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STUART'S CAVALRY RAID ON THE PENINSULA.

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not tarry long, but left-my column fol- who brings on the field the last cavalry lowing slowly down, expecting every reserve wins the day. The next squadmoment to hurl him upon Lee ; but, ow- ron, therefore, moved to the front under ing to a bad marsh, Colonel Lee did not the lamented Captain Latane, making a reach the intersection of roads in time, most brilliant and successful charge, with and the cavalry (the regular 6th) passed drawn sabres, upon the picket guard, on in the direction of Mechanicsville. and after a hotly-contested hand-to-hand This course deviating too much from our conflict, put him to flight; but not till direction, after the capture of a sergeant the gallant captain had sealed his devothey were allowed to proceed on their tion to his native soil with his blood. way. Our march led thence by Talia- The enemy's rout (two squadrons by one ferro's mill and Edon church to Haw's of ours), was complete ; they dispersed shop; here we encountered the first in terror and confusion, leaving many pickets, surprised and caught several dead on the field, and blood in quantities videttes, and pushed boldly forward, in their tracks. Their commander, Capkeeping advanced guard well to the front. tain Royall, was reported mortally The regiment in front was the 9th Vir- wounded. Several officers, and a numginia cavalry, Colonel W. H. F. Lee, ber of privates, were taken in this conwhose advance guard, intrusted to the flict, and a number of horses, arms, and command of Adjutant Lieutenant Rodins, equipment, together with five guidons. did admirable service-Lieutenant Ro- The woods and fields were full of the dins handling it in the most skillful man- scattered and disorganized foe, straggling ner, managing to clear the way for the to and fro, and but for the delay, and the march with little delay, and infusing, by great incumbrance which they would a sudden dash at a picket, such a whole- have been to our march, many more some terror, that it never paused to take could and would have been captured. a second look. Between Haws' shop Colonel Fitz. Lee, burning with impaand Old Church the advanced guard re- tience to cross sabres with his old regiported the enemy's cavalry in force in ment, galloped to the front, and begged front. It proved to be the 5th regular to be allowed to participate with his regicavalry (formerly the 2d, commanded by ment, the 1st Virginia cavalry, in the yourself). The leading squadron was discomfiture of his old comrades—a reordered forward at a brisk gait

, the main quest. I readily granted—and his leading body following closely, and gave chase squadron pushed gallantly down the road to the enemy for a mile or two, but did to Old Church ; but the fragments of not come up to him. We crossed the Royall's command could not be rallied Tolopotomy, a strong position of defence again, and Colonel Lee's leading squadwhich the enemy failed to hold, confess- ron charged, without resistance, into the ing a weakness. In such places half a enemy's camp (five companies), and took squadron was deployed afoot as skir- possession of a number of horses, a quanmishers till the point of danger was tity of arms and stores of every kind, passed. On, on dashed Rodins, here and several officers and privates. The skirting a field, there leaping a fence or stores, as well as the tents, in which ditch, and cleaning the woods beyond, everything had been left, were speedily when, not far from Old Church, the ene- burned, and the march resumedmy made a stand, having been rein- whither ? forced. The only mode of attack being “Here was the turning point in the in column of fours along the road, I still expedition. Two routes were before me: preferred to oppose the enemy with one the one to return by Hanover Court squadron at a time, remembering that he House, the other to pass around through

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New Kent, taking the chances of having head steadily toward Tunstall's Station. to swim the Chickahominy, and make a There was something sublime in the imbold effort to cut the enemy's lines of plicit confidence and unquestioning trust. communication. The Chickahominy was of the rank and file in a leader guiding believed by my guides to be fordable them straight, apparently, into the very near Forge Bridge. I was fourteen miles jaws of the enemy; every step appearfrom Hanover Court House, which I ing to them to diminish the faintest hope would have to pass if I returned ; the of extrication. Reports of the enemy's enemy had a much shorter distance to strength at Garlick's and Tunstall's were pass to intercept me there ; besides, the conflicting, but generally indicated a South Anna river was impassable, which small number. Prisoners were captured still further narrowed the chances of es- at every step, and included officers, solcape in that direction ; the enemy, too, diers, and negroes. The rear now bewould naturally expect me to take that came of as much interest and importance route. These circumstances led me to as the front, but the duties of rear guard look with more favor to my favorite devolving upon the Jeff

. Davis Legion, scheme, disclosed to you before starting, with the howitzer attached, its conduct of passing around. It was only nine was intrusted to its commander, Lieutenmiles to Tunstall's Station, on the York ant-Colonel Martin, in whose judgment river railroad, and that point once and skill I had entire confidence. He passed, I felt little apprehension ; be- was not attacked, but at one time the enyond, the route was one, of all others, emy appeared in his rear, bearing a flag which I felt sure the enemy would never of truce, and the party, twenty-five in expect me to take. On that side of the number, bearing it, actually surrendered Chickahominy infantry could not reach to his rear guard, so great was the conme before crossing, and I felt able to sternation produced by our march. An whip any cavalry force that could be assistant-surgeon was also taken ; he was brought against me. Once on the Charles en route, and not in charge of the sick. City side, I knew you would, when Upon arriving opposite Garlick’s I oraware of my position, if necessary, order dered a squadron from the 9th Virginia a diversion in my favor on the Charles cavalry to destroy whatever could be City road, to prevent a move to inter- found at the landing on the Pamunkey. cept me from the direction of White Oak Two transports, loaded with stores, and Swamp. Beside this, the hope of strik- a large number of wagon, were here ing a serious blow at a boastful and inso- burnt, and the squadron rejoined the lent foe, which would make him tremble column with a number of prisoners, in his shoes, made more agreeable the horses, and mules. A squadron of the alternative I chose. In a brief and frank 1st Virginia cavalry (Hammond's) asinterview with some of my officers, I dis- sisted in this destruction. A few picked closed my views, but while none accord- men, including my aids, Burke, Farley, ed a full assent, all assured me a hearty and Mosley, were pushed forward rapidsupport in whatever I did. With an ly to Tunstall's, to cut the wires and seabiding trust in God, and with such cure the depot. Five companies of cavguarantees of success, as the two Lees alry, escorting large wagon trains, were and Martin, and their devoted followers, in sight, and seemed at first disposed to this enterprise I regarded as most prom- dispute our progress, but the sight of our ising. Taking care, therefore, more par- column, led by Lee, of the 9th, boldly ticularly after this resolve, to inquire of advancing to the combat was enough. the citizens the distance and the route to Content with a distant view, they fled, Hanover Coirt House, 1 kept my horse's leaving their train in our hands. The

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party that reached the railroad at Tun- gress in crossing was very slow at the stall's surprised the guard at the depot, point chosen, just above Forge Bridge, fifteen or twenty infantry, captured them and learning that, at the bridge proper, without their firing a gun, and set about enough of the debris of the old bridge reobstructing the railroad, but before it mained to facilitate the construction of could be thoroughly done, and just as another-materials for which were afterthe head of our column reached it, a ward afforded by a large warehouse adtrain of cars came thundering down from jacent-I moved to that point at once. the “grand army.” It had troops on Lieutenant Redmond Burke, who, in board, and we prepared to attack it. The every sphere has rendered most valuable train swept off the obstructions without service, and deserves the highest conbeing thrown from the track, but our fire, sideration at the hands of the governdelivered at only a few rods' distance, ment, set to work with a party to coneither killed, or caused to feign death, strucť a bridge. A foot-bridge was soon every one board, the engineer improvised, and the horses were crossed being one of the first victims, from the over as rapidly as possible by swimming. unerring fire of Captain Farley. It is fair Burke's work proceeded like magic; in to presume that a serious collision took three hours it was ready to bear artilplace on its arrival at the White House, lery and cavalry, and as half of the latfor it made extraordinary speed in that ter had not yet crossed, the bridge endirection.

