The Civil War Memoirs of a Virginia Cavalryman

By Robert T. Hubard Jr.; Thomas P. Nanzig | Go to book overview

3
“Our Little Peninsula World”

Our little Peninsula world had now become a real “Theater of War.” [George B.] McClellan had advanced from Fort Monroe with 120,000 men and on the 11th April, Brigadier General Magruder withdrew all his little force behind his Yorktown and Lee's Mill line of works and stood ready to defend them. On the 12th a strong column of “blue jackets” came in sight on the Warwick Road and, deploying right and left in front of Lee's Mill, began to skirmish heavily. Another strong column appeared in front of the line near Yorktown, deployed, and “felt our position.” My regiment, with a battalion of infantry, was ordered to defend a portion of the line about half a mile long. The shallow, sluggish stream known as the Warwick River, being very small near its sources, five dirt dams had been thrown up between Yorktown and Lee's mill to back up the water and make it spread out into the marshes on either bank. These dams afforded a good passage for troops two abreast.

Hence, our first business was to throw up earthworks in front of and commanding them. I really felt like laughing when, with one squadron of dismounted cavalry and one company of infantry to hold down dam No. 3, I began collecting old broken logs and pieces of brush wood to shield my precious person from the view and the fire of the enemy. The rest of the regiment and the battalion were in line of battle in rear, being a “corps de reserve.” Armed as we were with muzzle-loading, smoothbore carbines and the infantry with smoothbore muskets, I trembled to think of the stampede and awful gap which would be made in the line if some ten or a dozen really good riflemen had posted themselves a hun-

-32-

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The Civil War Memoirs of a Virginia Cavalryman
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • Editor's Note xxv
  • Introduction 1
  • Year 1 - 1861 5
  • 1 - [Three Cheers for the Southern Flag!] 7
  • Year 2 - 1862 25
  • 2 - [the Rapid Decline of Martial Spirit] 27
  • 3 - [Our Little Peninsula World] 32
  • 4 - [the Enemy Were Worsted] 44
  • 5 - [a Little Stream of Limestone Water] 57
  • 6 - [Stuart Set out on a Raid] 66
  • Year 3 - 1863 77
  • 7 - [One of the Best Cavalry Fights of the War] 79
  • 8 - [Our Brigade Advanced to Aldie] 88
  • 9 - [to Gain Kilpatrick's Rear at Buckland] 107
  • Year 4 - 1864 129
  • 10 - [Boys, You Have Made the Most Glorious Fight] 131
  • 11 - [a Furious Charge Was Made upon Our Line] 162
  • 12 - [We're off for the Valley] 184
  • 13 - [Tattered Flags Sporting in the Breeze] 193
  • Year 5 1865 211
  • 14 - [a Spectacle of Monstrous Absurdity!] 213
  • Afterword 228
  • Appendix A - Eyewitness Accounts of Bagley Shooting Incident 231
  • Appendix B - Carter Account of Chambersburg Raid 233
  • Notes 235
  • Bibliography 285
  • Index 293
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