War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0836 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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Numbers 341. Report of Major Samuel Wetherill, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations September 16-17.


Green's House, September 18, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit report of the transactions of this brigade on the 16th and 17th instant:

A large force of the enemy, said to be Lee's, Rosser's, and Butler's divisions, commanded by General Wade Hampton, and six pieces of artillery, attacked the left of the line picketed by this brigade at 5 o'clock on the morning of the 16th instant. The detachment of the First District of Columbia Cavalry, stationed at Cocke's Mill, the regiment at Sycamore Church, under command of Major J. S. Baker, as well as squadron of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, at Hite's house, under Captain McFarlan, were attacked at the same time. The First District of Columbia Cavalry fought until most of the officers and men were surrounded and captured, inflicting, it is said, much damage to the enemy, as their advance was repulsed three times, and were finally overpowered by numbers. I regret that the field officers and nearly all the company officers were captured, so that I am unable to give a detailed report of Major Baker's defense of his exposed post, and can only say that it was stubborn, as the rebel dead and wounded were reported to have filled their ambulances. The squadron of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, Captain McFarlan, stationed at Hite's House, were alarmed by the vigorous attack on the First District Cavalry, but instantly discovered that the enemy presented in their own front an extended line, which they advanced at a charge on both the Lawyer and stage roads which unite at the reserve. The mounted men on the stage road and the dismounted men in the woods were driven in, the line of vedettes outflanked, and threatening to envelop the reserve. Captain McFarlan, after some resistance, fell back in good order, losing a few men and horses of the advanced posts, captured on the stage road toward Sycamore Church. He continued to skirmish, falling back as slowly as possible, but their advance pressed with vigor until they had driven him in sight of the Prince George Court-House. Here they met the Third New York Cavalry, before whom the enemy fell back to Rollins' house, developing artillery. On hearing the charge upon Sycamore and Hite's, I immediately notified division headquarters and proceeded to Mount Sinai Church. On my way I heard the enemy charging in my rear along the stage road. On reaching Mount Sinai Church Major F. A. Stratton, commanding Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, dispatched a detachment under Captain Titus, Company M, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, to re-enforce the left; but hearing the cheering, Major Stratton directed him to hold the left center, near Cahoon's house, which he did, until I was ordered to concentrate my force at the cross-roads. In the meantime I endeavored to get an orderly through to Major Baker, but the enemy held the stage road at Rollins' house in force, and my orderly was driven back a distance through the neighborhood road.

The firing along several miles of the line and the appearance of pickets on the Powhatan road in front of Mount Sinai Church, indicated a serious attack. The pickets on the neighborhood road were called in to the City Point, and ordered to report to Captain Titus. About this time I received a message from Lieutenant-Colonel Jacobs, Third