War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0103 Chapter XXIV. SKIRMISHES NEAR CARMEL CHURCH, VA.

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with his company. He had just placed his men in position when his alluring detail was suddenly attacked by 9 or 10 men, supported by some 50 rebels. Captain Seymour suddenly charged, forcing the advance back upon the supports. I went to his assistance with a small force, leaving Majors Chapman and Davies to guard the cross-roads at the church. The rebels were whipped, pursued, and driven into the river. Lieutenant Kimball crossed, and soon returned, and reported that the rebel camp was in sight, and the rebels in column of platoons in the road, with skirmishers covering several hundred yards in front.

I ordered up the reserves, and with Major Davies and Captain Walters reconnoitered the enemy. He occupied a good position on the brow of a hill sloping gently toward the river, level in the rear, and fine position for a cavalry fight. I at once determined to attack him, leaving Captains Seymour, McIrwin, and Grinton to guard the ford. I directed Major Davies to deploy the carbineers of the Harris Light Cavalry as skirmishers on the right and left of the road, and Major Chapman to proceed up the road in column of platoons to charge. Major Davies advanced rapidly with his skirmishers, gaining ground to the right, for the purpose of flanking the enemy, drawing his skirmishers back and beyond his column in the road. Major Chapman, seeing that this column was about to return, charged most gallantly, routed, and pursued the enemy to within sight of Hanover Junction - nearly 5 miles - the camp destroyed, tents and stores burned, also seven car loads of grain. Suddenly and unexpectedly a large force of cavalry (afterward found to be Stuart's) came down on our right. Ordered up the reserves, and the enemy, although greatly outnumbering our tired and worn-out soldiers, was promptly met by Majors Davies and Chapman, and forced back in great confusion far beyond the fire of Captain Walters' carbineers.

Having accomplished all that could be done with safety I at once recrossed the river, and took up a strong position near the church. The enemy did not have the boldness to follow. At 12 m. we started for Fredericksburg, and reached our camp at 11 p. m. of the same day.

During the long march and the two skirmishes in the morning the whole command, officers and men, conducted themselves most nobly. I would particularly mention Major H. E. Davies, jr., who deserves great credit for the gallant and able manner in which he handled his skirmishers. He and his officers, Captain Walters and Lieutenant Plum, of Company L, Lieutenant Kimball, of Company F, were constantly in the action and exposed to the sharpest fire of the enemy. Major Chapman and his whole command promptly obeyed every order, and charged most gallantly. Braver and more eager men never met the enemy. Sergeants Harris and Gribben, of Company L; Sergeant McCutchen, of Company F; Regimental Color Sergt. Alfred Randolph won praise from all who saw the daring deeds done by each. Adjt. B. Gregory, who fearlessly and correctly carried orders on the field, and his untiring exertions during the expedition, won the highest praise.

I have the honor to report the capture of 21 horses by the Harris Light Cavalry; 3 by the Indiana cavalry, besides 6 saddles, and other arms, &c. The killed and wounded of the enemy is not known. I am happy to state that we lost not a man, although several horses were killed and wounded.

Respectfully submitted.

J. KILPATRICK.

General RUFUS KING,

Commanding Division.