Just finished up a most interesting small book by George F. Franks III entitled "Battle of Falling Waters 1863: Custer, Pettigrew and the End of the Gettysburg Campaign." It is the only dedeicated account available of this action concluding the mid-summer trans-Potomac campaign by the Army of Northern Virginia, published in 2013.
The matter was not insignificant; it was a rear-guard action designed by R.E. Lee to protect his army as it withdrew back across the Potomac in the face of superior forces. Not only did the Army of the Potomac outnumber its opponent, but the units involved at Falling Waters reflected, by Franks' reckoning, a 2-to-1 superiority of the Federal over the Confederate forces. The Union cavalry engaged may have approached 7,000 in number, while the Rebel infantry was perhaps 3,300 (see pp. 56-57).
Franks' account does discuss what happened in the famous charge of the 6th Michigan Cavalry on July 14, illustrated by both Alfredaud and Edwin Forbes (one such image is in found in the book by yours truly, Michigan and the Civil War). Similar to the third day at Gettysburg, when General Judson Kilpatrick ordered a charge that cost the life of a gallant officer from Michigan, Elon Farnsworth, Kilpatrick here ordered another charge into the entrenched position of the Confederate infantry by Michigan boys. Franks tells how it happened: "Custer ordered [Maj. Peter A.] Weber's men to advance dismounted toward the Confederate earthworks. ... Kilpatrick countermanded Custer's orders. he instead directed Major Weber to lead approximately 100 men from Companies B and F of the 6th Michigan Cavalry in a mounted attack against the rebel earthworks on the ridge." (p. 46) The result: "The bold assault against Heth's position was suicidal for Weber's command. Weber, who had led the charge, was dead and so was his second in command, Lieut. Charles E. Bolza." (p. 48) Custer's official report adds that the two officers, "with many valuable men, were killed."
A lengthy account of Peter Weber's service may be found here: Weber. Info on Lieutenant Bolza can be found here: Bolza. One reads these few words about the lives lost of two gallant young men, and the mind reels. How could an irreplaceable human life be thrown away so carelessly by a commanding officer, one who ended up being promoted?!
What is clear here also is that Custer -- now a general -- cared for his Michiganders, frequently led them into battle, risked his own neck when he risked theirs. Is there an account of Kilpatrick doing so?
Books on such "micro-actions" can be fascinating, and this one is very much so. It includes a lot of detail and illuminates an action that cost a lot, including, on the Confederate side, the life of General James J. Pettigrew, who survived "Pickett's Charge" only to be mortally wounded here. As with all wars, the Civil War in particular, the ironies and tragedies are legion.
The inclusion of "1863" in the title is apparently because of the Battle of Hoke's Run, also known as the Battle of Falling Waters or Hainesville, which took place on July 2, 1861, in Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Virginia). The 1863 action is also known by various names. The book also details the present condition of the battleground area, making one want to jump in the vehicle and go explore it, so close as it is to the Antietam NB.