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Report of General J. E. B. Stuart of cavalry operations on First Maryland campaign, from August 30th to September 18th, 1862.

[We were suprised to find the following report missing from the published reports of the campaign of 1862, and can only account for the omission by reference to the late date at which it was sent in. As it has never, we believer been printed in any other form, and is a report of importance and value, we give it from the original autograph Ms. of the great cavalryman.]

headquarters cavalry corps, army of Northern Virginia, February 13th, 1864.
Colonel — I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the cavalry division from the battle of Groveton Heights, August 30th, 1862, to the recrossing of the Potomac, September 18th, 1862.

On the 31st of August, while following up the enemy in the direction of Centreville, Colonel Rosser was sent in the direction of Manassas, where it was understood the enemy were still in some force. He succeeded in driving them from that place with some captures, and rejoined the command, when, in pursuance of the instructions of the Commanding General, I made a flank movement to the left, gained the Little River turnpike, and effected a concentration of Robertson's and Lee's brigades near Chantilly. Near this point, Robertson's brigade captured one entire company of New York cavalry, and Lee's brigade an entire company of the old Second Dragoons (regulars), Captain Thomas Hight, and also his subaltern, Robert Clay, and their horses, arms and equipments.

It was here ascertained that the main body of the enemy was at Centreville and Fairfax Courthouse. A section of the Washington artillery accompanied the movement, designed to attack the enemy on the Centreville and Fairfax Courthouse pike. A position was gained, by a difficult road, commanding this road, which was completely occupied by the enemy with one continuous roll of wagons going toward Fairfax Courthouse. It was discovered also that we were in sight of the sentinels of a camp, the dimensions of which could not be seen.

The artillery was placed in position just after dark, and opened upon the road. A few rounds sufficed to throw everything into confusion; and such commotion, upsetting, collisions and smashups were rarely ever seen. The firing continued as long as it seemed desirable, and the pieces and the command withdrew to camp for [282] the night, two miles north of the Oxhill, on that road. Next morning, I returned by way of Frying Pan to connect with General Jackson, and inform him of the enemy as far as ascertained.

The head of his column was opposite Chantilly, and I disposed part of Robertson's brigade on his right flank between him and Centreville, and reconnoitred in person, but no force but a small one of cavalry was discernible nearer than Centreville. Oxhill was held by my cavalry till General Jackson came up, and having charged General Robertson with the care of the right flank, I first tried to force, with some skirmishers, our way down the turnpike toward Fairfax Courthouse, but the wooded ridges were firmly held by infantry and artillery, and it was plainly indicated that the enemy would here make a stand. General Jackson being in advance, waited for Longstreet to close up. Meanwhile, with Lee's brigade, I moved round toward Flint Hill, directly north of Fairfax Courthouse, to attack the enemy's flank. Passing Fox's mill and following a narrow and winding route in the midst of a heavy thunder-storm, I reached the summit of the ridge which terminates in the Flint Hill, about dark, and discovered in my immediate front a body of the enemy, a portion of which was thrown out as sharpshooters to oppose our further advance. Having thus discovered that Flint Hill was occupied by the enemy in force, and hearing about the same time some shots in my rear, I withdrew my command by the same road. As we approached the mouth of the road, the advance guard, under Colonel Wickham, engaged and drove off a portion of an infantry regiment which had taken position on the steep embankment of the road to dispute our return, and the command continued its march, bivouacking that night in the neighborhood of Germantown.

Meanwhile a heavy engagement had taken place on Jackson's right, the enemy having penetrated to his flank by way of Mollen's house.

On the next day, the enemy having retired, Fairfax Courthouse was occupied by Lee's brigade, and I sent Hampton's brigade, which had just reported to me, having been detained on the Charles City border until the enemy had entirely evacuated that region, to attack the enemy at Flint Hill. Getting several pieces of the Stuart horse artillery in position, Brigadier-General Hampton opened on the enemy at that point, and our sharpshooters advancing about the same time, after a brief engagement, the enemy hastily retired. They were immediately pursued, and Captain Pelham having chosen [283] a new position, again opened upon them with telling effect, scattering them in every direction. They were pursued by Hampton's brigade, which took a few prisoners, but owing to the darkness and the fact that the enemy had opened fire upon us with infantry and artillery from the woods, he considered it prudent to retire, which was done with the loss of only one man.

