Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/245

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The First North Carolina Volunteers. 239

[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.] THE PRISONERS CAPTURED NEAR YORKTOWN.

YORKTOWN, VA. , June 23, 1861.

In a late issue of your paper I notice a communication over the signature of " Musketeer," about which I desire to say a word. After speaking of the detachment that was sent out by Colonel Hill from Bethel Church the Saturday before the battle of the loth June, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, he says: "Colonel Lee's command took one prisoner, and this was the first capture made in the skirmishes preliminary to and provocative of the battle of Bethel Church." In the first place, the detachment that left camp under Colonel Lee, being composed of a part of Company F and one howitzer of the Richmond battalion, did not capture a prisoner at all. The fellow was run down and taken by a party of mounted men under the command of a gentleman of the name of Phillips, who joined Colonel Lee's detachment somewhere on the road. I do not doubt that "Musketeer's" friends would have killed and taken a goodly number of Yankees ; but the truth is they did not get within three-quarters of a mile of them, and therefore the infantry who did not fire a shot cannot claim the Yankee as their prize or even that of the regiment. In the second place, I have Colonel Hill's word for it that the skirmish of the same day, much nearer Hampton, in which the advance guard of Major Lane's detachment, under command of Lieutenant Gregory, killed and wounded some fifteen or twenty of the enemy and took one priso- ner, was the true cause of the attack and consequent discomfiture of the enemy on Monday, the loth of June.

The Colonel told the officers of the company, the evening after the battle of Bethel, that we alone were responsible for the day's work, and that he had learned from the Rev. Mr. Adams, a Baptist clergyman of Hampton, that he saw two carts and a buggy loaded with killed and wounded, Saturday evening after the skirmish, going into Hampton.

We claim, in accordance with these facts, that the detachment un- der command of Major Lane, consisting of the whole of Company E, First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, and a howitzer un- der Lieutenant John M. West (by-the-way, as clever a fellow as