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[718] this movement upon Malvern Hill, not a single man of the enemy appeared in front of my pickets. The enemy, to their surprise, were firing from their rear before they were aware of their proximity, and I must say that, in my opinion, the officers of the infantry, artillery, and cavalry deserve praise for the manner in which they withdrew their troops from the field when they believed it vain to hope longer for support. I have to report my loss as follows: Two men captured from Lieutenant Early's squadron, and two supposed to be killed.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

P. M. B. Young, Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding Georgia Legion Cavalry.


Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Magruder.

sir: I have the honor to submit for your consideration the following report as to the operations of the enemy in front of our lines on Tuesday last, fifth instant:

At one o'clock A. M. I received a verbal message from Colonel Baker, through his courier, to this effect: that the enemy had driven in his pickets the evening before to Riddell's shop, and that there were no pickets left between Riddell's shop and my reserve: he further stated the enemy was in large force, composed of artillery, cavalry, and infantry. From the withdrawal of Colonel Baker's pickets on my right, thereby preventing any communication, on the Charles City road, between Colonel Baker's and mine, besides exposing my right entirely to approach of the enemy in case Colonel B. should fall back, of which I could have had no information in time. I immediately, upon reception of the above information, ordered Captain W. B. Clement, commanding the picket post, to draw in his pickets on the left to the junction of the Long Bridge with the Charles City (sometimes called Quaker) road, also to picket what is called the Turner road, a cross road leading from Long Bridge road to White Oak Swamp Bridge, and to extend his line on Charles City farther to my right, to guard against surprise in that direction, to be so picketed as regularly to communicate one with another, thus, in the speediest possible time, giving information to the reserve, which was at the bridge, a short distance this side, so as to be under cover of the woods, it not being practicable on the opposite side. Between nine and ten, upon my return from visiting a portion of my picket lines, I suggested to Captain Clement the propriety of loosening a few of the poles on the bridge, so that, in case of an advance of cavalry, at shortest possible notice to tear up a portion of the bridge, so as to check and throw in confusion the column, whilst the men in ambush would open upon them. All of the orders, according to Captain Clement's report, seemed to have been obeyed, as the following report, furnished by Captain C., will show. The Orderly Sergeant, with nine men, superintended by Captain C., dismounted to loosen the logs of the bridge; they had barely commenced before pickets reported the enemy advancing upon Turner and Dr. Perman's road. Captain C. ordered courier to return and watch movements, and stated he would be with him in a moment. Before getting on his horse, (some fifty yards distant, when receiving the above information,) Captain C. heard firing, accompanied with a yell, and saw the pickets flying from the hill, closely pursued by the enemy's cavalry. This body of cavalry approached under cover of the woods, leaving the road and hugging closely to the swamp until within a short distance of the bridge. The pickets were watching the advance of another body of the enemy, and came very near being cut off from the bridge, before seeing the approach of the second body. Captain Clement attempted to check the column by ordering his men forward and meeting them, but soon saw the impracticability of this move, as the enemy was nearer the bridge than he; the men were drawn up by the side of the road, and ordered to reserve their fire until the head of the column approached very near, hoping thereby to check the column and give time to the men on foot to mount. The men stood firm amidst the fire of the enemy, and did not fire until ordered, which was not given until they were in fifteen yards of the picket. Unfortunately most of our guns failed fire, from having been exposed twenty-four hours on picket duty, as well as caps being indifferent. Captain C. ordered his men to fall back through the swamp, it being the only mode of escape. Captain C.'s and Caskie's companies were on picket. In the skirmish Captain Clement lost six men and eight horses, supposed to have been captured. Lieutenant Doyle, of Captain Caskie's company, having absented himself from camp since the skirmish, I cannot be positive as to the exact number missing in his company. They report four missing, making ten in all. Three of the ten are reported wounded. How many of the enemy were killed we cannot tell; several saddles were emptied and five horses killed. One hundred men were dismounted and in ambush this side of the swamp; the rest of the regiment was drawn up in protecting distance, with seven pieces of artillery. Not less than fifteen hundred cavalry could be seen on the opposite hill, in addition to which I have since learned there was a large body of infantry also. I held my position on this side the bridge all day; the enemy, maintaining his on opposite hill, about twelve hundred yards distant, moved off in the night, leaving a few pickets only, which could be seen next morning.

On the sixth, I scouted on opposite side of the swamp some four or five miles, capturing eight prisoners.

I have made diligent search as to negligence on part of picket, but have found nothing indicating negligence, unless it be some of the men did not believe, after being told by picket, that the enemy were approaching, and Lieutenant Doyle, thoughtlessly, was dismounted, and had


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