bled the whole to reach the other bank “The railroad bridge over Black creek by one o'clock, P. M. Another branch was fired under the direction of Lieuten- of the Chickahominy, still further on, ant Burke, and it being now dark, the was with difficulty forded, and the march burning of the immense wagon train, and was continued without interruption tothe extricating of the teams, involved wards Richmond. Having passed the much labor and delay, and illuminated point of danger, I left the column with the country for miles. The roads at this Colonel Lee, of the 1st, and rode on to point were far worse than ours, and the report to you, reaching your headquarartillery had much difficulty in passing. ters at daylight next morning. ReturnOur march was finally continued by ing to my command soon after, the prisbright moonlight to Talleysville, where oners, one hundred and sixty-five in we halted three and a half hours for the number, were transferred to the proper column to close up. At this point we authority; two hundred and sixty mules passed a large hospital, of one hundred and horses captured, with more or less and listy patients. I deemed it proper harness, were transferred to the quarternot to molest the surgeons and attendants master departments of the different regiin charge. At twelve o'clock at night ments, and the commands were sent to the march was continued, without inci- their respective cmps. The number of dent, under the most favorable auspices, captured arms has not been, as yet, acto Forge Bridge (eight miles), over the curately ascertained. A pole was broken, Chickahominy, where we arrived just at which obliged us to abandon a limber daylight. Lee, of the 9th, by personal this side of the Chickahominy. The sucexperiment, having found the stream not cess attending this expedition will, no fordable, axes were sent for, and every doubt, cause ten thousand or fifteen means taken to overcome the difficulties thousand men to be detached from the by improvised bridges and swimming. I enemy's main body to guard his commuimmediately dispatched to you informa- nications, besides accomplishing the detion of my situation, and asked for the struction of millions of dollars' worth of diversion already referred to. The pro- property, and the interruption, for a

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time, of his railroad communications. mail boat which had just arrived from The three commanders, the two Lees and Fortress Monroe. Had the enemy been Martin, exhibited the characteristics of in force, and made an attempt upon the skillful commanders, keeping their com- place, they would either have captured mands well in hand, and managing them an immense amount of valuable stores, or with skill and good judgment, which compelled their destruction. As it was, proved them worthy of a higher trust. the damage which was inflicted along bis Their brave men behaved with coolness course was comparatively slight, and the and intrepidity in danger, unswerving expedition, though sufficiently annoying, resolution before difficulties, and stood was in one way profitable to the Union unappalled before the rushing torrents armies. It sounded a note of warning of the Chickahominy, with the proba- which was not neglected, and when the bility of an enemy at their heels, armed right of the army was seriously threatwith the fury of a tigress robbed of her ened a fortnight later by the advance of whelps. The perfect order and system- Jackson, the enemy found, on the railatic disposition for crossing, maintained way and at White House, the movement throughout the passage, insured its suc- everywhere anticipated by General Mccess, and rendered it the crowning fea- Clellan. ture of a successful expedition. I hope, It was more than ever evident after General, that your sense of delicacy, so this raid that something was necessary manifeston former occasions, will not to be done in the army of the Potomac prompt you to award to the two Lees, to secure the object of its visit to the (your son and nephew), less than their Peninsula, the capture of Richmond, or, full measure of praise. Embalmed in the at least, extricate it from the difficulhearts and affections of their regiments, ties which had beset its progress from tried on many occasions requiring cool the moment of its first landing-embarness, decision and bravery, everywhere rassments and hardships which were bepresent to animate, direct and control, ginning to tell fearsully upon its condition. they held their regiments in their grasp; The army was, indeed, being reinforced and proved themselves brilliant cavalry by McCall's division ; but a few thouleaders."

