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From The Fifth Cavalry

From The Fifth Cavalry image
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Malvrbx Hill. Va., ) May Kiili, 1801. 5 Fkik.nd Povd : This is the first upportunity I liave I liad of cotiimuuiciiting witli tlio Argus since we broke camp at Stevensburg, May 3d. I will now try and give you a brief sketch of the doings of the Cavalry froin that date to the present, which I trust will bu of interest to the friends of the boys from Washtenaw nnd the readers of the Argus genrally. Tuesday, May 3d orders werc ed for the cavalry to be reidy to Marcli at daybreak, the Iufantry u this viciuity all lef t tbe night previuus, every man was ready' and standing to lior-sc, but af ter chatiging orders severa! times, we got a fair start imci narched till dark, '' camping tur t lic in'glit tiear ' Stor.ey Monntain." Satiirday, f)th; tliu wbole cavalry corps in molioii ut 3 A. M., we cross tlic Ilapidan at Ely's Ford, - our loroes were crossing in tliroo or four different col umus- on raounting tbe Ho'igbtg on the soutb sido of tbe river, tlio fight was silendid. tbe ïnov'iug masses of Iufantry, tbeir brigbt mnskets glittering u the sunshine, tbe immense trains of ons, ambulances, and batteries, the wliüle eavalry winding along hke a huge snake. as I cast iny oyes down on tliis conglomérate ma.-s I thought to myself can il be possiblc that it can ever be brought into any kind of shupe and made tf execute the orders of man ? but tlien there was no time for reflection, as the roar of caunon on the right proclaimed the ball open. That immense body m the hollow, surged, and then broke off in different directions to the positious assigned thcni. The cavali-y moved to Chancellornlle wheu we attacked the rebela on t'ieir left flank and kept up a sliarp uring till dark, we laid down and slept onlj for a short time for the buglo sounded "to horse'' at 2 A. M. Frida.r, Gth, 3 A. M. in the saddle and off, our men burn and dcstroy a larga Furnace that had been used for casting gliot tor the rebel. ariny; at 4 A. M., we cnme up with the rebels and commence skiimishing, whioh draws on a general engagement, tho firing very heavy on botü sides, tho ïst Michigan charge. with draivn sabers and drive them to the er of tbo thick woods, the 5th dismount wilh their 7 shooters, (the dread of ihe rebels) and rush at the foe supported bv tie 6th and 7th, in less than fifteeu min utcs four of Co. K were brought to the rear, two killed and two wounded, the fighting lasts till dark and is very heavy, the wounded oomipg in in large numbers, the woods are on fixe ia all directions, and I am sure many poor f'ellows that ere wouuded, were left to the flames, for it becaine impossible to go over the battle ground; Ihis night we had a good rest, the bugle sounds at 3 A. M. Saturday, 7th, up and get breakfast, in the saddle at sunrise, reading of the good new.s of yesterday to the troops, groat enthusiasm and eheering. We, the 5tb, cliirge tlie robels and route them, wc form a line of our whole brii". ade and charge repeatedly driving them, the firing i-cry heavy, gght uutil dark, then form a line of pickets connecting with the 2Gth infanlry, keep up our line till morniug, heavy firing during the night we lay so close that we can hear the Johnics talk and fiud out they are moving back. We have several killed and wouiided to day, one thing I noticed as did muny, that the rebel aead turned very black, while ours formed quite a contiiis'. by their natuial color of' death, this is accounted for by their diet and the whiskey rations that are issued to thera. Sunday, 8:b ; we move towards the center and joia the 2d corps, make a ftiint move, turn und take the road to Fredericksburg to cover the removal of our wounded wbo ai e taken off by every possible conveyance. The roads, full of ambulances, wagons, carringes ,.ud carts, are filled to the utmost capacity by those worst wounded, their groans as they jolted over the rough rcads was heart rending, though they generally kept up a cueerfulness and would ask as we pusaed huw the dny was going, on telling them we were whipping the rebels they would exclaim "that's bully." The greater part of our men were wounded in the arms and hands, therefr coula walk, so that every part of the road betwecn the wag ons were filled with them. I rode up to the Anny Hospital where the operating corps were ut work, the ampul ations are not done nou by the regiment or brigade Surgeons as used to be, but by a reg ular corps of scientifio Surgeons. Wlien I rode up they wero in the height of their business, rough tables out in the open air, the operativos with a eourse suit on, their sleeves rolled up above their elbows, blood from head to foot, looked more like butchers in a glaughter house, while a short distance was an immense hcap of linibs and fragm.uts of the human body as taken from the tables, but the operations are done on the field very quickly and cleverly. I spoke with some of our Su-geons, tliey told me the corps wore the picked men of tbis counly, I did nol stay long or the agonizing looks of the poor fellows waiting their turn of the kmfo was siekening. So I rode off and joincd the regiment. We lay for a short time in the rear of Chanedlorsville. Wlien I went I saw the boys n the 20th Michigan Infantry, Col. Cutoheon, Maj. Grant, Capt. ('arpenter, Capt. McCollum, Frank Kings ley, now Sergt. Major, Frank Lansing Churlej Maynard, Diniol Sheean, D Durand, tliey were all well anti in good spirits, many others tbat kuow me but ] can nol reeall their ñames. I beard o: none being killed f rom Ann Arbor. 