dogs that attacked the cattle furiously and hurried them off. I did not wait for the second report from Captain Gregg. Had I done so my entire force would have been captured, for his camp was in the possession of the enemy by the time the orderly reached it on his return-not over fifteen minutes from the time I received word that the lines had been attacked, until my camp, with the cattle, were in possession of the enemy. Some of my men had not time to saddle their horses before they were prisoners. They enemy charged in wide and deep column upon the camp and herd, surrounding them on all sides. Outside of and independent of this line of attack, it held the telegraph road running to Fort Powhatan by the James River. The middle road running from the telegraph road to the stage road and the stage road leading back to the telegraph road. This line is ten miles around, and all of it inside the picket-lines. Outside of the picket-line in many places the enemy had protected its advance and retreat with breast-works, fence rails, fallen trees, abatis, &c. At 6 a. m. the enemy were in full retreat toward the Blackwater, but a considerable force still remained to check any attack upon the rear. This reserve force by 9 a. m. was all gone.
The enemy exhibited their usual barbarity by shooting down the unarmed herders, stabbing them after they lay helpless on the ground, stripping and robbing them. I find that 15 will cover the killed and missing herders. Of the cattle guard, Captain Henry H. Gregg was taken prisoner; Captain James M. Bell shot in the shoulder; Lieutenant McDonald hurt by the falling of his horse; Sergeant Kenyon shot through the neck for refusing to surrender to a flag of truce sent forward a little in advance, while the enemy were all the time moving up for a charge. Twenty-seven will cover the loss of the detachment of Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry,
The enemy were evidently conducted by one Robert Blane, born and bred near where the herd was. He belongs to the Price George County cavalry. He is an officer, and, with a number of the enemy, was at a house owned by his brother, near by, at 4 o'clock on the morning of the attack.
I have been constantly watching for any evidence of the enemy being in the vicinity of the herd, in small numbers, for spies, or any inter-course of the few remaining citizens with any one coming from outside of the lines, but have seen and learned nothing of that nature.
The cattle here were two miles inside of the picket-line across the country, and nearly four by a public road. The attack seems to have been made on the whole line and reserve picket-post at the same time, and unless led by some one very familiar with the topography of the country and the different roads could not have so suddenly and successfully been executed.
I had no personal knowledge of the strength of the picket-line, but was told by Major Baker, in command of the picket force, that it was safe for the herd and would continue to be so, in his judgment, as the First Maine Cavalry had been ordered to join him some time before and he was then expecting them daily. He told me the herd would be safer at the Harrison farms than where I was then grazing it-lower down on the James River. Of this I am now convinced, for had not the herd been removed the day before the attack not a man of my command and that of Captain Gregg could have escaped, for the old camp was completely surrounded, it being near the river with no outlet but an open one, from the telegaph road, and that held by the enemy, one mile nearer City Point than the camp.