lately appointed a lieutenant, having received his appointment while a prisoners of war, having last summer been captured while on picket. His recommendation was, I understand, made on his steady habits (being of mature age), and his being captured and suffering in a rebel prison. I am, however, led to believe that the lieutenant commanding was confounded by the sudden and unexpected appearance of a body of enemy preparing for attack, and did not, by manner or example, endeavor to inspirit the men to meet the attack, to which effort I believe the men would have responded with gallantry and determination. I am of the opinion this conduct of the lieutenant arose from the misfortune of his having no advantage of experience during the war, and not during his previous life having been accustomed to associations tending to prepare him for such circumstances. The report of the affair coming into camp was much exaggerated, also of an advance in force. I had the command under arms, being in command of post; sent 100 men to the scene of the affair, with orders to endeavor to attack the party, and also a reconnaissance to the immediate front of the post. The raiding party, after having made the attack, retreated in great haste, and, separating, it was impossible for the party to overtake them before dark. They returned to camp.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. B. SWEITZER,
Colonel Sixteenth New York Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.
Captain C. I. WICKERSHAM,
Asst. Adjt. General, First Separate Brigadier, Fairfax Court-House, Va.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST SEPARATE BRIGADE,
Fairfax Court-House, Va., March 10, 1865.
Respectfully forwarded to department headquarters.
I consider this very disgraceful-an officer, sergeant, and twenty men running away from thirty guerrillas without firing a shot, the lieutenant leading the running away. I respectfully recommend that Lieutenant Gault be sent home, out of the service. I want fighting officers to lead the men in action, same as I do myself.
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Olney K. Gault, Sixteenth New York Cavalry.
HDQRS. COMPANY A, SIXTEENTH NEW YORK CAVALRY,
Vienna, Va., March 8, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report, to wit:
That the patrol in my charge proceeded from Vienna to Flint Hill, taking the left of the stockade, through the fields, the road usually traveled by the patrol, passing an old chimney standing in an orchard, between that and the road. We then discovered a body of mounted men coming from the woods on our right; at first sight thought them to be Union troops, as they were most all dressed in blue. As soon as we discovered that they were making for us I commanded front into line, then seeing that they were too strong the men broke, and I ordered them to about face and run. After passing a ditch and striking into