SEAC: KILPATRICK’S SCOUTS ARRIVE
KILPATRICK’S SCOUTS ARRIVE
Shouts of encouragement announced the arrival of Captain Northrop and his scouts. On the way to the camp the scouts had encountered many men from the 3rd Brigade and 4th Brigade (dismounted), who had been added to the ranks of the Scout Company.
Crossing Nicholson Creek at the Blue’s Rosin Road ford at a gallop, the 200 mounted Federals charged up the ridge in an attempt to reach the house. As they crested the ridge they collided with the Confederates. Faced with a camp full of Confederates, they quickly halted.
From the crest of the ridge a cloud of blue smoke billowed upward as the scouts and Confederates opened fire simultaneously. Heartened by the sight of reinforcements passing through them in a charge, the Federal line responded by surging up the hill.
Captain Northrop, Kilpatrick’s Chief of Scouts (Northrop 1912):
Separated from Lieutenant Stewart and the detail and trying to escape the battle, Posey Hamilton and his friend Ed Knight recrossed the battlefield. As they neared the crest of the ridge, they encountered Captain Northrop and his scouts.
Posey Hamilton (Hamilton 1921):
Couriers sent by Lieutenant General Wheeler to Brigadier General Dibrell and Lieutenant General Hampton returned, reporting Dibrell’s Brigade could not be found and Lieutenant General Hampton was believed to be on the field. Lieutenant General Hampton had brought both Lieutenant General Wheeler’s and Major General Butler’s reserves onto the field, thus denying their use by either commander. The situation grew increasingly desperate. The dismounted Federals had reached the crest of the ridge, prompting hand-to-hand fighting as the mounted Confederates waded into them.