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JEB STUART'S RIDE
AROUND MCCLELLAN

UNION RESPONSE


 

    *   Major General George B. McClellan - June 14, 1862.

    *   Brig. Gen. F. J. Porter, Fifth Provisional Army Corps - June 19, 1862.

    *   Major H. B. Clitz, Twelfth Infantry - June 18, 1862.
(Investigation into the facts connected with the attack upon the cavalry outposts commanded by Captain Royall, Fifth Cavalry.)

    *   Brig. Gen. Philip St. George Cooke, commanding Cavalry Reserve - June 15 - 19, 1862.
(Brig. Gen. Cooke is given the blame for failure in capturing Stuart. He sends several reports in defense of his actions.)










   

McCLELLAN'S, June 14, 1862--11 a.m.

[SIR:] A rebel force of cavalry and artillery, variously estimated at from 1,000 to 5,000, came around our right flank last evening, attacked and drove in a picket guard of two squadrons of cavalry stationed at Old Church; thence they proceeded to a landing 3 miles above White House, where they burned two forage schooners and destroyed some wagons. Then they struck the railroad at Tunstall's Station, fired into a train of cars, killing some 5 or 6. Here they met a force of infantry which I sent down to meet them, when they ran off. I have several cavalry detachments out after them and hope to punish them. No damage has been done to the railroad.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

(Source: O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XI/1 [S# 12]]


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HEADQUARTERS FIFTH PROVISIONAL ARMY CORPS,
Camp near New Bridge, Va., June 19, 1862.

GENERAL; I have the honor to inclose for the information of the commanding general the reports of officers engaged in contesting the advance into our lines on the 13th instant of Stuart's cavalry and pursuing them to the Chickahominy.

The first intimation I received of the approach of the enemy was 4.20 p.m. on the 13th instant, in a note from General Cooke to General Sykes. General Cooke had anticipated my orders and sent out a force to ascertain the strength of the enemy and resist his advance. I directed--in addition to what I supposed General Cooke had done, i.e., taken his available force--General Sykes to send a brigade and battery to his assistance, presuming that General Cooke would pursue with vigor. About dusk I received from General Cooke Major Williams' note, stating the enemy was in force (3,000 to 5,000), artillery, infantry, and cavalry, and shortly afterward one from General Cooke, stating that he would attack at daylight. I cautioned him to be on his guard, and stated General Sykes would join him at that time, but in the mean time to ascertain where was the enemy, and act according to circumstances; not, however, to attack with cavalry alone the combined superior force of the enemy. Also stated I wished him or General Emory to see me at 8 o'clock, if they could leave the command--this as I had reason to believe they were still in their own camp. General Emory came and while here I received the order to send him to Tunstall's Station, and did so with four squadrons of Rush's cavalry, which I had detached from General Cooke for the purpose of sending on another road to Old Church and on the road to White House. Before daybreak I heard we were in possession of Old Church.

The reports of these officers and their subordinates will show fully what was done by their commands.

I directed Major Clitz to examine into the circumstances attending the attack upon Captain Royall and the pursuit of the enemy. I inclose his report and beg to call attention to the facts elicited.

I wish to add that General Cooke seems to have regarded his force as a reserve for the day of battle, and not therefore expected to perform any picket duty; at least no picket duty has been performed by it until ordered by me, except by Captain Royall's command. General Cooke seems to have confined his protection of our flank to scouting with one squadron from Pipingtree Ferry to the point on Pole Creek Church road where rested General Stoneman's pickets.

I can only express surprise that General Cooke or General Emory did not join earlier their commands in front and there act as circumstances required, and that when General Cooke did pursue he should have tied his legs with the infantry command.

I have seen no energy or spirit in the pursuit by General Cooke of the enemy or exhibited the characteristics of a skillful and active guardian of our flanks.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. J. PORTER,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters Army of the Potomac.

(Source: O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XI/1 [S# 12]]


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CAMP NEAR NEW BRIDGE, VA.,
June 18, 1862.

