forced to surrender this hope. In addition to this, the road for 12 or 15 miles east of this point is at present almost impassable. Under these circumstances I deem it best to take position on New River, where subsistence for the men and beasts may be had in abundance.
I take occasion here to state that some two weeks since I ordered Colonel Clarkson, in command of my cavalry, to proceed in the direction of the Ohio River, and to strike the enemy a blow whenever and wherever he thought it prudent to do so. He went as far as the town of Guyandotte, attacked a force of the enemy about 300 strong stationed there [November 10], and, to use his own language, annihilated them. He took 95 prisoners, killed or drowned the remainder, and captured about 300 Enfield rifles. The prisoners I have the honor to send to Richmond. Colonel Clarkson executed his mission in the most satisfactory and gallant manner, and merits the highest commendation.
Hoping that the several movements above detailed of the army which I have the honor to command may meet with the approbation of the Department, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. FLOYD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of Kanawha.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.
OCTOBER 20, 1861.- Reconnaissance to Hunter's Mill and Thornton Station, Virginia.
Report of Major Amiel W. Whipple, U. S. Corps of Engineers.
ARLINGTON, VA., October 22, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on Sunday last, in compliance with the orders of Major-General McCall, I made a reconnaissance from Dranesville to Hunter's Mill and Thornton Station, on the Loundon and Hampshire Eailway. I left Dranesville with 10 mounted men under the command of a lieutenant, and near Hunter's Mill met Lieutenant-Colonel Kane with a battalion of the Tiger-tail Rangers, who had a skirmish with a detachment of secessionists at that place, and routed them. This position is one of some military importance, and can be defended by as against a superior force approaching by the Fairfax road. Thence we ascended by a road upon the north side of the railway. Entered the road leading from Lewinsville to Fryingpan. Left it at the crossing of the railroad, and took a less traveled road through woods north of railway. Crossed headwaters of Colville Run, and came to Thornton's Station. here were a few secession cavalry, who after showing a disposition to make a stand, fled. Thence, by a road which seemed at night pretty level and smooth, we returned in a direction nearly north to Dranesville. The road by Hunter's Mill is the main road from that region to Fairfax Court-House, and is moderately good. Colonel Kane afforced every failing for the reconnaissance in his power, and kindly gave me the odometer distances taken under his direction.
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Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. W. WHIPPLE,.
Major of Engineers. .
Lieutenant Colonel J. N. MACOMB, A. D. C., Corps of Engineers.