fact, but one squadron], with the Eleventh Pennsylvania and First District of Columbia Cavalry, was in the act of forming in a field about a mile in rear when orders were received to charge immediately to meet a supposed attack of the enemy upon our left flank. This charge, from the nature of the ground and obstacles [fences and wood], as well as from the hurry which was insisted upon, was almost necessarily one "as foragers." No enemy was met and the regiment was reformed at the Forks. This position was held in part by the First Maryland Cavalry against the infantry skirmishers of the enemy, with some loss, until relieved in the evening by the First Brigade. There is reason to believe that the main body of Lee's army was then in or near Amelia Court-House, only a mile and a half distant: that they were considerably flurried by this demonstration upon our part, and that they, in consequence, destroyed a large quantity of their ordnance.
The Second Brigade spent the night of the 4th in bivouac at the junction of the Dennisville road with the road from Deep Creek to Amelia Court-House and with the road from Avery's Church to Jetersville, and by the latter, on the afternoon of the 5th, it was moved to demonstrate upon the Richmond and Danville Railroad. The road was struck at a point about three mules west of Amelia Court-House, where it passed near the top of a hill, having upon this side a slope, nearly clear, with a running stream, crossed by two bridges, at the foot, and on the farther and upper side a rather dense growth of oak and chestnut timber. Only a small squad of the enemy was first observed, who disappeared into the wood, and a few men running a hand-car upon the railroad. The First Maryland Cavalry was in our advance, and a line of skirmishers, dismounted, from the squadron of Captain Hiteshew, under the superintendence of Lieutenant-Colonel Counselman, went up to and occupied a point on the road without opposition. Captain Hancock's squadron, farther to the left and mounted, was subsequently moved to their support. Without adverting to the movements of other regiments of the brigade, it will be sufficient to observe that the enemy suddenly advanced from the wood across the road against Lieutenant-Colonel Counselman's line with a large body of infantry [at least, a brigade] in mass, with a strong skirmish line in front. I had myself been charged with the superintendence of the whole affair upon our part, but was in effect relieved by the brigadier-general commanding, who gave orders direct to the regimental commanders, in two instances, at least, countermanding my own. This is not now mentioned by way of complaint, but as explanatory of my share in the day's work. The two squadrons of the First Maryland Cavalry were unsupported, and the force of the enemy [believed to have been Pickett's division] was far superior to our whole brigade. Finding my skirmish line retiring before them, and hearing that First Sergeant Castle and one or two other men of Captain Hiteshew's squadron had been left near the railroad unsupported, I directed that officer to dismount and send forward a platoon of their relief, which was done. Early in this affair Lieutenant Campbell, with a platoon of Company E, dismounted, had been posted to hold a bridge over the stream, then supposed to be the only one. He was subsequently moved over to the support of the skirmish line by Lieutenant-Colonel Counselman, who speaks in high terms of his spirited conduct and that of his men, particularly of First Sergeant Brandt, who was captured. This was before anything more than the skirmish line of the enemy could be observed. As this platoon itself became hotly engaged immediately, I directed Captain Hancock's whole squadron to be dismounted and sent up to their support, which order was, however,