Cavalry), I ordered to throw up barricades and prepare themselves to hold that position at all hazards. I went then back where the other two regiments were fighting, they having been directed by the general commanding to form there, and directed their retreat, having the First New York Dragoons on the left of my two regiments. In the second advance by the infantry I sent the Fourth New York Cavalry to protect the left flank of the infantry, which they did, and returned at about 10.30 p.m. Had I been informed a little sooner of the falling back of the First Brigade I would have withdrawn sooner my dismounted men, who were quite a mile in front of the town at the moment I gave the order of recall, and I would not have required more than half an hour before I could evacuate the town. I would have also had more time to select a nearer position to hold than I did.
The officers and men fought well, which the casualties in horses and men both will show. I did all I could to keep up the good name which the Second Brigade enjoys, and if the brigade did not do as much as the commanding general had a right to expect from it it is certainly not the want of good will but the lack of time to form sooner.
I have the honor to be, with respect, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
Captain A. E. DANA,
No. 144. Reports of Brevet Brigadier General Thomas C. Devin, Sixth New York Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations July 4-October 21.*
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,
September 1, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this brigade from July 4, 1864, to September 1, 1864:
July 4, marched to and encamped at junction of telegraph and Light-House Point roads. July 16, marched to Jerusalem plank road, on the left of the army, and relieved the Second Cavalry Division and Bryan's Provisional Brigade, then picketing that flank. July 19, the pickets of the brigade were attacked and driven in by the enemy's infantry, who were immediately repulsed and the line re-established. July 20, were relieved by Chapman's brigade, of Third Cavalry Division, and returned to camp on telegraph road. July 26, marched to Appomattox River, crossed on pontoons, thence to James River, crossing by pontoons to Jones' Neck, from which point the brigade marched to Deep Bottom, arriving on the morning of July 27. The same day marched to New Market road, where the brigade encamped.
July 28 the brigade was ordered to support the Reserve Brigade, which has been heavily attacked, and the left of which forced back by Wilcox's division of rebel infantry. I immediately ordered the Sixth and Ninth New York and Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry to prepare to fight on foot (the Fourth New York had been previously sent on a reconnaissance in the Charles City road.) While this order was in process of execution the enemy's line of battle appeared on the crest
* See foot-note reference to Devin's report of operations from July 4 to July 31, 1864, bottom of p.2, Part I, Vol. XL.