previous next
[224] the Confederates came rushing across the open in front of the batteries, bent on their capture, one battery nearest our position was seen to limber up with a view to retreating. I rode hurriedly, by direction of General Cooke, to its captain, Robinson, and ordered him to unlimber and commence firing at short range, canister. He complied willingly, and said, as if in extenuation of his intended withdrawal, that he had no support. I told him the cavalry were there, and would support his and the other batteries. The rapid fire at short range of the artillery, and the daring charge of the cavalry in the face of an exhausted foe, prevented, without doubt, the enemy seizing the Chickahominy bridge and the capture or dispersion of Fitz John Porter's command. No farther advance was made by the Confederates, and the tired and beaten forces of Porter withdrew to the farther side of the Chickahominy and joined the Army of the Potomac in front of Richmond. The cavalry withdrew last as a rear guard, after having furnished torch and litter bearers to the surgeons of our army, who did what was possible to care for our wounded left on the field.

But it was not until a year later (March 17, 1863), at Kelly's Ford on the Rappahannock, that the Union cavalry first gained real confidence in itself and in its leaders.

In this engagement, following the forcing of the river crossing, two regiments of cavalry dismounted, with a section of artillery, and held the foe in front, while mounted regiments rolled up the Confederate flanks; their entire line was thrown into confusion and finally driven from the field.

The decisive cavalry battle at Brandy Station, or Beverly Ford, on June 9th, following, having for its object a reconnaissance in force of the Confederate troops on the Culpeper-Fredericksburg road, was the first great cavalry combat of the war. It virtually “made” the Union cavalry.

Buford's division of the Federal cavalry corps accompanied by Ames' infantry brigade, had been directed to cross the Rappahannock at Beverly Ford, and move by way of St. James' Church to Brandy Station. A second column composed of Gregg's and Duffie's divisions, with Russell's infantry

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Kelly's Ford (Virginia, United States) (1)
Brandy Station (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fitz John Porter (2)
A. A. Russell (1)
Robinson (1)
David McM. Gregg (1)
Alfred Duffie (1)
Philip St. George Cooke (1)
John Buford (1)
Adelbert Ames (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 17th, 1863 AD (1)
June 9th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: