Number 15. Report of Lieutenant Colonel James W. Walsh, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry, Provost Guard, of operations October 27-28

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 87)

Numbers 15. Report of Lieutenant Colonel James W. Walsh, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry, Provost Guard, of operations October 27-28.1

HDQRS. BATTALION THIRD PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY,
November-, 1864.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with an order from you, dated October 31, 1864, to render an account of the action of my regiment during the recent engagement, I have the honor to transmit to you the following:

At 8 a. m. of the 27th of October I received an order from yourself to report with my command to Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, Fiftieth New York Engineers. I complied, and was ordered by him to dismount my command and occupy the line of breast-works in front of the Peebles house. Here I remained until about 12 m., when I received another order from you to move to the front with my command and report for instructions to Major-General Warren, or, in case he could not be found, to Major-General Meade. I reported to General Warren at his headquarters, which were at Armstrong’s Mill, and received from him further instructions to report to General Meade, whom I found upon the extreme left, and near the scene of the engagement of the Second Corps. I reported as ordered, and returned with him too the Armstrong house, when, it being nearly dark, by his order I was instructed to picket the Vaughan road to the crossing of the Hatcher’s, also the telegraph road to its intersection with the Vaughan. This order I complied with and had the pickets so arranged from both reserves as to connect.

On the morning of the 28th I received instructions from Captain Emory, by order of General Humphreys, to report to General Warren. This I did in person, explaining to him the position occupied by our cavalry. He ordered me to return to my command and remain until further orders. At 10.15 a. m. I received the following dispatch:
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
October 28, 1864-10 a. m.

Major WALSH:

Withdraw your cavalry after General Egan gets clear of the road. He is going to move from General Meade’s headquarters over to the Vaughan road, and follow General Mott’s division.

Respectfully,

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

This order I carried out to the best of my ability, but the enemy’s cavalry coming in in large force on the road leading to the saw-mill from General Hancock’s battle-ground, drove in the pickets that I had taken the precaution to place upon that road in charge of Captain Majtheny, of the First Indiana Cavalry, causing them to fall back upon the combined reserves of Captains Majtheny and Carter. After checking the advance of the enemy by two well-directed volleys, these reserves fell back upon the combined reserves of Captains Majtheny and Carter. After checking the advance of the enemy by two well-directed volleys, these reserves fell back across Hatcher’s Creek, when I ordered up another company to their support, under command of Captain Hess, in the meantime sending word to General Warren notifying him of the approach of the enemy’s cavalry. I succeeded in holding the enemy in check for some time, when I was forced to fall back upon the infantry, which I found drawn up in line of battle, commanded by General Bartlett and superintended by General Warren in person. I now received verbal instructions from General Warren to report to General Parke as soon as the rear of General Bartlett’s brigade had fallen back. This I did as soon as notified by General Bartlett that he had withdrawn his skirmishers, and returned to camp in rear of the Ninth Corps.

In the early part of the skirmish at the mill, in going to Captain Carter’s assistance, my command became separated by the enemy advancing up a ravine on my left. Two companies, commanded by Captain Stille and Lieutenant Brooke, were thus separated, the former of whom had charge of the picketing of the Vaughan road to the crossing of the creek. These two companies, which thus became separated, according to my previous instructions fell back on the Vaughan road in rear of General Egan’s command.

The causalities during the engagement were 1 man and 6 horses wounded.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. W. WALSH,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Battalion Third Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Captain A. J. DALLAS,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Source:

  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 214-215

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