mutiny,’ and its colors were taken from it; but they were returned the next day because of ‘their conduct in the reconnoissance of the 11th.’
To the Confederates
this engagement was an important one because such a large force of the enemy had been discomfited by a much smaller one in consequence of the skill and daring of its leader.
It gave additional confidence to the Confederate
outposts which Stuart
's boldness and restless activity had been keeping in sight of the dome of the capitol
, and had a dispiriting effect upon those of the Federals
Gen. J. E. Johnston
, the next day, issued congratulatory orders, from the headquarters of the army of the Potomac, in which he expressed ‘great satisfaction in making known the excellent conduct of Col. J. E. B. Stuart
, and of the officers and men of his command, in the affair of Lewinsville,’ . . . in which ‘they attacked and drove from that position, in confusion, three regiments of infantry, eight pieces of artillery, and a large body of cavalry, inflicting severe loss, but incurring none;’ and in a report, from near Fairfax cross-roads, on September 14th, to Adjutant-General Cooper
, he wrote: ‘I am much gratified at having this opportunity of putting before the department of war and the President
this new instance of the boldness and skill of Colonel Stuart
and the courage and efficiency of our troops.’
He then called attention to a communication from Generals Longstreet
and himself, recommending the ‘forming a cavalry brigade and putting Colonel Stuart
at its head.
A new organization of the cavalry arm of our service is greatly needed, and greater strength as well as an effective organization.
Our numbers in cavalry are by no means in due proportion to our infantry and artillery, yet without cavalry in proper proportion, victory is comparatively barren of results; defeat is less prejudicial; retreat is usually safe.’
After proposing other arrangements concerning the First Virginia cavalry, if Stuart
were promoted, Genneral Johnston
The regiment so far is exclusively Virginian.
By all means keep it so, where it can be done without prejudice in other respects.
State pride excites a generous emulation in the army, which is of inappreciable value in its effect on the spirits of the troops.
I therefore recommend that Capt. William E. Jones, who now commands the strongest troop in the regiment and one which is not surpassed in discipline and spirit by any in the army, be made colonel.