Monday, November 19, 2007

Original Spin

In fairness to the 6th Cavalry, I went back over the weekend and found the report on the Fairfield engagement in the regimental muster rolls for July 3, 1863. The entry was made by acting adjutant 2nd Lieutenant L. Henry Carpenter and acting regimental commander Stephen S. Balk, the senior remaining officers with the regiment following the engagements at Fairfield and Funkstown. Incidentally, Eric Wittenberg posted an excellent biographical entry on him over on Rantings of a Civil War Historian a couple of weeks ago.

"3rd. The 6th Cavalry were Ordered by Genl Merritt to Move on the Road leading to Fairfield, while the remainder of the Brigade moved on the Road leading to Gettysburg, passing near Tanytown (sic) --- The Regiment under Comd of Maj. Starr marched through Fairfield and Encountered the Enemy a mile beyond consisting of Genl Beverly Robison (Robertson) and Jones Brigades of Rebel Cavalry, and at least a Battery of Inf. guns (field pieces) (ed. author's parentheses). After fighting obstinately fighting more than a half-hour during most of which time the Regiment steadily drove a superior. --- The Enemy succeeded in bringing up reinforcements in overwhelming numbers, and was Enabled to flank us on the right and left. --- This compelling the Regiment to retreat. The Enemy were repulsed however with one third greater loss than our own. = Loss. Commissioned officers. Killed 1st Lieut balder, Co F, 6th Cavalry. Wounded major Starr, Lieut Wood Chaffee Tucker --- Asst Surgeon Notson. Missing in action. Captain Cram, 1st Lt Paulding, 2nd Lt Bould --- Also Asst Surg Forwood. Of the latter, Lt Bould was enabled to escape the hands of the Enemy and capt Cram was paroled. --- Enlisted men Killed & Missing 231. Returned to Emmittsburg."

I found it interesting that there was no mention made of the wagon train that caused the regiment to be sent to Fairfield, though whether this was because Lieutenants Carpenter and Balk didn't know of it or intentionally omitted it due to limited writing space we can't know.

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