This proved to be the rear guard of Sumner's column retreating towards Vienna, and I afterwards learned that they were thrown into considerable confusion by this attack of Hampton. With a small portion of the cavalry and horse artillery, I moved into Fairfax Courthouse, and taking possession, obtained some valuable information, which was sent to the Commanding General. On the night of the second the command bivouacked near Fairfax Court-house, except Robertson's brigade, which, by a misapprehension of the order, returned to the vicinity of Chantilly before the engagement.

While these events were occurring near Fairfax Courthouse, the Second Virginia cavalry, Colonel T. T. Munford, had proceeded by my order to Leesburg to capture the party of marauders under Means which had so long infested that country and harassed the inhabitants. Colonel Munford reached the vicinity of Leesburg on the forenoon of the 2d, and learning that Means with his command was in the town, supported by three companies of the Maryland cavalry, on the Point of Rocks road, he made a circuit toward Edward's ferry, attacked from that direction, and succeeded, after a heavy skirmish, in routing and driving the enemy as far as Waterford, with a loss on their part of eleven killed, nine severely wounded, and forty-seven prisoners, including two captains and three lieutenants. Our own loss was Lieutenant Davis killed, and several officers and privates wounded. In this engagement, Edmund, a slave belonging to one of the men, charged with the regiment and shot Averhart, one of the most notorious ruffians of Means' party. The enemy's papers acknowledged that there entire force, of 150 men of the First Maryland and Means' company, were, all but forty, killed or captured, stating that our force was 2,000. Colonel Munford's entire force was 163 men, of whom but 123 were in the charge.

On the morning of the 3d, General Fitz. Lee, pursuant to instructions, made a demonstration with his brigade and some horse artillery toward Alexandria, Hampton's brigade moving by way of Hunter's mill to the Leesburg turnpike below Dranesville, encamping near that place. Robertson's brigade, having also crossed over [284] from the Little River turnpike, encamped near the same place on the same night. Meantime the main army was moving by a flank toward Leesburg. Demonstrations were also kept up toward George-town and the Chain bridge, Robertson's brigade moving in the direction of Falls church. Between Vienna and Lewinsville he encountered the enemy's pickets, and after a brief skirmish drove them in. Having posted a portion of his cavalry with one piece of artillery near Lewinsville to prevent surprise, he then drew up the remainder of the cavalry in a conspicuous position near the church, and opened with his two remaining pieces. The enemy replied with two guns, and the firing continued until nearly sundown, when perceiving several regiments advancing to assail his position, General Robertson, in accordance with his instructions, retired.

The cavalry followed the rear of the army to Leesburg, and crossing the Potomac on the afternoon of the 5th, Lee's brigade in advance, moved to Poolesville. He encountered at that point a body of the enemy's cavalry, which he attacked, capturing the greater portion. The reception of our troops in Maryland was attended with the greatest demonstrations of joy, and the hope of enabling the inhabitants to throw off the tyrant's yoke stirred every Southern heart with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

The main army moving to Frederick, the next day the cavalry resumed their march on the flank, halting at Urbanna, Hampton's brigade in advance. The advance guard had the good fortune to rescue, from a member of the enemy's signal corps, a bearer of dispatches from President Davis to General Lee. The dispatches, fortunately, by the discreetness of the bearer, had not fallen into the hands of the enemy, and were eventually safely delivered. At Urbanna the main body was joined by Robertson's brigade, at this time under command of Colonel T. T. Munford.

Near this place I remained with the command until the 12th of September, covering the front of the army then near Frederick city, in the direction of Washington. My left, consisting of Lee's brigade, rested at New Market, on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad; my centre, Hampton's brigade, near Hyattstown; and my right, Robertson's brigade, Colonel Munford commanding, in the direction of Poolesville, with one regiment (the Twelfth Virginia cavalry) at that point.

