and Stuart's cavalry, at Beverly Ford, on the ninth instant, but it must certainly be of great interest to know how Maryland was represented by the behavior of its First regiment of cavalry, now commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel James Deems. Let me tell you what part this gallant regiment played. The regiment, a part of the Second brigade, commanded by Colonel Wyndham, of the Third cavalry division, commanded by General Gregg, left Warrenton Junction on the eighth instant, and crossed Kelly's Ford at three o'clock A. M., on the ninth instant. Continual cannonading was heard on our right ever since five o'clock; it was at Beverly's Ford, where General Buford had engaged parts of Fitz-Hugh Lee's and Wade Hampton's divisions. After crossing the ford the whole division marched rapidly on the road leading to the right to Culpeper, and was near Brandy Station within an hour and a half. Coming out of the woods the enemy had placed several guns to the right of the road behind an embankment, and at once commenced shelling our column with great precision and in rapid succession. Their cavalry, supporting the artillery, was stationed behind several ruins of old farm-houses and the gardens and bushes surrounding them, close in rear of their guns. A section of the Sixth New-York artillery was immediately brought up, placed opposite, and opened a rapid succession of shells, but their firing, although effective, was not very precise. After a short artillery duel of this kind, the order was given to charge, and Colonel Deems at once ordered his squadrons forward. The men, eager for the fight, would have rushed on with fury, but he quieted them, and gave them orders to walk, draw sabre, then a slow trot, and finally a gallop charge, and on went our brave Maryland boys, jumping two fences, and not one shrinking back or wavering. Colonel Deems and all the officers most bravely ahead charged and met the enemy on the other side of the defences. The sabre was to decide, not the pistol; and, although the rebs fired their volleys in rapid succession, the cold steel blade decided. They were driven back. Following the retiring foe, their allies rushed out of the woods by thousands, and our brave boys retired. At the time the charge was made the enemy was trying to run off a railroad train, wagons, and ambulances. Colonel Deems at once ordered the third squadron, composed of companies H, E, and K, Lieutenant R. Norwood, of company K, commanding, toward Brandy Station. When about a hundred yards distant, Colonel Deems commanded a gallop, and accompanied the squadron a short distance beyond the station, where he halted with six men and sent eleven prisoners, captured by the squadron, to the rear. The remainder of the squadron, led by Major Russell, charged gallantly out the different roads leading from the station after the flying rebels. They were too late for the trains; but our gallant Major Russell, with a few men, captured an ambulance with General Stuart's plan of the intended raid which was to have been made into Maryland and Pennsylvania; also many other valuable papers were captured and secured. This squadron, led by Major Russell, was repeatedly charged upon by squads of rebels; but by charging them in return and ordering reenforcements with loud voice (although none were very near) their overwhelming numbers were checked, or else they would have annihilated it. With the remainder of the squadron Major Russell and Lieutenant Norwood captured thirty-five prisoners, and in bringing them to the rear were entirely cut off by the advance of two rebel regiments, who retook twenty-two of the prisoners. Major Russell and Lieutenant Norwood made their way around the right flank of the enemy with the remaining thirteen prisoners. Major Russell here met the Hon. John Minor Botts, and shook hands with him. The first squadron, commanded by Captain J. Hancock, and composed of companies F, G, and L, proceeded, by order of Colonel Wyndham, on the road to Germania Ford. When they came within a mile of the Culpeper and Fredericksburgh roads, they met the rebel pickets, and learned that since the sixth instant no force had passed up from Fredericksburgh. Captain Hancock, after a general reconnoissance, returned safely with his squadron, and joined in other useful operations on the road. Part of company A, in charge of Lieutenant Charles R. Bankard, by order of Major Russell, patroled the Fredericksburgh road, and the balance, with Lieutenant John Axer, who commanded the first platoon of the fourth squadron, took part in the charges toward Brandy Station. Company B, belonging to the second squadron, commanded by First Lieutenant Henry Appel and Second Lieutenant C. E. Lyman, behaved with great valor throughout the whole engagement. This company, like company D, is composed entirely of Germans from the city of Baltimore. They behaved very gallantly, and really deserve praise. Company D, commanded by First Lieutenant Henry C. Erich, formed the centre of the second squadron, commanded by Captain John K. Buckley. Every member was at his post from the beginning to the end of the fight. Our forces suffering severely from a battery on a hill near Brandy Station, the attempt was made to take it. All acted with coolness and gallantry to the last of the fight. The rebels tried hard to take the flag from the color-bearer, Corporal Michael Karman, but the brave German defended it most furiously, now sticking its point into the enemy, then knocking one over the head with it, changing into the other hand, hitting with the butt one on the other side; and although hundreds of shots were fired at him, he remained unhurt, and the flag was carried off by him in triumph. The wounded in this company were comparatively few. Mortally wounded was private John Aich--a ball from a shrapnel struck his breast. Lieutenant Henry C. Erich received two light wounds from pistol-balls, and his horse was shot through the mouth. He was near being
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.