Va. Near Forest Depot V & T. R. R.
March 18th 1866
R. E. Lee
My dear Sir
I have heard that you were writing your recollections of the War?
I beg that you will excuse one for asking your attention to a mistake in
one of your reports? Genl Stuart
promised to give you the information but those things were lost sight of during
the struggle! I refer to a cavalry
fight my Brigade had at Aldie in Loudon Co Va (In June 11th
1863) I think, I have not your report before me, but I remember to have seen it.
I have frequently had it mentioned to me, since by officers of the
Brigade. In your report you say “Genl
Stuart punished the enemy with heavy loss,” (or words to that effect) –
but that the next day, Kilpatricks Corps supported
by two Div: of Infantry drove him through Middleburg etc etc.
The facts are these, Genl Fitzhugh Lee, was quite sick & Genl Stuart
ordered me to move from Paris to Aldie with the 2n & 3d Regiments of
Va Cav, with instructions to go into camp near that place: & to
Picket the road in my front & left, - and in the event of a demonstration on
the part of the enemy, to cover Snickers Gap Road; - He sent Wickhams, Rossiers
& Carters Regts, & Britheads old battery to report to me later, - They
came to me just as the Picket was ran on by the enemy; I took up in a position
on the west end of the town and resisted every effort of Kilpatricks Corps to
Brithead silenced their guns, and every charge they made was repulsed
& counter charged by the 3d, 2n, 5t & a part of the 4t regiments.
I held the field until dark when I was ordered away (through Lt Frank
Robinson of Genl Sturats Staff). Col
Doughty 4t Main Cav was killed, (Cmdg his Brigade) Col “De As Nola” was
captured cmdg his Brigade. One
hundred & sixty-eight prisoners & one hundered & thirty seven horses
were captured - & I sent to the rear, they left between 30 & 40 dead
& I moved all my dead & wounded when I retired-
Genl Stuart dined with Genl Asa Rodgers in Middleburg & never saw the
fight – Genl Robertsons Brigade was held in Middleburg picketing the Warrenton
Road & Genl Stuart escaped from Genl Rodgers with difficulty the Zouhaves
(?) having suddenly --?—Genl Robertsons Command out – This was the best
fight I ever saw the Brigade make except perhaps the one at Kelly’s Ford. –
My loss was small, theirs was very heavy, from their own papers we afterwards
It is all over with – as now, and of course can affect no one but it
will be gratifying to my friends & little ones for me to get the
credit, for a fairly won fight, when no one else can suffer by it.
And I am sure it will give you pleasure to correct the mistake.
I am well aware of the difficulties attending your reports, as they were
based to a certain extent upon the reports of subalterns.
I am entirely responsible for the accuracy of this report.
With my best wishes for your self and family, I am with highest respect
– Yr obt svt
Thomas T. Mumford