|Map from the Confederate Engineer Bureau in Richmond, Va. General J.F. Gilmer, chief engineer.|
NOVEMBER 9-10, 1863.Expedition from Williamsburg toward New Kent Court-House, Va.
Report of Lieut. F. Charles Hume, C. S. Army, commanding Peninsula Scouts.
HEADQUARTERS PENINSULA SCOUTS,
November 10, 1863.40 p. m.
LIEUTENANT: The enemy has returned to Williamsburg with his wagons (thirty) filled with corn, gathered from the fields of Mr. George Hawkins, Mr. Martin, and Allen Richardson. I will as briefly as possible explain why so little in jury (1 man mortally wounded and 1 horse killed) was inflicted on the enemy by my party. On the morning of the 9th, I sent my men on the telegraph road with standing instructions to ambush and fight the enemy should he appear. Contrary to my custom, I had just ridden to the Centreville road to make some disposition of my men who had been posted on that road, when one of them galloped up with the information that the enemy was up in force, and that I would find all my men at a certain point near the telegraph road, where they had agreed to await my coming. Arrived there, I found only 8 men, the rest having become alarmed at the extensive line of skirmishers thrown out to trap them, and took refuge in the woods; and with this party I have been unable to meet until this evening, after the enemy had passed down the road. Thus left with so small a party (Sergeant Hughes having 9 men on the Centreville road), I went up to the vicinity of the enemy's camp and remained quite near him all night, his position in the open field, with his pickets very near the camp, rendering it impossible for me to effect any surprise. At daylight I came through the woods to a point near the Burnt Ordinary, and fired a single shot twice at intervals at his mounted pickets, but found it impossible to provoke the squad to a skirmish. Leaving this open country, I came down toward the Six-Mile Ordinary, where I had agreed to meet the men, now very hungry, as early as they could get rations and follow me. While they were thus dispersed the Yankees moved toward Williamsburg. Aware of their return, I collected 3 men all I could get together and ambushed the roads at Pettits. Two cavalrymen passing I shot one from his horse, mortally wounding him; the other was fired on, but I fear escaped without in jury. The enemy at once deployed his infantry skirmishers on both sides the road, and swept the timber for hundreds of yards. We escaped them. I regret very much the little service rendered where so much was expected, but the above are the true circumstances, and I will be satisfied with the inference you may draw from them,This they promised will not be their last visit, but they intend robbing every farm on the Peninsula before stopping. I think it quite likely. They throw out infantry skirmishers on both sides of the road when they approach timber, thus rendering ambushing anything but an easy matter.
I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. CHARLES HUME Lieutenant, Commanding.
Lieut. S. W. WARDLAW, Adjutant Holcombe Legion.
Note the Piggott name common in the area, which I believe Hume (and Wardlaw) took as "Pettit."
. . . more upcoming on the resourceful Lieutenant Hume.