First Brigade, Army of the Potomac
Captain W C Wickham, Hanover Light Dragoons, commanding squadron of cavalry
Wickham's Squadron Cavalry
Fairfax Cavalry arrived at Manassas Junction on 24 May, 1861, and the Hanover Light Dragoons on 28 May, 1861
CAPTAIN W C WICKHAM
- Unlettered Company Hanover Light Dragoons: CAPT. W C WICKHAM
The company was stationed at Camp Ashland, near Richmond, and was ordered to Centreville, Virginia, on 27 May, 1861. The company was assigned to Harrison's Battalion Cavalry and ordered to Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, by railroad on 28 May, 1861 (See Harrison's Battalion Cavalry). The company was encamped at Fairfax Station, Virginia, on 1 June, 1861, and was ordered to Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia, at 4 AM the same day but was too late to participate in the skirmish. The company withdrew to Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, on 17 July, 1861, and was assigned to the 4th Virginia Cavalry, Company G, on 4 September, 1861.
- Unlettered Company Fairfax Cavalry or Washington Home Guard: CAPT. E B POWELL
The company was organised at Alexandria, Virginia, and was assigned to the garrison at Alexandria, Virginia, under the command of Colonel G H Terrett. The company destroyed railroad bridges during the withdrawal to Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, on 24 May, 1861 (See the 6th Virginia Battalion Volunteers). The company was stationed near Flint Hill, Virginia, under the command of Colonel RC W Radford, between 1 and 7 September, 1861, and was assigned to the 6th Virginia Cavalry, Company F, on 11 September, 1861.
"At 8 AM we proceeded to take position as picket guard and videttes in a little clump of timber, about three quarters of a mile, directly in front of the Confederate earth-works at Mitchell's Ford. The picket consisted of twelve infantry and three cavalry."
"In crossing an open field, I was, with Lieutenant Timberlake, riding at the head of a detachment, consisting of Captain Wickham's light-horse troop, and Captain E. B. Powell's company of Fairfax cavalry, when a shell was thrown at the head of the column from a rifle piece stationed at the distance not less than two miles, and as, hurrying onward we leaned down upon our horses, the hurtling missle passed a few inches above us, burying itself harmlessly in the soft earth on our left."
"Our regiment had divided in the charge, and our detachment now consisted of Capt. Wickham's cavalry, Capt. E. B. Powell's troop of Fairfax cavalry, the Radford Rangers, Capt. Radford, the whole led by Col. Radford."
Southern history of the great civil war in the United States, by Edward Alfred Pollard
"On the 20th of this month Captain E. B. Powell organised a company of cavalry, which left this city with the other companies on the morning of our evacuation. This company was composed mainly of recruits from the adjoining county of Fairfax. It was known during the war as the Fairfax Cavalry."
Manassas to Appomattox: The civil war memoirs of Pvt. Edgar Warfield 17th Virginia Infantry
"The force was divided into different detachments. Colonel Radford, with six companies, was ordered to cross a short distance below the enemy's extreme right and intercept his column. Our company was in front, and I was riding in front of my platoon, when, after crossing the swamp, we came suddenly on a detachment of the enemy concealed in the bushes, with their pieces levelled."
The University memorial: Biographical sketches of alumni of the University of Virginia who fell in the Confederate War, five Volumes in one, by Rev John Lipscomb Johnson, B A
"In advancing the cavalry was divided as follows: Under my own command I had at first but one squadron, composed of the companies of Captains Radford and Pitzer, the latter in charge of Lieutenant (Cary) Breckinridge. I was joined by Captains Terry, Alexander, (Willaims C) Wickham, and (E B) Powell, with their companies, while moving towards stone bridge."
The Virginia Regimental Histories Series: Second Virginia Cavalry, First Edition, No.990 of 1000, by R J Driver, Jr. & H E Howard
The Virginia Regimental Histories Series: Fourth Virginia Cavalry, Second Edition, by K L Stiles
The Virginia Regimental Histories Series: Sixth Virginia Cavalry, Second Edition, by M Musick
A guide to Virginia military organisations 1861–1865, Revised Second Edition by I A Wallace, Jr.
The Hanover Light Dragoons was stationed at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia, and a detachment was part of Colonel M Gregg's reconnaissance towards the Potomac River and the skirmish at Vienna, Virginia, on 17 June, 1861 (See the Vienna expedition). The Hanover Light Dragoons and the Appomattox Rangers were ordered to report to Colonel J B Kershaw, commanding the 2nd South Carolina Infantry, and the Alexandria Artillery and were ordered to withraw to Mitchell's Ford, via Centreville, Virginia, on 17 July, 1861. The Hanover Light Dragoons arrived at Mitchell's Ford, Virginia, in the morning on 18 July, 1861.
The Hanover Light Dragoons and the Fairfax Cavalry were in reserve near Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, on 21 July, 1861, and were ordered to pursue the Army of Northeastern Virginia, in the late afternoon the same day. After the first battle of Manassas the Fairfax Cavalry served as pickets and scouts, capturing several prisoners and supplies on 22 July, 1861.
The 4th Virginia Cavalry was organised , under the command of Colonel B H Robertson, by Special Order No.248 on 4 September, 1861, and the Hanover Light Dragoons was assigned as Company G. The company joined in September 1861.
The 6th Virginia Cavalry was organised, under the command of Colonel C W Field, by Special Order No.276, on 11 September, 1861, and the Fairfax Cavalry was assigned as Company F. The company joined in October 1861.
On 25 July 1861, the Army of the Potomac was reorganised and the independent companies of cavalry remained with the First Corps, Army of the Potomac, under the command of Colonel R C W Radford, 30th Virginia Cavalry.
Orders of Battle
The above painting, 'The Fourth Alabama', is by Don Troiani, modern America's finest historial artist.