H. C. Symonds, C. S., sent me about ten thousand rations. I also received from Captain R. O. Tyler, A. Q. M, on this date, five wagons, complete, and three thousand pounds oats, and from the camp at Centreville about thirty boxes muskets (old). This was all I had on hand on the evening of the 21st.
During the day I had been engaged in telegraphing the War Department of the progress of the battle, as near as I could judge. When the retreat commenced I telegraphed the War Department, "Shall I abandon this post, and by what road?" The answer was, "No." I then telegraphed, "I have a large quantity of rifled cannon and small arm ammunition. Shall I send it in by train?" To this I got no answer. I then received a dispatch directing me to thrown everything from cars and send them in for troops, which I accordingly did. I did not send back the ammunition, because they telegraphed their intention to send more men and hold the position, and I judged also that, after the severe fight, if our men made a stand, they would want it. I therefore retained it, with everything on hand, as I stated.
We remained at the station expecting the arrival of troops until about 3 a. m. of the 22nd, when our pickets reported that the northeast road to Alexandria had been blocked up by felling trees across it, and that the rebel cavalry were making their appearance near us. Shortly after this the War Department ordered the abandonment of the position by way of the railroad track to meet the cars which were on the way. Colonel McCunn, of one of the New York regiments, was in command. The retreat was conducted in a quiet and orderly manner, every man being in his place. But upon arriving at Burke's Station, where the First New Jersey three months' men wee, the scene beggared description. They lined the track, crowded into and ahead of our ranks, and acted other wise in the most disgraceful manner. i could see no officers, and it was a mere armed mob. In this shape, with our own ranks in good order, but surrounded by the citizen soldiers of New Jersey, we met the cars, upon which they speedily crowded, leaving us the best chances we could get after they had finished. I need not state what the result would have bee had there been an attack upon us. The property which I had in charge at Fairfax Station I was obliged to leave, as I could not transport it. The twenty horses belonging to the wagons were mostly ridden in by teamsters and irresponsible persons, but the five wagons and three thousand pounds of oats were left behind. The teamsters were not willing to take them around by the roads at a time when we all supposed that the enemy was in full pursuit.
To sum up, there was left at Fairfax Station about 10,000 rations, 150 boxes small-arm cartridges, 87 boxes rifled-cannon ammunition, 30 boxes (about) old fire-arms, 5 wagons, and 3,000 pounds of oats. This is all I know of.
After reaching Alexandria I reported to Captain Symonds there, and to you in person near Arlington.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant, Fifteenth Infantry, A. C. S.
Captain H. F. CLARKE,
Chief Commissary General McDowell's Army, Arlington, Va.