Report of Captain James B. McIntyre, Fourth U. S. Cavalry, of operations August 18-22 (Kilpatrick’s raid).
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH U. S. CAVALRY,
August 24, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following as a report of the part the Fourth U. S. Cavalry took in the late expedition commanded by General Kilpatrick:
On the night of the 17th, about 10 p. m., we moved camp with the First Brigade, Second Cavalry Division, and marched all night, arriving at Sandtown (General Kilpatrick’s headquarters) about 6 a. m. on the 18th. We lay there all day, and started with the command at sundown and marched all night. At daylight on the 19th the enemy opened on the head of my regiment with artillery. I continued the march, crossed the West Point railroad, turned to the left, and took the road toward the Macon railroad. After marching about one mile I came into line on the left-hand side of the road, and sent one battalion, under Lieutenant Roys, to attack the enemy’s rear. This appeared to have been only a feint to delay our column, and the line of march was resumed toward the Macon railroad at Jonesborough. At Flint Creek the regiment was dismounted after crossing, and a line of battle was formed of the First Ohio and Fourth U. S. Cavalry, and the Fourth Michigan deployed as skirmishers on our front. In this manner we marched into Jonesborough. Arriving there, I was ordered with my regiment to destroy the railroad and burn the depot. About 1 a. m. the command moved out. Finding we were likely to be attacked by infantry, marched toward Woodstock, and then traveled toward Lovejoy’s Station. At about 1 p. m., when near the railroad, we encountered the enemy’s infantry. The First Brigade, Second Cavalry Division, was dismounted and advanced into the woods, and, after severe loss and heavy fighting, were compelled to fall back and take a new position. It was here I lost my adjutant, Lieutenant Sullivan, wounded, and Captain McCormick, commanding Second Battalion, missing. Where everyone did well I can hardly discriminate, and will mention none. About 2 p. m. we were ordered to mount. The First Brigade was formed in three columns of fours, the Seventh Pennsylvania on the right, the Fourth Regulars on the left, and the Fourth Michigan in the center, and, with drawn sabers, the brigade charged a division of rebel cavalry, completely routing, demoralizing, and scattering or killing everything in our front, which consisted of a battery of three guns (which poured into our brave men showers of case and canister), and a division of cavalry partly dismounted. About four miles from the railroad the brigade was reformed, and marched toward McDonough. The Fourth U. S. Cavalry, having no carbine ammunition, were detached from the brigade and put in front. From that time until we arrived in this camp, at sundown on the 22d, the regiment had no more fighting.
Captain, before closing this memorandum report I felt compelled to mention a few gallant spirits whose coolness under a heavy fire, when dismounted, and gallant bearing in the charge, deserve the highest need of praise. Lieutenant Joseph Hedges, First Sergeants Harner, Company G, and Rossmalier, Company H, when dismounted, by their coolness and courage kept every man in his place, and Sergeant Cody, Company G, Sergeants Fay and Walsh, Company A, were particularly noticed by me for their bravery. The two latter fell in the first line. But it was in the charge, when cavalry fought in the legitimate way, that the cool, dismounted lieutenant, sergeants, and soldiers became the cavalryman, and where all were heroes it would be invidious to make distinction. Lieutenant Hedges was at the head of the column. Sergeant Rose, of Company L, led us all, and almost cut a road for the rear. Private Douglas, Company C, was conspicuous in taking and keeping prisoners. Lieutenant Roys had his horse killed by a shell.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. McINTYRE,
Captain Fourth Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.
[Captain ROBERT BURNS,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, First Brigadier, Second Cav. Div.]