1 algo saw Patriok Kennedy, of tbe 27tb Cliarley Wines, of battery C, (discliarged, and home, lmviug served three years.- Ed.) and Peter Pickett of the Ist U. 8 ('avalry, all bok i Dg ruggod and clieerful. We can.ped hore for the uight. Monday, Oth ; the wfiolo Cavalry corps in motion, having turned the rebela riglu flank, we marcbed oa toward llichmond, getting eonipletely in the ruar of the rebel anny. Gen. Sheridan eoiiipliments his soldiers on , their brilliant aehievements, we proceed direct to Beftver Dam Station and are just in time to recapture 300 of our men the rebels were about to send off to Riehmond. Wo buru a quautity of stores said to be five days rationa for Lee's army, an engine that was at tlie station with cars attaehed, was captured, the engine uucoupled and with a full head of steain set going tetchiug up oti somo ears that were burut on the track. We burn and destroy anothcr engine and tlireo trains of cars, tear up the track for milea, the greatest excitement prevails, the liberated prisoners are jubilant, our cavalry are supplyiug thetnselves with what they need of the rebel supplies, a great fire is made of tho others, we camp for the uiglit near the station, the Heavens are brilliaotly illuminated for miles by the many fires. Tuesday, lOth; up before d ly and off towards Louisa Court House, stop and feed at Villa Green, with rebel provonder, cross the North nd South Anna, the rebels harass our rear, our Pioneers are busy falling trees to barricade the roads. The weather is very hot, the roads dusty, making it tedious to travel, the horses die in great numbers. we go iuto camp on Squire Diekinson'.s plantation, very tired, we stay here all night and have a good rest. Wednesday, 1 1 th ; up and off at 7 A M., sharp skirrnishiug in our rear, 11 A. M. the ball opens iu earuest, very heavy firiug, our brigade charge and capture 3 rebel guus and 175 prisoners, this is ono of the hardest days for oui' boysi We lose near 200 killed And wounded, the fight lasts till dark, our meu are busy burying the dead. We destroy the railroad here, the station is cal led Glenn Alian, we sleep on the battle-field till 10 P. M., commenee marching again, the Provost Marshal has the prisoners, now about 300, under escort, the rebels harrass us all along the road, at 3 A. M., we take the rebel pickets on the outer works around Richmon, turn off and take the road to Bottoms Bridga, and flre signal signs for Butler, but receivc no response, at daylight. we are 2J miles from the city and in possession of the works built by McOlellan. ïhursday, I2th; raining hard, we are attacked by Beauregard's forces, have a fierce figbt fui' the riglit of way of the bridge road, at last they have to retreat and the way is opeD, we cros the bridge and march to Mechanicsvüle where we have another good turn, but dHve them of qourse, thuy concéntrate all thcir forcc at Giinu's Mills and tliink to entrap us bat we fl.iuk ihem Wy a splendi-d movoiueqt, we mure!) till d.irk, go into eaiup wat, weary, Mild hungry, lie dowu and slci-p till morning. FriiJay, 18th ; lip ;it dayliglit, wet througl), sve marufa without molcstatiou, they dare not follow us, we go into camp at noon near the oak swamp, send out foragiug parties, and the way the boys levy on the secush is a caution, they are learning the business riglit smart, we get something to eat and go to bed itraiuing all the time. Saturday, 14th ; in the saddle at 7 A. M. our hornea dying all along the raad, as soon as ono plays out he is shot, we have no breakfa-t aud are very hungry but the men do uot complain for we uave news of rationa ahead at the river, at P. M. we reacli Malvern Hill and are weleoraed by soveral shells from our gunboats, takiug us for rebels, luekily uoüe truck us, for it would bo a poor joke to be hit by one of those ugiy things, thoy were 100 poundurs and vbout two feet long, we sooa elevated the stars and stripes on the top of a house, wliieh they soon saw, and toot, tooted, iu tokeu of recognition. We were sonn in cjmp on "MacV old grouud and near the Cherry tree under which he had bis headquarters. ökeletons, shot, and shell are relies left on the field of the last of the seven days fight befure Ilichmond. We have no rations yet, but forage aud get a small supply. Sundaj 15th ; go down to the river where lies a supply boat with provisions and forage, the men onee again g.-t a good maal, a largo steamer is at the landing and our wnunded are being put aboard, whero they are comfortably cared for, each has now a good bed and a grcat relief it is aft er the jolting for miles in the wagons, the poor f-jllows look so bright and cheorful ; don't seem to caco for their wouuds being ohanged to such coiufortablc quarters. Monday 16th. Splendid mortiing, bor.vy cannonading to-.vards burg, it ceased neáf noon. We have hoard hinco í lm t Fort Darling sunonI(timI at 11 A. M. Our lioys from Aun Arl'or urn weft.Andrew Èleétnn, Kearns, Sumuer, aiaoderor, Markley, and StilisoH are lïghl smart; also Lusk, Monroc, Voorheisünd BnUbitt, all of or ni'fir Ypüanti Dick Rollia nnd the two Rigs' (,f Dextor aio well, and wish to takü this moau.s oí nforminá their trifnds, The regiment has lost tiiiiny food men, bift stil] stands A. No. t, among tlio firhtincr retjimeniH nf' tho cavalry corps of the army of the Pototnac, and 'Clister' is a name dreaded by the rebs. as we loarn from prisoners. Hoping you wil] excuse this longthy epiatle, I remain, vours, &c.


Old News
Michigan Argus