Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.
Our Cavalry Gain a Brilliant Victory — At least Thirty of the Enemy Killed, Wounded and taken Prisoners. Cumberland Camp, July 13th, 1861.
Yesterday morning, Major Hood
, in command of detachments from the Elizabeth City
, Charles City
and Black Walnut Troops, amounting to about one hundred and twenty-five men in all, was in a mile and a half of Newport News, looking out for a fight, when he was informed that about fifty of the enemy were some miles off, marching towards Lee's Store, about six miles from Newport News.
He proceeded with great caution in pursuit, having the woods along the roads we traveled thoroughly scoured before we passed.
At about 1 P. M., when within a mile of the store, one of our mounted scouts galloped back and reported that the enemy were in ambush about one hundred miles ahead, in a thick wood on the right of the road.
ordered the Mecklenburg detachment to dismount and advance; they alone had rifle carbines.
The Cumberland Troopers, only six or eight of whom had carbines, were ordered to hold themselves in readiness in the centre for a charge.
The other detachments, which were armed with double barrelled guns, were ordered to the rear as a reserve corps, and also to prevent the enemy's retreating toward Newport News. Captain Goode
and his men, with a few individuals of other companies who could not hold back, then hurried forward as skirmishers, and the action immediately began.
The gallant fellows were as deliberate as regulars, and picked off every Yankee who appeared.
, at the head of fifteen men, rushed into the ambush and took them in the rear.
The enemy being driven from their position rushed for the woods on the other side, and some went up the road.
Then the command was given to us to charge.--With loose rein and urgent spur we dashed up the road cheering and being cheered by our brave riflemen in front till the woods reechoed the loud huzzas.
The enemy, frightened to death, now ran in every direction.
The incessant firing of pistols, guns and carbines, told the tale of death.
A large number of the enemy ran through and on each side of a large field which now opened on the left.--The fence was knocked down, and over our noble chargers sprang; while others chased the Hessians through the woods on the left and along the lane on the right of the field.
Numbers of the scoundrels, concealed in the bushes, rested their pieces on the fence and tried to pick us off as we charged over the field.
We all learnt the sound of flying balls then quite well, but not a man was hit. Several of the Yankees
were then killed, wounded and taken prisoners.
The others being scattered through a large body of woods, and we having heard that an overwhelming force was marching upon us, desisted from further pursuit.
We took two Lieutenants
and eleven privates prisoners; two of the latter were badly wounded, and died on the way. Six of their killed lay near the road; we did not scour the woods to find whether there were more or not, but from the deliberation of our men, the great number of shots, and the staggering off of their men into the woods, we all believe that at least fifteen or twenty others were killed or wounded.
One of their killed was a Lieutenant, and it is thought there was a Captain killed; a mounted officer was shot from his horse, and staggered into the bushes early in the fight.
Their muskets were loaded with a large ball and three large shot, all in one cartridge.
The privates taken put their force at not less than sixty; two of them said there were one hundred and fifty, while their officers' statements vary from twenty to forty.
The former statements were nearer the truth.
I am confident.
Not a single man of our force received the least scratch.
The hand of God was evidently there.
is a cautious, brave and excellent officer.
He, such of our Captains
as were present, and our other officers, conducted themselves very manfully; and Major Hood
told us privates, after the action was over, that he had never seen a more spirited set. The action lasted about thirty minutes.
I cannot omit to mention four brave Louisiana
soldiers who came from Yorktown
and volunteered to go in advance as sharp shooters and scouts.
They acted well their part, and avenged the death of their noble Colonel Dreux
In the charge, the Cumberland Troopers
were attended by other detachments, and followed, I believe, by a majority of those with guns in the rear.
One detachment was not more eager to be engaged than another.
If all were not it was because they were ordered to another post.
Not more than fifty of our men were actually engaged, I believe.