavalry picket as he had been requested. Then the major kindly wrote by moonlight a dispatch for General Sykes, in substance that I had hopes to strike the enemy there at daylight, and then or later, I forget which, mentioned that the information of infantry force with the enemy was not confirmed. Perhaps too strongly expressed, I meant I could get no new information as to it. I gave orders for a march at 3 oclock. But soon after a teamster, Private Blanchard, First Cavalry, arrived and reported to me the circumstances of the enemys attack on the trains before sundown the previous day at Garlicks Land- ing; afterward another teamster. They had jast come over the road where the enemy was supposed to be, and I knew that he could not be there. Leaving, then, only a platoon of cavalry to cover my rear at the bridge over the Totopotomoy, I marched between 3 and 4 a. in., and soon joined Colonel Warren at Old Church. I intended at first to leave him at the New Castle road, where there was no larger river road, but I changed my mind and marched on with my whole command, sending a dispatch to. General Sykes that I left the rear toward Hanover Court- House to his care, & c. My dispatch in the night informed General.Sykes that the orders to maintain my position, & c., could not be considered as binding. At the moment I felt confident of a fine opportunity at daylight, and nat- urally I was strongly tempted to take that view of all information that would authorize me not to await a successor in command,and Ihad been sent word that General Sykes would march at 3 oclock.