War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0745 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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been thus minute in my report, that the major-general commanding, to whom I request that this be forwarded, may have the facts before him on which to base any inquiry he may see fit to institute.

Your obedient servant,

WILLIAMS C. WICKHAM,

Colonel Fourth Virginia Cavalry.

Captain J. D. FERGUSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Lee's Cavalry Brigade.

JUNE 20, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I submit the following report of the part taken by the troops under my command in the engagement near Aldie, on the 17th instant: I was ordered to take my own regiment, the First, and Fifth, and Breathed's battery, through Middleburg to Aldie, and go into camp there, where I would find the rest of the brigade. On reaching Dover Mills I ordered Colonel Rosser to go on to Aldie and select a camp, and, while the other regiments were watering, received a dispatch from him to the effect that a regiment of the enemy's cavalry was in his front, between him and Aldie, and that he was about to attack them. I at once placed the Fourth Regiment in a position to cover my left flank, on the road from the Snickersville pike, and, with the First Regiment and two of Breathed's guns, went forward to the support of Colonel Rosser, who I found had driven the enemy back, but had been in turn compelled to give way a little before a very large force. A few well-directed shots from Breathed's guns checked the advance of the enemy upon this road, but not in time to save the gallant sharpshooters of the Fifth, who had unfortunately been pushed rather too far forward on ground where it was impossible for cavalry to aid them. The enemy, finding themselves foiled in their attempt on this line, turned their attention to our left, where Colonel Munford, commanding the brigade, met them with the Second and Third Regiments, re-enforced by the Fourth, and later by the Fifth. For the rest of the evening, I held my position with the First and Breathed's guns, driving back their skirmishers whenever they attempted to advance. Captain [C. T.] Litchfield's sharpshooters were, as they always are, most efficient. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Captain Breathed and his brave men, who handled their guns with the utmost coolness while their comrades were falling, dead, under the point-blank range of the enemy's carbines. This position I held until ordered to retire, bringing off all my killed and wounded. For the part borne by my own regiment, under the command of Captain Newton, who always acts well his part, I refer to his report. Suffice it to say, that its conduct gave me entire satisfaction. Its loss was 1 killed, 7 wounded, and 9 missing.

Your obedient servant,

WILLIAMS C. WICKHAM,

Colonel Fourth Virginia Cavalry.

Captain J. D. FERGUSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Lee's Brigade.