MARCH 17, 1863.-Engagement at Kelly's Fort (Kellysville), Va.
Numbers 1.-Brigadier General William W. Averell, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac.
Numbers 2.-Report of Lieutenant George Browne, jr., Sixth New York Battery.
Numbers 3.-Report of Colonel John B. McIntosh, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade.
Numbers 4.-Report of Colonel J. Irvin Gregg, Sixteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Numbers 5.-Report of Major General James E. B. Stuart, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Division, Army of Northern Virginia, with orders.
Numbers 6.-Brigadier General Fitz. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Brigade, with orders.
Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General William W. Avarell, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
March 20, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, pursuant to instructions received from you, I left the main body of this army on the 16th instant, for the purpose of crossing the Rappahannock River and attacking the cavalry forces of the enemy, reported to be in the vicinity of Culpeper Court-House, under the command of General Fitzhugh Lee My orders were to attack and rout or destroy him. To execute these orders, I was directed to take a force of 3,000 cavalry and six pieces of artillery. Accompanying the orders were several reports containing information of the operations of rebel cavalry north of the river, in the vicinity of Brentsville, the force of which was reported from 250 to 1,000 with at least one piece of artillery, and I was directed to take every precaution to insure the success of my expedition. As a precautionary measure, I requested that a regiment of cavalry be sent to Catlett's Station, which is the key-point to the middle fords of the Rappahannock, to throw out from thence pickets in the direction of Warrenton, Greenwich, and Brentsville. My request was not granted, and I was obliged to detach about 900 men from my force to guard the fords and look out for the force alluded to in the information.
The battery ordered from near Aquia Creek made a march of 32 miles ion the 16th, and joined my command at Morrisville at 11 o'clock that night, with horses in poor condition for the expedition. Small parties of my cavalry had, been sent, two to four hours in advance, on all the roads and to the fords, to mask th approach of my main body from the enemy's scouts.
On the night of the 16th, the fires of a camp of the enemy were seen from Mouth Holly Church by my scouts, between Ellis' and Kelly's Fords, and the drums, beating retreat and tattoo, were heard from their camp near Rappahannock Station. Rebel cavalry appeared in front of my pickets on the roads leading west during the evening of the 16th.
Lieutenant-Colonel Curtis, First Massachusetts Cavalry, was left at Morrisville to take charge of all my cavalry pickets north of the Rap-
* See Stanton to Hooker, March 19, in "Correspondence, etc.," Part II.