The enemy having advanced upon my front, Hampton's brigade became engaged in several skirmishes near Hyattstown, driving the [285] enemy back on every occasion; and on the 8th September, ascertaining that the enemy were about to occupy Poolesville, I ordered Colonel Munford to proceed to that point and drive them from the place. Munford's advance guard had just reached the town when the enemy appeared, with three regiments of cavalry and four pieces of artillery. Munford selected a position and opened fire with a Howitzer and Blakely, when the enemy also brought up two pieces and returned the fire. Their guns had scarcely opened when their cavalry suddenly advanced and charged the Howitzer. They were, however, received with two rounds of canister, which drove them back, and the Seventh Virginia cavalry, Captain Myers commanding, charged them. They also charged the Blakely, but Colonel Harman, with about seventy-five men of the Twelfth Virginia cavalry, met and repulsed them. Lieutenant-Colonel Burks, in temporary command of the Second Virginia cavalry, held the crossroads commanding the approach to Sugar Loaf mountain and kept the enemy in check with his sharpshooters. The loss on this occasion was fifteen, killed, wounded and missing. The cross-roads were successfully held for three days, during which regular skirmishing and artillery firing took place, when on the 11th the enemy advanced in force with infantry. Having maintained the present front even longer than was contemplated by the instructions covering the investment of Harper's Ferry, found in the orders appended to this report, the cavalry was withdrawn to within three miles of Frederick.

Lee's brigade having fallen back from New Market and crossed the Monocacy near Liberty, Robertson's brigade was ordered to retire in the direction of Jefferson, and Hampton's brigade was directed to occupy Frederick city, in the rear of the army then moving toward Middletown. Hampton's pickets were thrown out on the various roads leading in the direction of the enemy's approach, and about midday on the 12th he was notified that a heavy force was advancing on the National road. As two squadrons had been left on picket at the bridge over the Monocacy, between Frederick city and Urbanna, it was of great importance to hold the approaches by the National road until the squadrons were withdrawn, and with this end in view, a rifle piece was added to the two guns already in position on the turnpike, and a squadron from the Second South Carolina cavalry, under Lieutenant Meighan, sent to support the battery. The enemy soon appeared, and opened fire on the cavalry, when, the squadrons at the bridge having rejoined [286] him, General Hampton slowly retired to the city, sending his artillery on before to occupy a position commanding the ground between the city and the mountain. The enemy now pressed forward, and planting a gun in the suburbs of the city, supported by a body of cavalry and a regiment and half of infantry, opened fire upon the crowded thoroughfares of the place. To secure a safe retreat for the brigade, it was necessary to charge this force, which was gallantly done by the Second South Carolina cavalry, Colonel Butler, Lieutenant Meighan leading his squadron in advance.

The enemy were scattered in every direction, many of them killed and wounded, ten prisoners taken, among them Colonel Moore, Twenty-third Ohio, and the gun captured. Unfortunately, five of the horses attached to the piece were killed; so that it could not be removed. The enemy's account, subsequently published, admits the repulse of their force and the capture of the gun. After this repulse the enemy made no further efforts to annoy our rear. The brigade retired slowly, bringing off the prisoners captured, and bivouacked that night at Middletown--Lieutenant-Colonel Martin having been left with his command and two pieces of artillery to hold the Catoctin mountain. Munford was in the meanwhile ordered to occupy the gap in this range near the town of Jefferson. The force under his command consisted at this time of only the Second and Twelfth Virginia cavalry--the Sixth Virginia having been left at Centreville to collect arms, etc., the Seventeenth battalion detached before crossing the Potomac on an expedition into Berkely, and the Seventh Virginia cavalry having been ordered a day or two before to report to General Jackson for operations against Harper's Ferry. Every means was taken to ascertain what the nature of the enemy's movement was, whether a reconnoisance feeling for our whereabouts, or an aggressive movement of the army. The enemy studiously avoided displaying any force, except a part of Burnside's corps, and built no camp fires in their halt at Frederick that night. The information was conveyed promptly to the Commanding General, through General D. H. Hill, now at Boonsboroa; and it was suggested that the gap which I held this night was a very strong position for infantry and artillery. Friday, the day on which (by the calculation of the Commanding General) Harper's Ferry would fall, had passed, and as the garrison was not believed to be very strong at that point, I supposed the object already accomplished. I nevertheless felt it important to check the enemy as much as possible, in order to develop his force. With [287] a view to ascertain what the nature of this movement was, I had, before leaving Frederick, sent instructions to Brigadier-General Fitz. Lee to gain the enemy's rear from his position on the left.

