• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Report of Col. W. H. F. Lee, Ninth Virginia Cavalry.

            HDQRS. Ninth Regiment Virginia Cavalry.

                                                            Camp Lee, Va., June 17, 1862

General: I have the honor to forward a  report of the part taken by my regiment in the late reconnaissance around the enemy’s lines made by the cavalry brigade under your command on the 13th, 14th, and 15th instant:

            [The] Second Squadron, Captain Swann commanding, made the first charge near Hawes’ Shop, completely routing the enemy and pursuing him about a mile. The second charge was made by the Fifth Squadron, Captain Latane commanding, about a mile from Old Church (Hanover), up a hill, through a narrow road, with thick woods on both sides. The enemy here was strongly posted, his force consisting of two squadrons. It was here that Captain Latane was killed while gallantly leading his squadron, charging some 30 yards ahead of it. It was here that they had a hand-to-hand conflict, and my officers and men behaved with the greatest daring and bravery.

            In this encounter my loss consisted of Captain Latane, killed, and we killed some 4 or 5 and captured a large number, among them Lieutenant McLean. It is reported to me by some of my officers and men that there were a great many more killed and wounded. Some were in the woods, and the wounded got off in the road. We passed by so rapidly that it is impossible to state accurately the loss of the enemy.

            From this time, as you know, there was no more hard fighting. We captured as we went along a large number of prisoners.

            The advance guard, as you know, had barley reached the York River Railroad, when a train was reported in sight. Lieutenant Robins, in command of the advance, tried to turn the switch, but found it locked. He had obstructions placed across the track, and I hurried a squadron forward, dismounted them, and as the train came down fired into it. A great many jumped off when the firing commenced. The conductor was killed or jumped off. The obstructions proved insufficient and the train escaped. There were some killed here and a number captured.

            I detached a part of two squadrons, Captain Knight and Lieutenant Oliver commanding, and directed them to go to Garlick’s Landing and burn the vessels lying there, which they did very successfully, burning two transports laden with sutler’s and quartermaster’s stores. One escaped. Here they met with a slight resistance from a party of about 100 men, but a few shots soon brought the matter to an end, and they captured almost all of them. The rest you know. It is impossible in such a hurried march to state accurately everything that occurred.

            I should like to call your attention [to] the conduct of my adjutant Lieut. W. T. Robins, who conducted in a very handsome manner the advance of my regiment when it was in front and the rear when in rear. He was also in both of the charges.

            The officers and men all behaved with the greatest bravery and coolness, Private Ashton, of company E, and those wounded, I think, deserve special mention.

            Two squadrons of the Fourth Cavalry, under Captain Wooldridge, were attached to my command. They participated and gallantly dispersed a body of cavalry that formed on Garlick’s farm. The enemy did not allow them to get very near.

            Very respectfully,

            W. H .F Lee,

Colonel Ninth Virginia Cavalry

Brig. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart,

Commanding Cavalry Brigade



Source: The War of The Rebellion, Series 1, Vol. 11, Part 1, pp, 1043-1044

Transcribed by NicholasTarchis, 2017 June 1

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