Report of Colonel John B. McIntosh’s Operations Around Waynesboro

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 1 (Gettysburg Campaign) Page 967-968, No. 348. Reports of Colonel John B. McIntosh, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry commanding First Brigade, Second Division.

HDQ US. FIRST BRIG., SECOND DIV., CAVALRY CORPS,

Near Warrenton, VA., August 20, 1863.

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Colonel John McIntosh, shown later in the war as a general.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders received I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements of the First Brigade of this division since the battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863:Late in the afternoon of July 4, I received orders from the division general to report with my brigade to Major-General Pleasonton for orders. In accordance with his orders, I placed my brigade on the extreme left of the army, to picket the different roads and to observe the movements of the enemy in that direction. July 5, I received orders from Major-General Pleasonton move my command at once to Emmitsburg, as some of the enemy’s cavalry had gone in that direction, with further instructions that, should the enemy attempt to gain the rear of the army, I must them up to prevent it. In obedience to those orders, I moved my command at once to Emmitsburg, and found that enemy’s cavalry, under General Stuart, had gone through there in the morning, moving toward Frederick, I also ascertained that after proceeding on the road to Frederick as far as Graceham, they turned toward Hagerstown. Hearing during the day that the enemy was on the road leading from Emmitsburg to Waynesborough, I proceeded with my command in that direction, and soon met the enemy’s picket, which I drove in, capturing a dispatch showing the position of both Generals Longstreet’s and Ewell’s corps, which I immediately forwarded to Major-General Meade, and a copy of it to Major-General Pleasonton. I then found that, in order to reach the enemy, it became necessary for me to advance in a deep mountain gorge, where it would be impossible to use either cavalry or artillery to advance force of infantry was in my immediate front, caused me to withdraw my command in front commanding the corps. In answer to my dispatch, I received orders to move my brigade in front of Emmitsburg, and feel the enemy on the different roads to Fairfield, Jake’s Mountain, and Hagerstown, to ascertain his position, and also to find out if he was on the retreat. I proceeded to carry out these instructions, and had been engaged with the enemy about an hour when I received orders from Major-General Pleasonton to move my command to the Sixth Corps, in front of Fairfield, and report to General Neill for service in following up the enemy from that point, which I promptly complied with.

On the morning of the 7th, I moved with my brigade, in advance of General Neill’s column, by the mountain road toward Waynesborough, picking up a number of the enemy’s stragglers. I reached Waynesborough about 2 p. m. of that day, only two hours behind the rebel army, who, on my approach, burned the brigades over the Antietam. I remained with my brigade near Waynesborough, picketing well out toward the enemy, until the morning of the 10th instant, when I received orders from Major-General Smith, who had assumed command, to move with my brigade through Smithsburg and Cavetown, to ascertain if any enemy was in that locality. Finding none, I retraced my steps toward Leitersburg, and 3 miles to the west of it, and about a mile from Antietam Creek, met the enemy’s cavalry, which I drove across that stream, and which I found strongly guarded with cavalry, infantry, and artillery. Having determined the object upon which I was sent, I withdrew my command to Waynesborough. July 12, I received orders from General Neill, who at this time was detached from General Smith’s command, to move in conjunction with his brigade toward Funkstown. I was here met by an aide from Major-General Pleasonton, with orders to move to Boonsborough and report to General Gregg, which I did the same day. My brigade continued with the division until the 19th, when, in obedience to orders, I moved to Purcellville, in rear of the Twelfth Corps, arriving there July 20, when I was ordered to report to Major-General Pleasonton for orders. My orders were to proceed to Hillsborough, to draw my supplies from Harper’s Ferry, and to scout the country on the opposite side of the Shenandoah toward Charlestown. These orders were obeyed, and valuable information sent to corps headquarters. At 3 a. m. July 23, I received orders to move my command at once to Snickersville, relieve a regiment of the Third Division at Snicker’s Gap, and also a regiment of the same division at Ashby’s Gap. I remained at Snickersville until July 26, when I withdrew from the Gaps, and moved through Upperville and Middleburg to Warrenton, and reported to Major -General Pleasonton on the evening of July 27. On July 28, I again reported to General Gregg at Warrenton Junction.

I am, captain, very respectfully,

J. B. McINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding First Cavalry Brigade.

Cap. H. C. WEIR, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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