War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0709 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

an intelligent scout to watch for my coming or a patrol to meet me, to acquaint me with his destination. He had reason to expect me, and had been directed to look out for me. He heard my guns at Hanover, and correctly conjectured whose they were, but left me no clew to his destination on leaving York, which would have saved me a long and tedious march to Carlisle and thence back to Gettysburg. I was informed by citizens that he was going to Shippensburg. I still believed that most of our army was before Harrisburg, and justly regarded a march to Carlisle as the most likely to place me in communication with the main army. Besides, as a place for rationing my command, now entirely out, I believed it desirable. The cavalry suffered much in this march, day and night, from loss of sleep, and the horses from fatigue, and, while in Fairfax, for want of forage, not even grass being attainable. In Fauquier, the rough character of the roads and lack of facilities for shoeing, added to the casualties of every day's battle and constant wear and tear of man and horse, reduced the command very much in numbers. In this way some regiments were reduced to less than 100 men; yet, when my command arrived at Gettysburg, from the accessions which it received from the weak horses left to follow the command, it took its place in line of battle with a stoutness of heart and firmness of tread impressing one with the confidence of victory which was astounding, considering the hardness of the march lately endured. With an aggregate loss of about 2, 200 killed, wounded, and missing, including the battle of Fleetwood, June 9, we inflicted a loss on the enemy's cavalry confessedly near 5, 000. Some of the reports of subordinate commanders are herewith forwarded; others will follow; and it is hoped they will do justice to that individual prowess for which Confederate soldiery is most noted, and which the limits of personal observation and this report deprive me of the power of doing. Appended will be found a statement of casualties and a map; also a list of non-commissioned officers and privates whose conduct as bearers of dispatches and otherwise entitle them to favorable mention. The bravery, heroism, fortitude, and devotion of my command are commended to the special attention of the commanding general, and are worthy the gratitude of their countrymen. I desire to mention among the brigadier-generals one whose enlarged comprehension of the functions of cavalry, whose diligent attention to the preservation of its efficiency, and intelligent appreciation and faithful performance of the duties confided to him, point to as one of the first cavalry leaders on the continent, and richly entitle him to promotion. I allude to Brigadier General Fitz. Lee. I cannot here particularize the conduct of the many officers who deserve special mention of less rank than brigadier-general without extending my remarks more than would be proper. To my staff collectively, however, I feel at liberty to express thus officially my grateful appreciation of the zeal, fidelity, and ability with which they discharged their several duties, and laborated to promote the success of the command. Major Heros von Borcke, assistant adjutant and inspector general [that gallant officer from Prussia, who so early espoused our cause], was disabled in Fauquier, so as to deprive me of his valuable services on the expedition, but it is hoped that the command will not long be deprived of his inspiring presence on the field.