previous next

[80] under command of General Stuart. Its destination was a profound secret. Following the road to Louisa Court-house, as if on his way to reinforce Jackson, Stuart encamped in the evening at the railway-bridge of Aquia Creek, on the South Anna. Before daylight on the 14th, he turned suddenly to the right in the direction of Hanover Court-house, where two squadrons of the Fifth regular cavalry were performing picket duty. The first squadron, surprised by the appearance of the Confederates, was quickly dispersed. The second, taking advantage of the narrowness of the road, which compelled the enemy's troopers to march by fours, charged them vigorously without concern as to their numerical superiority. Being closely packed within this narrow defile, the two detachments were mingled, and fought with sabres. The Federal commander, Captain Royall, killed the commander of the first squadron of the enemy with his own hand, and was himself mortally wounded a moment after.1 The weight of the Confederate column soon swept before it the handful of regulars who had attempted to check its progress. The Fifth regiment of cavalry, which before the war was numbered the Second, had long been commanded by General Lee, and his nephew Colonel Lee, who led one of the Virginia regiments under Stuart, had also served in it. He thus found himself called upon, as a sad result of the civil war, to draw his sword against officers who had been his comrades the preceding year—perhaps even against some of the soldiers whom he had commanded in the garrisons of the far West. Far from feeling any secret remorse in their presence, and carried away by the passion which inspired him for the cause of the South, he solicited of his chief the privilege of measuring swords with his late companions in arms. But there were no longer any enemies to fight; the two squadrons which alone had guarded the flank of the Federal army on that side were dispersed; and proceeding down the Pamunky, Stuart led his brigade as far as Old Church, at an unbroken trot. The task assigned to him by his chief was accomplished; he had turned the right wing of the Federals, he had made a survey, before reaching Old Church, of the course of a

1 Captain Royall was severely wounded in several places, but recovered, and is still in the United States army.—Ed.

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.
Aquia Creek (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.
Stuart (4)
Royall (2)
R. E. Lee (2)
Stonewall Jackson (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.
14th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: