to make a mounted charge against their lines, which was most gallantly done, the men leaving many of their horses dead almost up to the enemy's works.
On the arrival of the head of the Sixth Corps the enemy commenced withdrawing. Major-General Wright was ordered to put Seymour's division into position at once, and advance and carry the road, which was done at a point about two miles or two miles and a half from Deatonsville. As soon as the road was in our possession Wright was directed to push General Seymour on, the enemy falling back, skirmishing briskly. Their resistance growing stubborn a halt was called to get up Wheaton's division, of the Sixth Corps, which went into position on the left of the road, Seymour being on the right. Wheaton was ordered to guide right, wiht his right connecting with Seymour's left and resting on the road. I still felt the great importance of pushing the enemy, and was unwilling to wait for Getty's division, of the Sixth Corps, to get up. I therefore ordered an advance, sending word to General Humphreys, who was on the road to our right, requesting him to push on, as I felt confident we could break up the enemy. It was apparent, from the absence of artillery fire and the manner in which they gave way when pressed, that the force of the enemy opposed to us was a heavy rear guard. The enemy was driven until our lines reached Sailor's Creek, and from the north bank I could see our cavalry on the high ground above the creek and south of it, and the long line of smoke from the burning wagons. A cavalryman, who in a charge cleared the enemy's works and came through their lines, reported to me what was in front. I regret that I have forgotten the name of this gallant young soldier.
As soon as General Wright could get his artillery into position I ordered the attack to be made on the left, and sent Colonel Stagg's brigade of cavalry to strike and flank the extreme right of the enemy's line. The attack by the infantry was not executed exactly as I had directed, and a portion of our line in the open ground was broken by the terrible fire of the enemy, who were in position on commanding ground south of the creek. This attack by Wheaton's and Seymour's divisions was splendid, but no more than I h ad reason to expect from the gallant Sixth Corps. The cavalry in rear of the enemy attacked simultaneously, and the enemy, after a gallant resistance, were completely surrounded and nearly all threw down their arms and surrendered. General Ewell, commanding the enemy's forces, and a number of other general officers fell into our hands, and a very large number of prisoners. I have never ascertained exactly how many prisoners were taken in this battle. Most of then fell into the hands of the cavalry, but they are no more entitled to claim them than the Sixth Corps, to which command equal credit is due for the good results of this engagement.
Both the cavalry and the Sixth Corps encamped south of Sailor's Creek that night, having followed up the small remnant of the enemy's forces for several miles.
In reference to the participation of the Sixth Corps in this action, desire to add that the lieutenant-general had notified me that corps would report to me. Major McClellan and Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin, of General Wright's staff, had successively been sent forward to report the progress of the corps in coming up; and on the arrival of Major-General Wright he reported his corps to me, and from that time until after the battle received my orders and obeyed them; but after the engagement was over, and General Meade had communicated with General Wright, the latter declined to make his report to me until directed to do so by the lieutenant-general.