U. S. CIVIL WAR
JEB STUART'S RIDE
(PAGE 6 of 11)
Route (in red) from Hanover Court House,
upper left, to Linney's Corner, lower Right.
Where Captain Latane was killed.
... On, on dashed Robins [ Ninth Virginia Cavalry adjutant Lieutenant Robins ], here skirting a field, there leaping a fence or ditch, and clearing the woods beyond, when not far from Old Church the enemy made a stand, having been re-enforced.
The only mode of attack being in column of fours along the road, I still preferred to oppose the enemy with one squadron at a time, remembering that he who brings on the field the last cavalry reserve wins the day.
The next squadron therefore moved to the front under the lamented Captain Latane, making a most brilliant and successful charge with drawn sabers upon the picketed ground, and, after a hotly-contested hand-to-hand conflict, put him to flight, but not till the gallant captain had sealed his devotion to his native soil with his blood. The enemy's rout (two squadrons by one of ours) was complete; they dispersed in terror and confusion, leaving many dead on the field and blood in quantities in their tracks. Their commander, Captain Royall, was reported mortally wounded .
Several officers and a number of privates were taken in this conflict, and a number of horses, arms, and equipments, together with five guidons. The woods and fields were full of the scattered and disorganized foe straggling to and fro, and but for the delay and the great incumbrance which they would have been to our march, many more could and would have been captured.
Col. Fitz. Lee, burning with impatience to cross sabers with his old regiment, galloped to the front at this point and begged to be allowed to participate with his regiment (the First Virginia Cavalry) in the discomfiture of his old comrades, a request I readily granted, and his leading squadron pushed gallantly down the road to Old Church; but the fragments of Royall's command could not again be rallied, and Colonel Lee's leading squadron charged without resistance into the enemy's camp (five companies), and took possession of a number of horses, a quantity of arms and stores of every kind, several officers and privates. The stores as well as the tents, in which everything had been left, were speedily burned, and the march resumed ...
Burial of Latane by W.D. Washington ; engraved by A.G. Campbell.
(Library of Congress' copy of engraving damaged - Repaired by Ed.)
Route (in red) from Linney's Corner, upper
left, to Tunstall's Station, lower middle.
Old Church Tavern.
... Here was the turning point of the expedition. Two routes were before me - the one to return by Hanover Court-House, the other to pass around through New Kent, taking the chances of having to swim the Chickahominy and make a bold effort to cut the enemy's lines of communication. The Chickahominy was believed by my guide to be fordable near Forge Bridge. I was 14 miles from Hanover Court-House, which I would have to pass. If I returned, the enemy had a much shorter distance to pass to intercept me there; besides, the South Anna was impassable, which still further narrowed the chances of escape in that direction; the enemy, too, would naturally expect me to take that route. These circumstances led me to look with more favor to my favorite scheme, disclosed to you before starting, of passing around. It was only 9 miles to Tunstall's Station, on the York River Railroad, and that point once passed I felt little apprehension beyond. The route was one of all others which I felt sure the enemy would never expect me to take. On that side of the Chickahominy infantry could not reach me before crossing, and I felt able to whip any cavalry force that could be brought against me. Once on the Charles City side, I knew you would, when aware of my position, if necessary, order a diversion in my favor on the Charles City road, to prevent a move to intercept me from the direction of White Oak Swamp. Besides this, the hope of striking a serious blow at a boastful and insolent foe, which would make him tremble in his shoes, made more agreeable the alternative I chose. In a brief and frank interview with some of my officers I disclosed my views, but while none accorded a full assent, all assured me a hearty support in whatever I did.
With an abiding trust in God, and with such guarantees of success as the two Lees and Martin and their devoted followers, this enterprise I regarded as most promising. Taking care, therefore, more particularly, after this resolve, to inquire of the citizens the distance and the route to Hanover Court-House, 1 kept my horse's head steadily toward Tunstall's Station ...
Road to Garlick's Landing.
... There was something of the sublime in the implicit confidence and unquestioning trust of the rank and file in a leader guiding them straight, apparently, into the very jaws of the enemy, every step appearing to them to diminish the faintest hope of extrication. Reports of the enemy's strength at Garlick's and Tunstall's were conflicting, but generally indicated a small number. Prisoners were captured at every step, and including officers, soldiers, and negroes.
The rear now became of as much importance as the front, but the duties of rear guard devolving upon the Jeff. Davis Legion, with the howitzer attached, its conduct was intrusted to its commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, in whose judgment and skill I had entire confidence. He was not attacked, but at one time the enemy appeared in his rear bearing a flag of truce, and party, 25 in number, bearing it, actually surrendered to his rear guard, so great was the consternation produced by our march. An assistant surgeon was also taken. He was en route and not in charge of sick ...
... Upon arriving opposite Garlick's I ordered a squadron from the Ninth Virginia Cavalry to destroy whatever could be found at the landing on the Pamunkey. Two transports loaded with stores and a large number of wagons were here burned, and the squadron rejoined the column with a large number of prisoners, horses, and mules. A squadron of the First Virginia Cavalry (Hammond's) assisted in this destruction ...
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