July 3rd Report of Colonel George H. Thomas, Second U. S. Cavalry

Camp near Martinsburg, Va., July 3, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the First Brigade, under my command, in the encounter with the enemy on the 2nd instant. About one mile in advance of Falling Waters, on the road from Williamsport, Md., to Martinsburg, Va., Colonel Abercrombie, in command of the leading brigade was met by the enemy, who had taken a position in a body of timber, and opposed his advance with much determination, using both artillery and infantry. My brigade being the next, I brought it into line on the left of the road, one section of Perkins’ Battery being thrown forward, supported by the Twenty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers (colonel Dare), completely outflanking the enemy’s right. After a few discharges from the artillery the enemy retreated, hotly pursued both by Abercrobie’s Brigade on the right of the road, and mine on the left, for more than three miles. The Twenty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers (Colonel Ballier) deployed as skirmishers, supported by the Sixth, Colonel Nagle, passed over their camp, which had been abandoned in much disorder and haste.

The artillery, supported by the Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, advanced along the road, until halted by the general’s orders, and my brigade went into camp upon part of the ground previously occupied by the enemy on Hoke’s Run. Two companies of the Second Cavalry, Captains Whiting and Royall, were held in reserve, as I hoped that i might have an opportunity of charging the enemy after the retreat commenced; but no such opportunity was offered, on account of the broken and wooded nature of the country over which we had to operate.

There were no casualties in my brigade. One hundred and fifty tents were found in the enemy’s camps and destroyed; also a large quantity of forage, as we had no means of transporting either. It gives me much pleasure to say that the troops behaved with the utmost coolness and precision during the engagement. I herewith submit reports of Captains Perkins and Hudson, in command of separate sections of artillery.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel Second Cavalry, Commanding First Brigade.

Major F. J. PORTER,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Department of Pennsylvania.



The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.