War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0779 Chapter XXXVII. THE CHANCELLORSVILLE CAMPAIGN.

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open field, and sabers were drawn. The enemy were challenged, and found to be the Second Virginia Cavalry, of Lee's brigade. Lieutenant-Colonel McVicar immediately ordered his men to break by fours, and the charge to be sounded, and, placing himself at the head of this column, charged down the narrow road through the woods, driving and scattering the enemy in every direction, and taking many prisoners. On reaching the forks of the road, the column received a heavy volley from a force drawn up on the left front, instantly killing Lieutenant-Colonel McVicar and several men. Captains Aitkens and Heermance had previously been wounded, and Lieutenants Goler and O'Neil dismounted. The advance guard, under Lieutenant Bell, formed into line on the right-hand road, allowing the column to reform, when they again charged, and, reaching the ford over Lousia Run, formed into line on the opposite side.

Captain Beardsley, who was left in the rear with a platoon, secured 12 prisoners and the colonel's body and the wounded officers. Assuming command, he sent orders to the regiment to return to the school-house, but before the messenger reached them he was himself attacked and driven off, leaving his prisoners and wounded officers, but succeeded in joining the regiment by a circuitous route.

Lieutenant O'Neil, who succeeded in remounting himself, collected some 60 men and brought them in safety through the enemy's lines.

After the command had all arrived at Louisa Run, it was withdraw to the line of infantry pickets on the Plank road, where it remained until ordered to join the brigade. The prisoners captured, but who afterward escaped during the second attack, were from the Second, Third, Fifth, and Ninth Virginia Cavalry, showing that the regiment was evidently surrounded by a brigade. It was reported by the prisoners that the regiments had just been brought together that evening.


The operations of this regiment up to May 1 having been conducted under my direction, I can speak from personal knowledge of the facts. Immediately on ascertaining the proposed route of General Meade, i sent captain Wilson across the river with a squadron, to examine the ford across Mountain Run. Ascertaining that the ford was practicable, I immediately crossed with the regiment, and, sending Major Keenan in advance, reached without opposition the intersection of the River road with that of Culpeper. At this point I halted, and sent a part to the right to communicate with General Slocum's column; also a squadron to Barnett's Ford, on my left and rear, to ascertain whether the enemy were still at the point. Having established communication with the column on our right, moved on to Richardsville, at the intersection of the country road to Ely's Ford.

At this point I dispatched Major Keenan, with two squadrons, to Richards' Ford, on my left, with instruction to drive the enemy, if possible, from that point, and establish communication with our pickets opposite, and then to join me at Ely's Ford by a by-road along the Rapidan, by which means I trusted to secure my force on this side. I also dispatched Major Huey, with two squadrons, to Ely's Ford (in my front), with instructions to carefully approach the open ground in the neighborhood of the ford, in order that we might make disposition to secure any force on this side. I then awaited the approach of General Meade, explained my dispositions, which he approved of, and desired me to go on to Ely's Ford, and inform him of the state of affairs there. On reaching Ely's Ford, I found a picket of 10 men on the opposite