June 20th- At 10 am resumed the march with Sixth New York as rear guard, crossed at Dunkirk Ferry and passed through Aylett's and King William C.H. to the north bank of the Pamunky River opposite White House and encamped. Part of the cavalry crossed the river to White House and were attacked by the enemy that had made an attempt to capture our wagon train but were repulsed by the gunboats, dismounted cavalry and some infantry. The Fourth New York had been left with the pontoon train to wait for the wagons.
June 21st- Reveille at 3 a.m. Moved out at four o'clock and crossed the Pamunky on the railroad bridge with Merritt in the advance. The Second Brigade was ordered up to find the enemy advanced toward St. Peter's Church and soon found them in force, the Seventeenth Pennsylvania was dismounted and sent forward, the Ninth New York then dismounted and advanced, the Sixth New York taking a position on the left, the enemy holding a position on a ridge in front with a gully or ravine between. The Sixth New York advanced, but the enemy after about three hours fighting had retired from our front. Then advanced our line to the Tunstall Station road and St. Peter's Church. Devin's brigade was alone on the line. The enemy's forces consisted of the cavalry of Hampton, Lee, Hoke and Butler numbering about 5000. We contented ourselves with holding the position already gained. The enemy opened upon us with shot shell and bullets, but soon the firing on both sides ceased, the enemy evacuated the church and we took possession, the Sixth New York holding it until sunset and was then relieved by the Ninth New York. This church was built in 1723 and was the one in which George Washington was married.
-History of the Sixth New York Cavalry: (Second Ira Harris Guard) Second Brigade -- First Division -- Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, 1861-1865
Compiled by Hillman Allyn Hall, William B. Besley, Gilbert Guion WoodBlanchard Press, 1908
|A Depression era photo of St Peter's Church|