sand new troops arriving, to be, in turn, There was a great stir, as might be exposed to the same injurious influences, expected, at White House, in anticipa- could not be expected to counteract the tion of an attack, when Stuart's cavalry steadily working force of malaria and crossed the Pamunkey a few miles above, over-exertion, which were rapidly deciat Garlick's Landing, where the two mating the army. Moreover, the enemy schooners were destroyed, and when the was gaining in strength. "Stonewall" flying train, which had been assailed at Jackson, who by his rapidity of action, Tunstall's, arrived with its news of death the energy of his character, and the conand disaster. A raid of this description sequent devotion of his troops, had taught was then something of a novelty, and a his foes to watch his movements with ingeneral attack was feared. There were terest, if not with anxiety, having acfew troops at the place ; but they were complished his work on the Potomac, immediately put under arms, with the and eluded the skillfully laid plan of civilians, by Colonel Ingalles, in charge President Lincoln for his capture, was of the post, while the assailable fleet of now at leisure, after contending with steamboats, schooners, transports, and Fremont at Cross Keys, and defeating trading vessels in the river made prepa- Shields in the Luray valley, to operate rations to leave. The government papers on the right of the army of the Potomac. and property were placed on board the The country, seeing the perils to which

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AFFAIR AT OAK GROVE.

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that army was exposed by delay, and vance before Fair Oaks, was ordered to trusting in its capacity and valor, was push forward his pickets, and drive the impatient for action, and the feeling was enemy from the woods in his front, thus undoubtedly shared by the brave, well- relieving his men from an unwholesome trained soldiers in the camps. Bridges position in the swampy ground, and hid now been built in sufficient numbers bringing them to an open, cleared space to connect, readily, the two wings of the beyond. It was a movement intentionarmy;-the most important of these was ally preliminary to the general action, Woodbury bridge, named after the Col- now at length resolved upon. The brunt onel of the 4th Michigan regiment, its of this affair, which was carried out with builders, an extraordinary work in ex- spirit, was chiefly borne by two brigades tent and solidity,—the lines had been of Hooker's division, those of Sickles, pushed forward, defensive works erected, composed of the New York “Excelsior" to secure the safety of the army in case regiments and Grover's New England of a repulse, and the force on the right regiments. As the action grew warm, bank of the Chickahominy, where the General Kearney, with his command, advance on Richmond was proposed to and other troops, were engaged in the be made, was considerably augmented by fight. A bombardment was at the same the addition of Gen. Franklin's corps. On time opened by General Porter from the the 18th of June General McClellan tel- left bank of the Chickahominy, on the egraphed to President Lincoln, “A gen- enemy's positions on the other side. , eral engagement may take place at any Hooker's advance was sharply contested hour.

An advance by us involves a in the wood. General McClellan came battle more or less decisive. ... After upon the field about noon, and personto-morrow we shall fight the rebel army ally directed the movement. At three as soon as Providence will permit. We o'clock in the afternoon he reported, in shall await only a favorable condition of a dispatch to the Secretary of War: the earth and sky, and the completion of " The enemy are making desperate re

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necessary preliminaries." The sistance to the advance of our picket strength of the army of General McClel- lines. Kearney and one half of Hooklan at this time, according to official re-er's are where I want them. I have this ports of the 20th of June, was--present moment reinforced Hooker's right with for duty, 115,102 ; on special duty, sick, a brigade and a couple of guns, and hope and in arrest, 12,225 ; absent, 29,511– in a few minutes to finish the work ina total of 156,838. This included Mc- tended for to-day. Our men are beCall's division of 11,000, and other having splendidly. The enemy are fightreinforcements from Fortress Monroe. ing well also. This is not a battle, merely Though the number of furloughs was said an affair of Heintzelman's corps, supto be very liberally extended, it is to be ported by Keyes, and, thus far, all goes presumed that they covered many cases well, and we hold every foot of ground of broken health, wbieh were to be added we have gained. If we succeed in what to the account of the malaria of the re- we have undertaken, it will be a very gion. The force of the army of Rich- important advantage gained. Loss not mond, strengthened as it had been, prob- large thus far. The fighting up to this ably did not greatly exceed that before time has been done by General Hook

er's division, which has behaved as usual, The commencement of direct active op- that is, most handsomely. On our right erations by General McClellan was made Porter has silenced the enemy's batteries on the morning of the 25th of June, when in his front." Two hours later General Geveral Heintzelman, holding the ad- | McClellan added, in a further dispatch :

the city.

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