I then proceeded on to Beaver Dam, and found the road had been repaired, ready for the passage of trains. I halted my command to ascertain something of the condition of the road above, about three miles, at a place called “Green Bay's crossing,” and found that there was likewise but little injury done the road at that point, but deemed it important to have three roads guarded, leading to Green Bay and Frederick Hall, so that the trains might pass uninterruptedly, or be notified in time to prevent accident. I therefore sent Lieutenant Coyner, with eleven men, in charge of the post, and proceeded with the remainder of my command across Anderson's Bridge, and down the road leading toward Fredericksburg, in search of the enemy and information. I followed this road to a point where it intersected the Telegraph road and Dr. Flippo's house, when I came upon a party of seven of the enemy, six of whom I captured, (after a sharp skirmish,) wounding the seventh so severely that he had to be left at the doctor's house. I here learned that the enemy were in pretty strong force down the Telegraph road, about three miles. I then proceeded up this road in the direction of a cross-road leading to Bowling Green; but before reaching that point, was informed that the party guarding that road had been run in by the enemy that evening, and that they were in considerable force upon the other road. I went on to the forks of the road, and finding no picket, as I expected, I concluded the information I had received was correct, and that it would not be prudent or advisable to proceed farther with my small force, rendered so by guarding the road above, and made less effective in guarding this road and my rear. I therefore fell back across the river, and encamped for the night. In the morning, after feeding, I started down the road toward Captain McChestney's camp, to ascertain what had become of his men and the party sent out by myself. Upon reaching which place, I learned that his pickets had not been posted beyond Carmel Church, but that as couting party had been down as far as Dr. Flippo's. I then sent a message to the party sent out by myself, notifying them of my position, with instructions to join me, and I determined to take a scout in another direction. I sent Lieutenant Stuart to guard the bridge at or near Beaver Dam, and started up to Island Ford, where I had intended crossing; but, stopping to feed near the ford, and before the horses were done eating, a courier arrived from Captain McChestney, stating that a regiment of the enemy's cavalry were approaching the ford by the Telegraph road. I immediately sent him back with a message to Captain McChestney to take his entire force and proceed to the river, and keep them in check until I could come to his aid, should they attempt to cross. I started as quickly as possible to his aid, and met a second courier, with the information that they had crossed the river, and were fighting. I hurried up to the point to find it in possession of the enemy, and the entire camp in flames. I was considerably in advance of the column, and found that they had possession of all the roads, and a force in the field above Anderson's house, and to my left, in addition to a force on the road leading to my rear. Of their strength on the road I could learn nothing, and knew that I could be easily cut off, if that force was sufficiently strong to fight through at this point; they, besides having a superior force, had also the advantage of position. I moved my command across the field, and through the timber, determined to force a crossing on the road leading to my rear. Placing videttes at commanding points, to ascertain their strength, I soon gained the road to my rear, and found they were falling back, and came up just as Colonel Martin had passed in pursuit. In my opinion, a small force at the river ought to keep in check a very superior one; but Captain McChestney afterward informed me that he had not sufficient notice to reach that point, and that he had, besides, very little ammunition. The officers and men in my command all behaved with the utmost gallantry and coolness when in the presence of the enemy, ready cheerfully to obey my orders. Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
C. T. Litchfield, Captain, commanding Squadron
Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Bower.
headquarters First N. C. Cavalry, Hanover Court-house, Va., July 27, 1862.sir: I have the honor to report that I arrived, with five companies of my regiment, on the morning of twenty-eighth of June, after a forced march from North Carolina, where I had been on duty. I was directed by General Lee to assume command of all the cavalry that was not with General Stuart. On the night of twenty-ninth, I was directed by General Lee to make a bold, daring scout, and find out where the enemy was. I accordingly proceeded, with five companies of my regiment, viz., Captains Ruffin, Johnston, Barringer, McLeod, and Lieutenant Blair's, and the effective force of Colonel Goode's, (one hundred and fifty or two hundred,) down the New Market and Charles City roads. It was rumored that there was a camp of the enemy near Willis's Church, on the Quaker road; but not being able to obtain any reliable information of their movements, I determined to drive back their cavalry force, which was covering their movements, and proceeded to the Quaker road, and, on coming up to the enemy, charged them, killing several with sabres, and driving them to their main camp. Number killed not accurately ascertained, as I was compelled afterward to retreat from their main camp, which I found to be their main army, or a division covering its movements. Their camp was in a very thick place, and, in the pursuit, I was within a few yards of it before I ascertained the place.
Captain Fitzhugh, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Captain Fitzhugh, Assistant Adjutant-General: