“The Enemy Were Worsted”
What effect Hancock's slight success might have had if Johnston had fought another day at Williamsburg, I cannot tell you. But as Johnston was trying to retreat to Richmond without a fight, and as that great commander well knew the danger of delay with bad roads before him and flanked by the rivers, the army retreated before daylight of the 22nd.1
As we marched up the road we only came up with a wounded man here and there trying to escape on foot. There was nothing like the spirit of our troops at that day notwithstanding conscription. I saw men with terrible flesh wounds in the legs that had not been dressed, marching steadily on. We, following the example of the main body, divided, a portion of the cavalry taking the Stage Road via Diascund Bridge, the other the road to New Kent Court House.
On the 6th the head of our column was attacked by a flanking column that had landed from York River near Brick Church.2 After a heavy skirmish of two or three hours, the enemy was driven to their boats with a loss of two or three hundred men.
Colonel Fitz Lee of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, commanding a portion of 1st and 4th and all of 3rd regiments, was unexpectedly charged on two roads at Slatersville by squadrons of the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry and was rather worsted at first. But as we outnumbered the enemy greatly, we drove them off as soon as we got over the shock. They lost ten or eleven men and we about the same.3
From this time till about the 10th of May, (when we took up our line near Seven Pines), our cavalry had daily skirmishes and were sometimes