On the morning of the 13th, I moved forward all of Hampton's command to the support of Colonel Martin. Foiled in their attack on the preceding evening, the enemy appeared in front of Colonel Martin, at daylight on the 13th, and endeavored to force their way through the mountain. Their advance guard was driven back, when they posted artillery on the turnpike and opened fire on Colonel Martin, who held the mountain crest. This was responded to by a section of rifle guns under Captain Hart, whose fire was so effective that the enemy's battery was forced several times to change its position. The skirmishers on both sides had meanwhile become actively engaged, and the enemy was held in check until he had marched up to the attack two brigades of infantry, which was the only force we were yet able to discover, so well did he keep his troops concealed. About 2 P. M. we were obliged to abandon the crest, and withdrew to a position near Middletown. All this was duly reported in writing by me through General D. H. Hill, to the Commanding General.

In the engagemts at the gap in the Catoctin and near Middletown, the Jeff. Davis Legion and First North Carolina cavalry, respectively under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Martin and Colonel Baker, conducted themselves with the utmost gallantry, and sustained a hot fire of artillery and musketry without flinching or confusion in the ranks. Captain Siler, a gallant officer of the First North Carolina cavalry, had his leg broken during the engagement.

The enemy soon appeared in force crossing the mountain, and a spirited engagement took place, both of artillery and sharpshooters, the First North Carolina, Colonel Baker, holding the rear and acting with conspicuous gallantry. This lasted for some time, when, having held the enemy in check sufficiently long to accomplish my object, I withdrew slowly toward the gap in the South mountain, having given General D. H. Hill ample time to occupy that gap with his troops, and still believing that the capture of Harper's Ferry had been effected. On reaching the vicinity of the gap near Boonsboroa, finding General Hill's troops occupying the gap, I turned off General Hampton with all his cavalry, except the Jeff. Davis Legion, to reinforce Munford at Crampton's gap, which was now the weakest point of the line. I remained myself at the gap near Boonsboroa until night, but the enemy did not attack the position. This was [288] obviously no place for cavalry operations, a single horseman passing from point to point on the mountain with difficulty.

Leaving the Jeff. Davis Legion here, therefore, and directing Colonel Rosser, with a detachment of cavalry and the Stuart horse artillery, to occupy Braddock's gap, I started on my way to join the main portion of my command at Crampton's gap, stopping for the night near Boonsboroa. I had not up to this time seen General D. H. Hill, but about midnight he sent General Ripley to me to get information concerning roads and gaps in a locality where General D. H. Hill had been lying for two days with his command. All the information I had was cheerfully given, and the situation of the gaps explained by map. I confidently hoped by this time to have received the information which was expected from Brigadier-General Fitz. Lee. All the information I possessed, or had the means of possessing, had been laid before General D. H. Hill and the Commanding General. His troops were duly notified of the advance of the enemy, and I saw them in line of battle awaiting his approach, and myself gave some general directions concerning the location of his lines, during the afternoon in his absence.

Early next morning I repaired to Crampton's gap, which I had reason to believe was as much threatened as any other.

Brigadier-General Hampton proceeded as directed toward Burketsville. As General Jackson was then in front of Harper's Ferry, and General McLaws with his division occupied Maryland Heights to prevent the escape of the Federal garrison, it was believed that the enemy's efforts would be against McLaws, probably by the route of Crampton's gap. On his way to the gap, Brigadier-General Hampton encountered a regiment of the enemy's cavalry, on a road parallel to the one which he was pursuing, and, taking the Cobb Legion, Lieutenant-Colonel Young, at once charged them, dispersing them, killing or wounding thirty, and taking five prisoners. Our loss was four killed and nine wounded; among the former Lieutenant Marshall and Sergeant Barksdale, and among the latter Lieutenant-Colonel Young and Captain Wright, all of whom acted with remarkable gallantry.

