War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0964 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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in advance of the junction and in position elsewhere to meet any emergency.

On the 7th instant there was some delay, owing to a portion of Ripley's troops not being supplied with rations. The advance was, however, commenced by a brigade being thrown forward and occupying the vicinity of the creek between the parsonage and Willis' Church, vedettes and skirmishers occupying the parsonage and overlooking the battle ground of July 1. The other brigade of Ripley and the whole command were ordered to march in easy supporting distance. A brigade also occupied Gatewood's, to guard against any movement from the left.

I then wrote to General Longstreet, and, informing him of my movements, suggested that General Jones' command or a brigade be advanced from that side, taking its artillery. I did this because the road at the crossing of the creek beyond Willis' Church had been blockaded by the enemy, making it impassable for artillery.

Shortly afterward it was reported that the enemy had abandoned Malvern Hill and our cavalry occupied it. General Longstreet coming up, I rode forward with him to the heights, and the brigades of Generals Rodes, Toombs, and Jones coming forward, occupied them at Crew's house and to the right and left.

During the 6th and 7th between 30 and 40 stragglers were brought in from the enemy. All that were questioned spoke of a very large force of infantry occupying Malvern Heights and the adjacent country, and of from three to six regiments of cavalry. More confidence was given to the reports of prisoners than would otherwise have been done, because it was believed they had purposely thrown themselves in the way of our pickets, wishing to be captured. Many stated that General Heintzelman was in command on Malvern Hill, &c. I saw nothing to indicate an intention of the enemy to occupy Malvern Hill permanently, or if such was their purpose they had neglected the usual precaution of fortifications.

I returned to my old camps on yesterday. I saw several men on the way prostrated with sun-stroke, and have understood that some of the cases proved fatal. The march would have been made during the night previous, but my commissary had estimated for subsistence stores, and they had been sent down to Fisher's and unloaded in the field during his absence, the wagons in which they came returning at once to town.

Very respectfully,

L. McLAWS,

Major-General.

Colonel R. H. CHILTON, Adjutant-General to General Le.

AUGUST 14-19, 1862.-Operations of the Union Cavalry in covering the movement of the Army of the Potomac from Harrison's Landing to Williamsburg.

Report of Brigadier General Alfred Pleasonton, U. S. Army, commanding Second Cavalry Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE OF CAVALRY, Yorktown, August 20, 1862.

GENERAL: Having finished the march from Haxall's to this place, I have the honor to submit the following report of the service performed