"The battle of Chamberlain’s Run (Dinwiddie Court House) was fought entirely by our First, Second, and Fifth Regiments (NC), the Third under Colonel Roger Moore, being temporarily absent on detached duty from which it returned in time to bear a full part in the battle of Five Forks the next day, Saturday April 1, 1865, where the Second, Third, and Fifth Regiments were dismounted and put in the trenches, connecting with the right of our Infantry. Colonel Cheek and the First (NC) mounted, was posted about a mile to the right to protect our flank and rear. About the middle of the afternoon or a little later, General Barringer became uneasy and ordered me to go and see if the enemy was making demonstrations against Colonel Cheek, which I did, taking a well-mounted courier with me to facilitate the prompt report of any disturbance in that quarter. After a few minutes conversation with Col. Cheek, he reporting every thing quiet, on his front up to that time, I started back. When I was about half way on my return, I began to meet infantry soldiers, first one or two then more and the further I went the more there were, till finally I came to where our led horses were being held in the edge of a field, probably three hundred yards in the rear of the trenches where our dismounted men were. After strenuous and fruitless endeavors by myself and my courier to rally the Infantry men, I ordered the men holding our led horses to dismount and for one man to stand on the ground and hold eight horses. Which released about 100 men who I ordered to deploy as skirmishers and other means failing to stop the route to fire into them till they did rally. But before anything effective could be done, one of our couriers, a boy named Stevens dashed up, holding up one hand through which he had just been shot, ordering the led horses to be brought up to the trenches instantly, which was done. Those who extend their eloquence in describing the wild confusion of panic and route of our Infantry men at Five Forks make a broad mistake. There was absolutely and entire absence of any such feature to the retreat. There was not a man among them going faster than ordinary marching time. The poor fellows seemed dazed and possessed with a dogged despair as if though they had done all that man could do and knew not what to do next. God be thankful that I did not hurt a hair of any of their heads, but for the timely interruption I would surely have been responsible for the death of some of them in performing my duty as “Staff Officer” to stop a route by any mean and any cost. Our three Regiments were quickly mounted and formed in column of Squadrons covering three sides of a square, a Regiment fronting each way. There were five Squadrons of two Companies each, fronting each way. Our object in sustaining the unequal combat was to check the enemy’s pursuit of our broken Infantry that they might be subsequently rallied and restored to efficiency. We were quickly engaged from all three directions, our front and right by cavalry and our left by Infantry. One Squadron would charge and check the enemy in their efforts to surround us and rally and reform in the rear. That uncovered another Squadron, formed and ready for instant action, which shortly repeated the same operation, charging rallying in the rear, always presenting in each of three directions, an effective fighting front to the enemy. It was grand!! It was magnificent!! We held an Army at bay not over 700 of us, we might truly paraphrase Lord Ragles exclamation upon the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava.—“It was magnificent and it was War.” There is nothing finer in the annals of war. Ah! If we only had a Tennyson to celebrate us! We made possible the escape of our routed Infantry. After a while we had charged and rallied and reformed so often that we had lost all cohesiveness and were in a veritable melee’ and by this time, in spite of our desperate efforts, the enemy encroached more and more toward our rear until we were almost surrounded, when it became a skedaddle, to escape capture."
Mike Edwards, Jr. of the 1st NC Cav, Co I, copied theses from the originals in the North Carolina State Archives.
Personal Account(PC500: NC State Archives)Lieut. Frederick C. Foard; ca 1917,1st North Carolina Cavalry