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“ [198] noon, never breaking rein or breaking fast. We have whipped the enemy wherever he dared to appear, never opposing more than equal forces; we have burned two hundred wagons, laden with valuable stores, sunk or fired three large transports, captured three hundred horses and mules, lots of side-arms, etc. ; brought in one hundred and seventy prisoners, four officers, and many negroes; killed and wounded scores of the enemy; pleased Stuart, and had one man killed — poor Capt. Latane! This is the result; and three million dollars cannot cover the Federal loss in goods alone. As to myself,” said he, mounting and trotting away, “I wouldn't have missed the trip for one thousand dollars. History cannot show such another exploit as this of Stuart's!” He spoke the truth, honestly and roughly, as a true soldier serving under an incomparable leader. More words are not now needed; the whole country is astonished and applauds ; McClellan is disgraced ; Stuart and his troopers are now forever in history.


Richmond Examiner account.

We have the pleasure this morning of chronicling one of the most brilliant affairs of the war, bold in its inception and most brilliant in its execution. On Thursday, Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, with the First and Ninth regiments of Virginia cavalry, and the cavalry of Cobb's Legion, and three of Stuart's artillery, left our lines on a reconnoissance of the enemy. The artillery pieces were drawn by twelve horses, and four spare horses to each. The force reached Hanover Court-House on Thursday, and soon after engaged near the Old Church two squadrons of the enemy's cavalry, whom they dispersed by a charge, killing and wounding about forty of them, and taking a number prisoners. The force then proceeded down to Putney's Landing, on the Pamunkey River, where three large steam transports were lying, loaded with commissary and ordnance-stores for McClellan. These they captured and burned with the stores, there being no means of conveying them away.

This accomplished, the cavalry proceeded on toward Tunstall's station, on the York River Railroad. When within a short distance, a train was heard coming down the road going in the direction of West-Point. The track was immediately barricaded, and a portion of the cavalry was dismounted, and drawn up to receive the train with their volleys if it did not halt. In a few moments the train came dashing along, loaded with soldiers. As soon as the engineer saw the position of affairs, he put on all steam, and the engine knocked the obstructions from the track, when the long file of dismounted cavalry now opened upon the train a terrible fire that ran along its whole length. The engineer was shot dead at his post, others fell from the tops of the cars, and it was evident that inside the cars the slaughter was very great. The train, completely riddled with bullets, kept on its way.

The cavalry, after this exploit, pushed around in the rear of the Chickahominy to James River, falling upon a train of about one hundred wagons on the way, which they burned, securing the horses and mules, and taking one hundred and seventy-five prisoners. All this work was accomplished during Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Gen. Stuart returning to his headquarters about five o'clock yesterday morning.

The fruits of this three days exploit are one hundred and seventy-five prisoners, between three hundred and four hundred horses and mules, three stand of colors, and the destruction of the enemy's stores, transports and wagons, valued at between two hundred thousand and three hundred thousand dollars. We lost but one man in the skirmishing, and that, we regret to say, was Capt. Latane, of the Essex troop.

The prisoners, one hundred and seventy-five in number, arrived in the city yesterday after-noon, in charge of a cavalry escort, and were confined in the prison corner of Twentieth and Cary streets.

As we have before stated, the force comprising the reconnoissance consisted of the First and Second regiments of Virginia cavalry, General Stuart; the Jeff Davis Legion, the cavalry of the Cobb Legion, and three pieces of artillery, These rendezvoused during Thursday at Ashland, and started to the work on Friday morning. Captain Latane was killed in the skirmish near Tunstall's station. He commanded a squadron of cavalry, and acted very gallantly. Five balls struck him in the body, and he fell from his horse and died instantly. A number of the Yankees were killed and captured here, and several of our men wounded slightly. When approached at close quarters, the Yankee cavalrymen tumbled from their horses and took to the woods and thickets, leaving their horses and equipments in our possession. The body of Capt. Latane was placed in an ambulance, with the wounded, and sent back over the route toward Ashland.

The depot at Tunstall's was burned, and the most valuable portable property secured. The train fired upon consisted of eight flats or gondolas, filled with soldiers, and was coming from the direction of the White House towards Tunstall's.

An attempt was made to turn the railroad switch, so as to bring the train to the station, but it was found to be locked. When the train was first heard approaching, the cavalry was some distance from the road, and had to ride very hard to get up in time to obstruct the track and deliver a volley, which did great execution, the Yankees falling from the cars by scores. The cavalry kept in rapid motion in detached squads, so as to prevent any information of their whereabouts from being conveyed to the main body of the enemy. Halts were only made long enough to complete the work of destruction at the various points, and to pick up a few prisoners in their path. All round they could be seen skipping over the fields like frightened deer; but their capture was deemed hardly worth the danger a halt would incur.

Thus our forces went for thirty miles down to Charles City Court-House. Returning before

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J. E. B. Stuart (7)
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