U. S. CIVIL WAR
JEB STUART'S RIDE
(PAGE 11 of 11)
Freeman Marker at Dabbs House.
A pole was broken, which obliged us to abandon a limber this side of the Chickahominy.
The success attending this expedition will no doubt cause 10,000 or 15,000 men to be detached from the enemy's main body to guard his communication, besides accomplishing the destruction of millions’ worth of property and the interruption for a time of his railroad communication.
The three commanders (the two Lees and Martin) exhibited the characteristics of skillful commanders, keeping their commands well in hand and managing them with skill and good judgment, which proved them worthy of a higher trust. Their brave men behaved with coolness and intrepidity in danger, unswerving resolution before difficulties, and stood unappalled before the rushjng torrent of the Chickahominy, with the probability of an enemy at their heels armed with the fury of a tigress robbed of her whelps.
The perfect order and systematic disposition for crossing maintained throughout the passage insured its success and rendered it the crowning feature of a successful expedition.
I hope, general, that your sense of delicacy, so manifest on former occasions, will not prompt you to award to the two Lees (your son and nephew) less than their full measure of praise. Embalmed in the hearts and affections of their regiments; tried on many occasions requiring coolness, decision, and bravery; everywhere present to animate, direct, and control, they held their regiments in their grasp and proved themselves brilliant cavalry leaders.
The discipline maintained by Lieutenant-Colonel Martin in his command and referred to in his report is especially worthy of notice, as also his reference to the energy displayed by First Lieut. James Breathed, of the Stuart Horse Artillery.
I am most of all indebted to First Lieut. D. A. Timberlake, Corpl. Turner Doswell, and Private J. A. Timberlake, Fourth Virginia Cavalry; Second Lieut. Jones B. Christian and Private R. E. Frayser, Third Virginia Cavalry, who were ever in advance, and without whose thorough knowledge of the country and valuable assistance rendered I could have effected nothing.
Asst. Surg. J. B. Fontaine, Fourth Virginia Cavalry (the enemy giving him little to do in his profession), was bold and indefatigable in reconnaissance, and was particularly active in his effort to complete the bridge.
Capt. Heros von Borcke, a Prussian cavalry officer, who lately ran the blockade, assigned me by the honorable Secretary of War, joined in the charge of the First Squadron in gallant style, and subsequently, by his energy, skill, and activity, won the praise and admiration of all.
To my staff present my thanks are especially due for the diligent performance of the duties assigned them; they were as follows: First Lieut. John Esten Cooke, ordnance officer, my principal staff officer for the occasion; First Lieut. C. Dabney, aide-de-camp.
Rev. Mr. Landstreet, Captains Farley, Towles, Fitzhugh, and Mosby rendered conspicuous and gallant service during the whole expedition.
My escort, under Corporal Hagan, are entitled individually to my thanks for their zeal and devotion to duty, particularly Privates Carson, of the Jeff. Davis Legion, and Pierson, of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry.
Herewith are submitted the reports of subordinate commanders, marked A B and C and a map, D, showing my route, and papers, E containing recommendations for promotion, and F, containing congratulatory orders published to the command upon its return.
I have the honor to be, general, your most obedient servant,
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Department Northern Virginia.
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