for the night. On the 13th, moved to Sudley Church and encamped.
At 3 o'clock on the 19th, I received orders from headquarters Cavalry Corps to move out on the Warrenton pike and ascertain the movements and position of the enemy.
The division moved forward in the direction of Gainesville, one brigade on the Warrenton pike and the other by way of New Market. Both brigades soon became engaged with the enemy, who had taken up a position near Groveton. He was slowly driven back to Gainesville, and at 7 p. m. the division went into camp.
At daylight the following morning, I received orders to move forward as far as possible in the direction of Warrenton, and to throw out parties to my right and left and ascertain the movements of the enemy. The division moved at once, and he was then driven from Gainesville. I there learned that Stuart, with a large force of cavalry, had gone in the direction of Warrenton, but that a part of his force had gone toward Hay Market. A regiment was sent out to Hay Market, and one to Greenwich. Reports soon came in from both parties that the enemy had recently been at both places and gone in the direction of Buckland Mills.
I then moved on, driving the enemy to the opposite side of Broad Rum. Here the enemy made a determined stand. He occupied a strong position on the opposite side of Broad Run, which could only be crossed at a bridge and a ford 1 mile below.
Having learned from scouts that no portion of the enemy was upon either flank, and that his entire force had passed to the south of Broad run early that morning, I determined to cross the stream and ascertain, if possible, the strength and character of the enemy. After a determined effort of over two hours, General Custer had succeeded in pushing his command up to the bridge and on the hills to the right of the road overlooking the enemy's position. the Seventh Michigan had already crossed Broad Run at the ford, and was moving down upon the enemy's flank with a strong line of skirmishers in advance. General Davies' brigade was massed on the left of the road, under cover of the woods, ready to cross. My whole command being now in readiness to cross, I ordered General Custer to charge the bridge. The charge was successfully made, the buildings upon the opposite side were gained and held by our sharpshooters, and in a few minutes General Custer's entire brigade had crossed, and the enemy was rapidly retiring in the direction of New Baltimore.
A halt of an hour was now made, in order that I might hear from my scouting parties sent out in the direction of Thoroughfare Gap and Auburn. These having finally come in without having seen or heard anything of the enemy, I ordered General Davies to advance in the direction of New Baltimore, and, if possible, to occupy and hold it. He soon became engaged with the enemy, and had succeeded in forcing him as far as New Baltimore, when a report came in from one of my scouting parties that a column of cavalry was advancing from the direction of Auburn. Thinking that this column might be that of Brigadier-General Merritt, who I knew had been sent in the direction of Catlett's Station that morning, I sent orders for Brigadier-General Davies to halt, and sent out a portion of the Seventh Michigan to ascertain the truth of the report. Word was quickly brought back that it was a column of rebel cavalry and infantry, and that it was but a mile off and approaching rapidly.