Today in History:

1100 Series I Volume XXV-I Serial 39 - Chancellorsville Part I

Page 1100 N.VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

are going on in the east, I trust that the handsome conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Edgar and his men in the west will be gratifying to the War Department.

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,



General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.

Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel George M. Edgar, Twenty-sixth Virginia Battalion.

[MAY]-, 1863.

CAPTAIN: It becomes my duty to submit through you a report of the engagement which took place west of Lewisburg on the morning of the 2nd instant, between the Twenty-sixth Virginia Battalion and a regiment of United States cavalry, commanded by Colonel J. C. Paxton.

A report reached me about 2 p.m. on the 1st instant that United States cavalry had been on Big Sewell Mountain the night before, and had avowed their intention of capturing Lewisburg. I immediately sent out a strong cavalry scout to ascertain the truth of the rumor, watch the enemy, if any could be seen, and reports as to his probable strength and intentions.

About 11 p.m. one of the scouting party returned with the report that a large cavalry force of the enemy was advancing upon the town, and was already within 9 miles of it. After ordering the stores, prisoners, and sick to the rear, I formed the battalion, and marched it to Handley's Mills, 2 miles west of Lewisburg, the position selected for defense. The dispositions for battle were as follows: Company A, Captain [J. S.] Swann, in a skirt of woods on the Blue Sulphur turnpike, to prevent the enemy from turning our right flank; Company B, Lieutenant [G. W.] Hines, and Company F, Lieutenant [James] Dunlap, along an important bend in the road on the west side of the hill, with instructions to refrain from firing until the head of the enemy's column had passed the left company; Company E, Captain [Joseph] Scott, and Company G, Captain [Z. F.] Morris, behind the barricade across the road, and the fencing to the right and left of it; Company C, Lieutenant James H. Peck, and Company D, Captain [Frank C.] Burdett, about 100 yards on the right of the barricade, to act as a reserve; a detachment of 20 men of Company D, under Lieutenant [A. W.] Folk, 200 yards to the right of the reserve [where a good view of the enemy could be had], with instructions to that officer to watch the enemy, and report if he should attempt to turn our right flank. With these dispositions, we awaited the approach of the enemy.

We had scarcely finished our preparations when the enemy's column appeared, and began to file up the hill by fours, the men talking and laughing, apparently unconscious of our close proximity. Unfortunately, before the head of the column had reached the center of the line of riflemen, one of the men fired his gun. This, of course, obliged the whole advance to fire, the enemy retiring behind the bend of the road in great confusion. The firing then became general between the enemy's advance and ours, and lasted several minutes. In less than a minute after the firing ceased in front, I was warned by a quick volley on the right that the enemy was endeavoring to turn our position. I

Page 1100 N.VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.