General Hampton then drew near the gap, when Colonel Munford, mistaking his command for a portion of the enemy's cavalry, ordered his artillery to open upon him. This order was on the point of being executed, when Hampton, becoming aware of his danger, exhibited a white flag, and thus averted this serious misfortune. [289]

Hampton's brigade remained at the gap for the night. Next morning upon my arrival, finding that the enemy had made no demonstration toward Crampton's gap up to that time, and apprehending that he might move directly from Frederick to Harper's Ferry, I deemed it prudent to leave Munford to hold this point until he could be reinforced with infantry, and moved Hampton nearer the Potomac. General McLaws was advised of the situation of affairs, and sent Brigadier-General Howell Cobb with his command to hold Crampton's gap. General Hampton's command was halted at the south end of South mountain, and pickets sent out on the roads toward Point of Rocks and Frederick. I proceeded myself to the headquarters of General McLaws to acquaint him with the situation of affairs, and also to acquaint myself with what was going on. I went with him to the Maryland Heights overlooking Harper's Ferry, which had not yet fallen. I explained to him the location of the roads in that vicinity, familiar to myself from my connection with the John Brown raid, and repeatedly urged the importance of his holding with an infantry picket the road leading from the Ferry by the Kennedy farm toward Sharpsburg; failing to do which the entire cavalry force of the enemy at the Ferry, amounting to about 500, escaped during the night by that very road, and inflicted serious damage on General Longstreet's train, in the course of their flight.

I had ordered Colonel Munford to take command (as the senior officer) at Crampton's gap and hold it against the enemy at all hazards. Colonel Munford gave similar instructions to the officers commanding the two fragments of infantry regiments from Mahone's brigade then present, and posted the infantry behind a stone wall at the eastern base of the mountain. Chew's battery and a section of Navy Howitzers belonging to the Portsmouth battery were placed on the slope of the mountain, and the whole force of cavalry at his command dismounted and disposed on the flanks as sharpshooters. The enemy soon advanced with overpowering numbers to assail the position-his force in sight amounting to a division (Slocum's) of infantry. They were received with a rapid and steady fire from our batteries, but confined to advance, preceded by their sharpshooters, and an engagement ensued between these and our infantry and dismounted cavalry. Colonel Parham, commanding Mahone's brigade, soon after arrived with the Sixth and Twelfth Virginia infantry, scarcely numbering in all [290] three hundred men; and this small force, for at least three hours, maintained their position and held the enemy in check without assistance of any description from General Semmes, who, Colonel Munford reports, held the next gap below, and witnessed all that took place. General Cobb finally came with two regiments to the support of the force holding the gap. At his request, Colonel Munford posted the new regiments, when the infantry which had been engaged, having exhausted their ammuntion, fell back from their position. The enemy took advantage of this circumstance and suddenly advanced, and the fresh regiments broke before they were well in position. General Cobb made great efforts to rally them, but without the least effect, and it was evident that the gap could no longer be held. Under these circumstances, Colonel Munford (whose artillery had exhausted every round of ammunition and retired) formed his command and moved down the mountain on the Boonsboroa road to the point where the horses of the dismounted sharpshooters were stationed. The enemy were at the forks of the Harper's Ferry and Boonsboroa roads before many of the cavalry reached it — the infantry having retired in great disorder, and the cavalry were the last to give up their position. In this hot engagement, the Second and Twelfth Virginia cavalry behaved with commendable coolness and gallantry, inflicting great injury with their long range guns upon the enemy, and their exertions were ably seconded by the troops under Colonel Parham, who held his position most gallantly until overpowered.

