I sent an order at 6 a. m. for two regiments of infantry and [a] section of artillery to come up, but no answer was sent and they did not come up. I was constantly expecting them until the arrival of General Ripley, about 11 a. m. No explanation has been given for the failure of the artillery and infantry to come to my assistance when ordered to do so.
At daylight the enemy advanced by the Nelson house and drown the Quaker road to Malvern Hill. I sent another officer at once to General Ripley to announce that intelligence.
General Hampton came over to my assistance between 7 and 8 a. m. with the intention of following them until I reported their force, and also that they were in force in front and already at Malvern Hill.
Captain Check made admirable disposition of his squadron on picket to get information and the men performed the duty with judgment and bravery, keeping their position as vedettes as long as it was possible, so as to estimate their force. Lieutenant Iredell, after remaining with a few men as vedettes until the enemy was in a few yards of him, fired and fell slowly back, killing, as I have since learned, 2 men and wounding several. The enemy endeavored to advance his pickets to cover his march, but I dismounted Captain Siler's company as skirmishers, and after a few minutes of spirited firing the enemy fell back and I obtained position to ascertain his force again. Captain Siler's officers and men behaved very gallantly.
On the 5th and 6th, 33 prisoners were captured by Captains Barringer's and Houston's squadrons.
I lost 7 men (4 of Captain Cheek's and 3 of Captain Wood's companies) on post near Malvern Hill, who had orders to report any advance of the enemy to Lieutenant-Colonel Young's pickets. They remained too long and were unable to make their way to him. One of my men came up to me late in the day stating this fact.
I also lost on the 6th 1 man (prisoner) from Captain Ruffin's company and had 1 badly wounded from Captain Houston's company.
I am, sir, with much respect,
L. S. BAKER,
Colonel First North Carolina Cavalry.
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
Numbers 10. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Z. S. Magruder,
Tenth Virginia Cavalry, of skirmish at White Oak Swamp Bridge August 5.
AUGUST 12, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit to your consideration the following report as to the operations of the enemy in front of our lines on Tuesday last, 5th instant:
At 1 a. m. I received a verbal message from Colonel Baker through his courier to the effect that the enemy had drawn in his pickets the evening before to Riddell's shop and that there were no pickets left between Riddell's shop and my reserve. He further stated the enemy was in large force, composed of artillery, cavalry, and infantry, from