War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0642 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

My object was to reach the point before daylight, but the difficulties I encountered in passing our picket line in addition to the heavy roads, prevented me from accomplishing my purpose until broad daylight. The country being very open, I had but little choice in selecting a favorable position. I placed about half of my cavalry and a portion of the infantry in the rear of the church and at the head of a lane leading to Dr. Ewells house, which place it was supposed the said party would pass. The balance of my force I stationed on the left of the above-mentioned lane and facing toward the house. But a short time had elapsed after I had made this disposition of my forces until I was informed by one of my men, whom I had placed in a tree, that there was a body of mounted men rapidly approaching. I permitted them to advance within pistol-shot, when we commenced to exchange firing, but almost immediately they fell back at full speed, and, in consequence of the rolling ground on our front, they were for a short time hidden from our view. To make a successful charge under the circumstances was impossible, although we pursued the enemy for about a mile, until they found refuge in the mountains beyond. Nothing was then left me but to return. I regret to state that the efficiency of the cavalry did not in all respects answer my expectations. I was also much mortified to find that nearly one-half of the guns of the infantry were useless in consequence of defective ammunition, or for the reason that they had been damp before having been loaded, caused, no doubt, by the shower we had during the evening. Casualties: 1 sergeant killed, Seventeenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HARVEY BROWN,

Captain Fourteenth U. S. Infantry, Commanding.

Captain S. VAN RENSSELAER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Indorsements.]

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE,

June 22, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded. Although the result of this expedition did not meet my expectations, still, with my present knowledge of facts, I think the commander did what in his judgment he deemed best under the circumstances.

R. B. AYRES,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, FIFTH CORPS, Camp near Aldie, Va.,

June 23, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded. Captain Brown should have had the foresight to see that his infantry were efficient and their arms in firing condition before leaving camp, especially as the rain of the evening might have led him to expect the result he experienced.

GEO. SYKES,

Major-General, Commanding Division.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH CORPS,

June 23, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded for the information of the commanding general. This expedition was sent out by my order on information