War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0046 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

in our front were charged by the Fifth Regiment of U. S. Cavalry, my two squadrons directed to be held as a reserve to watch the effect of that charge and act accordingly. The charge of the Fifth having made no visible impression on the overwhelming masses of the enemy and none of them effecting a rally on the reserve, my squadrons retired in good order at a walk in rear of our artillery.

During the afternoon' engagement the squadrons were subjected to a heavy fire from the enemy, which was met with coolness and steadiness by officers and men. Colonel Blake having been present, and acted with these two small squadrons of the regiment, is fully cognizant of its services during the day, and therefore probably requires no detail of its different movements from point to point during the day.

WM. N. GRIER,

Lieutenant-Colonel, First Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant N. W. KNEASS,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Brigade, Reserve Cavalry.

Numbers 7. Report of Captain Joseph H. McArthur,

Fifth U. S. Cavalry, of the battle of Gaines' Mill.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH CAVALRY,

In the Field, July 3, 1862.

SIR: Agreeably to instructions I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the Fifth U. S. Cavalry in the battle which occurred on Thursday, the 27th of June, 1862, near Woodbury's Bridge, on the Chickahominy:

It is here proper to state that there were but five companies present, the remaining five acting with General Stoneman to the right and rear.

During the first part of the engagement the regiment was kept out of fire, prepared to move wherever occasion demanded. Late in the action, and about 6 o'clock in the afternoon, the regiment was moved up and formed in line of battle to support Benson's battery and another battery on the right. The regiment occupied this position until the battery on the right had ceased firing. The enemy advanced boldly on these batteries, which had opened a murderous fire upon them with the evident intention of carrying them. As soon as the battery on our right ceased firing Captain Whitting, who was at that time in command, gave the order to charge. The regiment charged the enemy's infantry under a most galling fire until 6 officers out of the 7 had been struck down. The column, being left without officers, wheeled to the right, and came off in as good order as could be expected.

I regret to state that Captains Whiting and Chambliss and Lieutenant Sweet have not been seen or heard of since the charge, and I am unable to state whether they are killed or merely wounded and taken prisoners.

Great credit is due to Adjt. Thomas E. Maley, who, although severely wounded, rendered great service to me in assisting to reform the regiment at once in rear of our forces. Lieutenant Watkins was severely