horses was frequent, some falling and throwing their riders, and then running away at full speed, leaving their riders to retreat the best they could on foot.
Lieutenants Lodge, Lane, and Ford were near the head of the column endeavoring to persuade the men to halt, but they (the men) would listen to no commands until we had retreated about 2 mile, when I again rallied a number of them; but our number being small, and the enemy approaching us closely, we started through the woods towards the main road, the guide, of course, being in front. Upon reaching a place of safety, I spoke to the squad about going back to look for those who were missing and probably hurt by a fall from their horses, but our horses would not stand much longer, so we approached slowly our pickets. Upon arriving at our pickets on the Leesburg turnpike I found 7 of our men on horses awaiting us. We rested our horses for a few moments and then started for camp. When just inside the lines a few rods I met General Porter, who ordered us to return with him, and obeying his orders, marched towards the lines a short distance, when his next order was to return to camp. We did so, passing on our road a squadron under your command, and arriving at camp about 8 p.m. this evening.
With the above account, I am, colonel, very respectfully, yours,
CHAS. A. BELL,
Captain, Commanding Sixth Squadron.
Colonel WILLIAM W. AVERELL.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CAVALRY BRIGADE,
Camp Marcy, November 27, 1861.
Respectfully forwarded. It is presumed that many of the men reported missing will find their way back to this camp, and that some of the property may be recovered.
It is hoped that the general commanding will take into consideration the fact that this squadron was never under fire before, and that from want of an infantry support, knowledge of the country, and the critical position of the force, it is a wonder that the panic did not prove more disastrous.
I would add to the report of the captain that he captured two horses and equipments, one of them with blood upon the saddle and evidently belonging to an officer, so that the enemy must have been seen, and in sufficient force to have been commanded by an officer.
WM. W. AVERELL,
HEADQUARTERS PORTER'S DIVISION,
Hall's Hill, Va., November 27, 1861.
From the best information I can get, and listening to the statement of those who were dismounted at the first alarm, and who came in to-day, I infer that the force which made the attack was small, but the panic of the rear guard spread to main body, and in the anxiety to escape confusion reigned, and the men knocked down and ran over each other. The party was not on the road which they were directed to take and were negligent.
The party which made the attack is located beyond Vienna, in a pine forest, about 3 miles from depot, and is composed of the North Carolina