halted during the night. A courier was despatched to Lieutenant-Colonel Young and to me at that time, saying that the enemy was coming up in large force — artillery, infantry, and cavalry. I immediately marched down with my regiment, and soon satisfied myself that the report forwarded to me was correct. Another courier was immediately forwarded by me, about half past 10 o'clock, to Lieutenant-Colonel Young, to make the same report as at first, and to state that I thought they would go by the Quaker road to Malvern Hill in the morning, and that he must be on the alert and forward the report to General Hampton. I also despatched an officer to General Ripley, informing him, as he had directed me, to call on him for assistance whenever necessary. The officer says he reached the General's headquarters at a quarter to four A. M. The General wrote to me immediately, authorizing me to order up a section of artillery and two infantry regiments on picket duty about four or five miles in my rear, and, if this was not enough, to send for the brigade that was out working. I sent an order, at six A. M., for the two regiments of infantry and section of artillery to come up; but no answer was sent, and they did not come up. I was constantly expecting them until the arrival of General Ripley, about eleven o'clock A. M. No explanation has been given for the failure of the artillery and infantry to come to my assistance when ordered to do so. At day-light, the enemy advanced by the Nelson house and down the Quaker road to Malvern Hill. I sent another officer, at once, to General Ripley, to announce that intelligence. General Hampton came over to my assistance between seven and eight o'clock A. M., with the intention of following them, until I reported their force, and also that they were in force in front, and already at Malvern Hill. Captain Cheek made admirable disposition of his squadron on picket to get information, and the men performed the duty with judgment and bravery, keeping their position as videttes as long as it was possible, so as to estimate their force. Lieutenant Iredell, after remaining, with a few men as videttes, until the enemy was in a few yards of him, fired and fell slowly back, killing, as I have since learned, two men and wounding several. The enemy endeavored to advance his pickets to cover his march, but I dismounted Captain Siler's company as skirmishers, and, after a few moments of spirited firing, the enemy fell back, and I obtained position to ascertain his force again. Captain Siler's officers and men behaved very gallantly. On the fifth and sixth, thirty-three prisoners were captured by Captains Barringer's and Houston's squadrons. I lost seven men (four of Captain Cheek's and three of Captain Wood's companies)--a post near Malvern Hill, who had orders to report any advance of the enemy to Lieutenant-Colonel Young's pickets. They remained too long, and were unable to make their way to him. One of my men came up to me late in the day, stating this fact. I also lost, on the sixth, one man prisoner from Captain Ruffin's company, and had one badly wounded from Captain Houston's company. I am, sir, with much respect,
L. S. Baker, Colonel First North Carolina Cavalry.
Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Young.
New Market Church, August 8, 1862.Lieutenant: I have the honor to report that the first courier reported to me at a quarter past twelve o'clock A. M., August fifth. He was sent by Lieutenant Early, who commanded my squadron on picket at Malvern Hill. This courier reported that the enemy were advancing, with a large force of cavalry and some artillery, upon the left flank of the North Carolina cavalry pickets. I immediately directed my adjutant to write a note to General Hampton, and inform him of the state of affairs, which he did. I ordered the courier to return, and directed Lieutenant Early to send out a scouting party. Lieutenant Early obeyed the order. The scouting party discovered nothing in their front, and no demonstration was made at this time or afterward in our front, as the enemy advanced from the direction of the North Carolina pickets. The second courier reported to me between the hours of two and three o'clock. This courier reported from Lieutenant Early that he had been informed, by a courier from the North Carolina pickets, that the enemy were still advancing, in strong force, upon the North Carolina pickets; that they could distinctly hear the sound of the bugles and moving of artillery. This courier was sent to General Hampton to report the intelligence to him. About break of day a courier from the North Carolina pickets reported to me that the enemy were still advancing, but that his (the North Carolina) pickets had not been driven from their posts. He reported that Colonel Baker's or my position would be attacked by morning. This courier was also sent to General Hampton. At half past 5 o'clock A. M., another courier reported to me from Lieutenant Early. This man reported that a battery of artillery had opened upon our reserve picket and our battery of artillery, (which was at Malvern house,) entirely from their rear. The enemy's battery was playing from a hill near Crew's house — the battery was supported by about four hundred cavalry. The courier reported that he had come for support, and that unless our people on the hill should very soon get help, they must certainly be lost. This courier was sent to General Hampton. In a few moments after this time, I received an order from General Hampton directing me to leave one squadron at my camp, and form the other two squadrons in the field, which was preparatory to moving to the support of Colonel Baker. I received no information after this from Malvern Hill. It is due to Lieutenant Early to say that he kept up his picket lines during the heavy artillery fire from his rear; nor did he abandon them until ordered by Major Pickett, of the Seventeenth Georgia, to do so. During
Lieutenant Hamilton, A. and A. A. A. General:
Lieutenant Hamilton, A. and A. A. A. General: