War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0961 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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No. 345. Reports of Colonel Alfred N. Duffie, First Rhode Island Cavalry, commanding Second Division and regiment.


June 12, 1863.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with yours of this date, I have the honor the report that on the 8th instant I received orders, from the general commanding the Second and Third Cavalry Divisions to move with my (Second) cavalry division in the afternoon of the same day to Morrisville, proceeding by the Elk Run road. This place was reached by my command at 7 o'clock in the evening, where I encamped. At 12. 15 a. m. I received a verbal order from a staff officer from headquarters of the Second and Third Cavalry Division, to move my command to Kelly's Ford, and to report in person to the general commanding. After my communication with the general, my orders were to cross the fore at once, leaving my wagon train and pack mules at Mount Holly Church. After the crossing of the ford by my whole command, I established my line of battle on the Stevensburg road, near the ford, the First Rhode Island and Sixth Ohio Cavalry on the right, the First Massachusetts on the left a section of my battery in the center, the Third Pennsylvania Cavalry forming the reserve and supporting the balance of the artillery, taking care to protect well my flanks. I moved in this order on the road leading to Stevensburg and crossing Mountain Run. At this place I sent one battalion of the Sixth Ohio to proceed immediately and as rapidly as possible to Stevensburg. This battalion entered the place without meeting the enemy. At 8. 30. I was informed by a dispatch from Major Stanhope, commanding the battalion, that he was in Stevensburg, and that the enemy was in sight, skirmishing toward the town. I sent orders to him to hold the place at all hazards, and, in case of his being pushed too hard, to retreat slowly. A few minutes afterward a dispatch from him informed me that he could not hold the place, as the enemy were approaching in force. One and a half miles from Stevensburg I met the battalion retreating, its skirmishers closely engaged with the enemy. I immediately threw forward the skirmishers of the Firs Massachusetts, First Rhode Island, and Sixth Ohio Cavalry, who immediately became engaged with the enemy, who were strongly posted and partly concealed in the woods. Pushing steadily forward, the enemy were quickly dislodged from the dense woods into open field, where the First Rhode Island Cavalry was ordered to charge on the right, the First Massachusetts on the left, and one squadron of the Sixth Ohio Cavalry on the road, in order to cut off the retreat of the enemy on his flank and check him in his front. By this movement I succeed in cutting into two parts the Fourth Virginia Cavalry, commanded by Colonel[Williams C,]Wickham, who escaped with half of his command through the woods on my right. In this charge I captured 1 officer and 57 men. My command was then reformed, and I moved forward and took position on an elevation at one end of the town, which commanded the road to Culpeper, and also that leading to Brandy Station, on which, about half a mile from Stevensburg, the enemy reformed his line of battle. I succeeded, by the admirable manner in which Lieu-