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[525] difficult duty of soldiers—a night attack—in which officers and men behaved in a manner that not only met but surpassed my highest expectations. The enemy, a brigade strong here, with two other brigades immediately in their rear, made a stout resistance for a short time, but the advance of my men was never checked, and they were soon in possession of the entire camp, in which horses, arms, rations and clothing were scattered about in confusion. Kilpatrick immediately moved his command off at a gallop, leaving one wagon with horses hitched to it, and one caisson full of ammunition. These were taken possession of by Colonel Bradley Johnson, who came up to that point in the morning from the direction of Meadow Bridge. He also picked up a good many prisoners, whose horses had been captured in the night attack, and who were cut off from their command owing to the extreme darkness of the night, for the attack was made in a snow-storm. I could not push on till daylight, when I found that the enemy had retreated rapidly down the Peninsula. We followed to the vicinity of Old Church, where I was forced to discontinue the pursuit, owing to the condition of my horses. Under orders from the Secretary of War, I took my cavalry, together with some other commands around Richmond, and moved subsequently to Tunstall's Station, in the hope of being able to strike a blow at the enemy. But he retreated to Williamsburg, under cover of strong reinforcements, which had been sent to meet him. My command was then brought back to its old camp, having been in the saddle from Monday night to Sunday evening. We captured upwards of 100 prisoners, representing five regiments, many horses, arms, &c. When it is taken into consideration that the force with which I left camp numbered only 306 men, and that this number was reduced by necessary pickets and scouts, I hope the Commanding General will not regard the success achieved by the command as inadequate. They drove a picked division of the enemy from his camp, which they occupied from one o'clock at night till daylight. They forced this body of the enemy to take a route which they had not proposed to follow, whilst the other force under Dahlgren was prevented from forming a junction with Kilpatrick by the interposition of my command between the two. This brought about the precipitate retreat of Dahlgren and his ultimate death, with the destruction of his command.

I beg to express my great satisfaction at the conduct of officers and men. Colonel Cheek, who was in command of his detachment, displayed ability, gallantry and zeal. Major Andrews, of the Second

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Kilpatrick (2)
Ulric Dahlgren (2)
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Snowden Andrews (1)
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