War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1022 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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turned about and joined the main body. I then knew them to be the enemy. Returning to my advance, I informed them that the enemy were in front, and stationing them as a rear guard I returned to the main body, and immediately sent back one of my men to inform Cap- tain iRoyall that I had met the enemy and that they were about two squadrons strong. It was then about 11.30 oclock, and having determined to fall back, I wheeled my company by fours, and giving my sergeant instructions to retire slowly and in order, regulating his gait by mine, I returned to the rear of my command, and leaving one man to keep the enemy in sight, I gave him instructions to regulate his gait by theirs. I then detached 6 men to keep this man in sight, and returned to the front and sent forward on the road an advance of 4 men, under a non-commis- sioned officer, to gather in the men which I had left to guard the differ- ent roads I had passed. After this I took my position between my company and my rear guard. The enemy did not immediately follow, and finding there was no immediate pursuit, I stationed a man upon a slight eminence, where the view was extended, and told him to wait for fifteen or twenty minutes, and if the enemy were not in sig~it by that time to join me at once. I still continued to retire until I reached our first pickets, stationed at a cross-road whei~e were a few houses, known as Halls [Hawes] Machine-Shop. Having heard from my scout I sent word to Captain Itoyall the enemy were not in sight, but r~- peated my first report, that I had seen two squadrons. After this I remained at the cross-roads and sent back my rear guard 14 miles on the road by which I had retired. After remaining at the cross-roads about an hour I received an order from Captain iRoyall to return to camp, and withdrawing my rear guard, I cautioned the pickets that the enemy were in my rear, and took up my march toward camp. About a mile from the cross-roads I was joined by Lieutenant McLean, in command of about 30 men of Com- pany H, Fifth Cavalry, who again gave me Captain IRoyalls order to return to camp. Lieutenant McLean took command, and keeping his company in front,we in this manner retired half a mile,when I was informed by pickets that the enemy were about a quarter of a mile back, advancing rapidly. I immediately sent word to Lieutenant McLean, who was in f~ out, and also to Captain IRoyall, to tell them the enemy were advancing upon us. Not hearing from Lieutenant McLean I drew up in line under the brow of a hill on the side of the road, intending if ii~y force was sufficient to charge; if not, to keep them in check with the pistol; in either event to show a bold front and con- ceal as long as possible the small numbers of my command. The enemy came on in a few moments in large numbers. I held them in check at least twenty minutes, emptying during that time teii saddles (the horses coming over to my command). During this time I lost no men, but had several horses wounded. It was at this point that I felt most seriously the superiority of the enemy, who were armed with rifles and shot-guns, and had my com- mand been furnished with carbines I would have been able to do him more injury and hold him longer in check. After I had emptied all of my pistols I drew sabers and endeavored to charge, but finding they were coming up in greatly-superior force on either flank and in front, I thought it best to fall back on Lieutenant McLeans command, which at this time was halted on the opposite side of a small bridge. From this point I again sent to Captain IRoyall an account of what had been done and what was then in progress. For some time I held the bridge,