CAPTAIN: In obedience to the letter of instruction from the headquarters Fifth Provisional Corps, dated the 16th instant. I have the honor to report that I have investigated into the facts connected with the attack upon the cavalry outposts commanded by Captain Royall, Fifth Cavalry.

I have read the reports of Generals Cooke and Emory, Colonels Rush and Warren, Major Williams, Captain Royall, Lieutenant Byrnes, and Lieutenant Leib. All of these reports have been sent in to the general commanding the Fifth Corps.

In the examination of the above officers, as well as of Captains McIntosh, Harrison, Whiting, Chambliss, and Lieutenant Brown--all of the cavalry--I failed to elicit but few facts connected with the attack by, and the pursuit of, the enemy not substantially narrated in the reports mentioned above. I shall therefore confine my report to the few additional facts which were not mentioned in those reports.

1st. In reference to Captain Royall's outlying pickets, you will find inclosed a rough map of the roads lying north and east of the Old Church and Hanover Court-House road and between it and the Pamunkey River.

I learned from Lieutenant Leib that pickets were stationed at points marked P on the map and vedettes at the points on the map marked V, and besides having one company out during the day scouting all the roads leading to Hanover Court-House. From Hawes' Shop to Atlee's Station the country was open, not being guarded by either pickets or vedettes, though Lieutenant Leib says he sometimes scouted in that direction. Captain Royall nor his officers considered that part of the country under their charge, and it was stated to me--I think by Captain Harrison--that General Stoneman had reported that Captain Royall's pickets did not join his own. There is no evidence, however, to show that any portion of the enemy did really approach through the gap thus left open.

First notice of the approach of the enemy.--Captain McIntosh stated that he was with Captain Royall when he received Lieutenant Leib's first dispatch; that it was hard to decipher, but he (Mcintosh) finally made it out. The dispatch I could not obtain. Captain Mcintosh fully corroborated what followed, as reported by Captain Royall, as to the steps he immediately took to support Leib. The first report Captain Royall sent to General Cooke was by Lieutenant Watkins, who stated to me that he delivered the dispatch or message to General Cooke at about ten minutes before 3 p.m. Major Williams was on the road with the Fifth and Sixth Cavalry by 3.30, and was at the forks of the Hanover road by 4.30.

General Cooke was in the vicinity of his camp until after 8 o'clock p.m., and did not reach the forks of the road until about 11 o'clock. Colonel Warren, with his infantry, arrived there about a half hour before.

There was no sign or evidence that any infantry force had passed along the Hanover road. So states Major Williams, and see Colonel Warren's report.

Lieutenant Byrnes stated to me that he was positive that he saw infantry in force on the road leading from Dr. Brockenbrough's house to the Hanover Ferry, and yet he admitted that when he first saw them he thought they were some of our own pickets (cavalry). If infantry were there none of our officers seemed to know what became of them; they certainly did not come down onto the Hanover road. Major Williams, Captains Chambliss, Mcintosh, Whiting, and Arnold, and Lieutenants Watkins and Walker say that if General Cooke had arrived at the Hanover road with his cavalry when Major Williams did, and pursued with vigor, leaving his infantry supports to guard the road between Old Church and New Castle Ferry over the Pamunkey, as he was urged to do by Colonel Warren (see his report), the enemy must have been overtaken, perhaps at the Baltimore Store, or at any rate before he could have crossed the Chickahominy.

Major Williams states that the enemy could not have passed the point where he struck the Hanover road more than an hour before he reached there.

Captain Royall wished me to state that he had verbal orders to resist any force which might approach his position. This was in addition to the written instructions from General Williams.

In reference to the movements of General Emory's command in pursuit I learned nothing more than what was contained in his report and in the report of Colonel Rush, except as to the movements conducted by Maj. R. Morris, whose report I inclose.

It may not be improper for me to state that the officers of the Fifth Cavalry evinced some discontent because they had been made to turn in their carbines.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. B. CLITZ,
Major, Twelfth Infantry.

Capt. FRED. T. LOCKE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, General Porter's Corps.

(Source: O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XI/1 [S# 12]]


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