War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0948 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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small detachment of cavalry to act as messengers. Moving on them with less than 300 cavalry and about 40 infantry we soon came in sight of the enemy's pickets and camp in a fine position for defense, backed by a forest. Advancing a line of cavalry skirmishers, with instructions to rally on the center if overpowered, in order to make room for the force in rear to charge, we advanced at once, the advance guard and skirmishers driving the enemy's pickets before them. Arrived at Sycamore Church, we found a fine camp of goods, tents, commissary stores, cooking utensils, clothing, &c., which were all collected and piled up with straw from ricks near by and burned, the enemy looking on at a distance.

The object of the expedition having been attained and the general's orders obeyed, I returned with my command to this camp.

Several circumstances combine to divest this affair of any elements of a surprise: First, the enemy had ample opportunity for observing my strength and grounds for guessing my intentions; second, the extremely heavy rain retarded the movements of the infantry, which it was necessary to take at least as far as the mill.

From the muster rolls found and from the statements of prisoners the enemy's force was at least 560- fully 200 more than mine. He had the advantage of knowing the country and of choosing his ground, but with all these advantages by the moral force of our steady advance and the impetuous dash of Lieutenant McIntosh. Captain Custer, Fifth Cavalry, and Lieutenant Bowen, topographical engineer, joined the expedition on its way out and took an active part in its operations.

The conduct of Lieutenant McIntosh was a fine model for cavalry soldiers. He was well supported by Lieutenant Miller, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry. Our loss was 3 wounded, and 1 horse killed.

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

WM. W. AVERELL,

Colonel, Commanding.

Numbers 2. Report of Major General D. H. Hill,

C. S. Army.

PETERSBURG, VA., August 3, 1862.

The Yankee have landed in force at Coggins Point. Our pickets have been driven back more than a mile. a force is out to check advance of the Yankees. if they come nearer we will be constrained to thresh them.

Your obedient servant,

D. H. HILL,

Major-General.

AUGUST 4-5, 1862. - Reconnaissance from Coggins Point, beyond Sycamore Church, Va.

Reports of Captain John D. Wilkins, Third U. S. Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD INFANTRY,

August 5, 1862-8.30 p. m.

CAPTAIN: I have just this moment arrived. Before the arrival of General Butterfield I made disposition for advancing to Sycamore