Hearing of the attack at Crampton's gap, I rode at full speed to reach that point, and met General Cobb's command, just after dark, retreating in disorder down Pleasant valley. He represented the enemy as only two hundred yards behind, and in overwhelming force. I immediately halted his command, and disposed men upon each side of the road to meet the enemy, and a battery, which I had accidentally met with, was placed in position commanding the road. The enemy not advancing, I sent out parties to reconnoitre, who found no enemy within a mile. Pickets were thrown out, and the command was left in partial repose for the night. The next morning, more infantry and a portion of the cavalry having been brought up to this point, preparations were made to repulse any attack--Major-General R. H. Anderson being now in immediate command at this point. The battle of Boonsboroa or South Mountain having taken place the evening previous, resulted unfavorably [291] to us, and the troops occupying that line were on the march to Sharpsburg.

The garrison at Harper's Ferry surrendered during the forenoon. Late on the afternoon previous, Brigadier-General Fitz. Lee arrived at Boonsboroa and reported to the Commanding General, having been unable to accomplish the object of his mission, which his report will more fully explain.

His command was assigned to the important and difficult duty of occupying the line of battle of the infantry to enable it to withdraw during the night, and early next morning his command was charged with bringing up the rear of that column to Sharpsburg, while Hampton accomplished the same for McLaws' command moving out of Pleasant Valley to Harper's Ferry. I reported in person to General Jackson at Harper's Ferry, and thence rode, at his request, to the Commanding General at Sharpsburg, to communicate to him General J.'s views and information.

Our army being in line of battle on the heights overlooking the Antietam, I was assigned to the left, where Brigadier-General Fitz. Lee's brigade took position after his severe engagement near Boonsboroa between the enemy and his rear guard, Munford's small command being on the right.

On the afternoon of the 16th, the enemy was discovered moving a column across the Antietam to the pike, with the view of turning our left beyond the Dunkard church. This was duly reported, and the movement watched. A little skirmishing took place before night. I moved the cavalry still farther to the left, making way for our infantry, and crowned a commanding hill with artillery, ready for the attack in the morning. General Jackson had arrived in time from Harper's Ferry, with a part of his command, on the night before to take position on this line, and the attack began very early next morning. The cavalry was held as a support for the artillery, which was very advantageously posted so as to bring an enfilading fire upon the enemy's right. About this time, Lieutenant-Colonel John T. Thornton, of the Third Virginia cavalry, was mortally wounded, at the head of his regiment. To the service he was a brave and devoted member. In him one of the brightest ornaments of the State has fallen.

This fire was kept up with terrible effect upon the enemy; and the position of the artillery being somewhat endangered, Early's brigade was sent to me by General Jackson as additional support. The enemy had advanced too far into the woods near the Dunkard [292] church for the fire to be continued without danger of harming our own men. I accordingly withdrew the batteries to a position further to the rear, where our own line could be seen, and ordered General Early to rejoin his division, with the exception of the Thirteenth Virginia infantry, commanded by Captain Winston, which was retained as a support for the artillery.

The artillery opened from its new position at close range upon the enemy, with still more terrible effect than before: the Thirteenth Virginia infantry being within musket range, did telling execution. Early's division now pouring a deadly fire into their front, while the artillery and its. support were bearing so heavily upon their flank, the enemy soon broke in confusion, and were pursued for half a mile along the Williamsport turnpike. I recognized in this pursuit part of Barksdale's and part of Semmes' brigades, and I also got hold of one regiment of Ransom's brigade, which I posted in an advantageous position on the extreme left flank, after the pursuit had been checked by the enemy's reserve artillery coming into action. Having informed General Jackson of what had transpired, I was directed by him to hold this advance position, and that he would send all the infantry he could get in order to follow up the success. I executed this order, keeping the cavalry well out to the left, and awaiting the arrival of reinforcements. These reinforcements were, however, diverted to another part of the field, and no further engagement took place on this part of the field beyond a desultory artillery fire.

On the next day it was determined, the enemy not again attacking, to turn the enemy's right. In this movement I was honored with the advance. In endeavoring to pass along up the river bank, however, I found that the river made such an abrupt bend that the enemy's batteries were within 800 yards of the brink of the stream, which would have made it impossible to have succeeded in the movement proposed, and it was accordingly abandoned.

The Commanding General having decided to recross the Potomac, the delicate and difficult duty of covering this movement was assigned to Brigadier-General Fitz. Lee, while I was directed to ford the river that afternoon with Hampton's brigade, at an obscure ford, and proceeding to Williamsport, cross the river again at that point so as to create a diversion in favor of the movement of the army. Hampton's brigade did not reached the ford until dark, and as the ford was very obscure and rough, many got over their depth and had to swim the river. The duty assigned to Brigadier-General Fitz. Lee [293] was accomplished with entire success, and he withdrew his command safely to the south side of the Potomac on the morning of the 19th.

Hampton's brigade crossed the Potomac a short distance above Williamsport, while a part of the Twelfth Virginia cavalry dashed across the river immediately at Williamsport, chasing a few of the enemy's pickets from the place. I was also aided in this demonstration by a battalion of infantry, under Captain Randolpth, of the Second Virginia, also by a detachment of the Eleventh Georgia, and it may be by small detachments of other regiments, and a section of the Salem artillery, and one of the Second company Howitzers.

The bridge over the canal was destroyed, but a very good road was constructed, without much labor, under the aqueduct, over the Conochocheague. Having moved out the command, including Hampton's brigade, upon the ridges overlooking Williamsport, active demonstrations were made toward the enemy.

On the 20th the enemy were drawn toward my position in heavy force, Couch's division in advance. Showing a bold front, we maintained our position and kept the enemy at bay until dark, when, having skirmished all day, we withdrew to the south bank of the Potomac, without loss.

During the Maryland campaign my command did not suffer on any one day as much as their comrades of other arms, but theirs was the sleepless watch and the harassing daily “petite guerre,” in which the aggregate of casualties for the month sums up heavily. There was not a single day from the time my command crossed the Potomac till it recrossed, that it was not engaged with the enemy, and at Sharpsburg was several times subjected to severe shelling. Their services were indispensable to every success attained, and the officers and men of the cavalry division recur with pride to the Maryland campaign of 1862.

I regret exceedingly that I have not the means of speaking more in detail of the brave men of other commands whose meritorious conduct was witnessed both at Sharpsburg and Williamsport, but whose names owing to the lapse of time cannot be now recalled, and I have no reports to assist me. Brigadier-General Early at the former place behaved with great coolness and good judgment, particularly after he came in command of his division, and Colonel (since General) William Smith, Forty-ninth Virginia infantry, was conspicuously brave and self-possessed. [294]

One of the regiments of Ransom's brigade, also becoming detached from the brigade, behaved with great gallantry, and for a long time held an important detached position on the extreme left unaided.

The gallant Pelham displayed all those. noble qualities which have made him immortal. He had under his command batteries from every portion of General Jackson's command. The batteries of Poague, Pegram and Carrington, the only ones which now recur to me, did splendid service, as also did the Stuart horse artillery, all under Pelham. The hill held on the extreme left so long and so gallantly by artillery alone, was essential to the maintenance of our position.

Major Heros Von Borcke displayed his usual skill, courage and energy. His example was highly valuable to the troops.

Cadet W. Q. Hullihen, Confederate States army, was particularly distinguished on the field of Sharpsburg for his coolness, and his valuable services as acting aid-de-camp. I deem it proper to mention here also a young lad named Randolph, of Fauquier, who, apparently about 12 years of age, brought me several messages from General Jackson under circumstances of great personal peril, and delivered his dispatches with a clearness and intelligence highly creditable to him.

Private--------, Cobb's Georgia legion, one of my couriers, was killed while behaving with the most conspicuous bravery, having borrowed a horse to ride to the field. He had been sent to post a battery of artillery from his native State.

Captain Frayser, signal corps, rendered important services to the Commanding General from a mountain overlooking the enemy on the Antietam.

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


J. E. B. Stuart, Major-General. Colonel R. H. Chilton, Chief of Staff, Army of Northern Virginia.

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