War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0446 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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Cavalry. The exact location I shall know to-night, and if they can be struck or enticed out without bringing on a general action I will make a proposition to-night.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Numbers 2. Report of Colonel Robert Ransom, jr., First North Carolina Cavalry.


Camp William T. Ashe, November 27, 1861.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to make the following more detailed report of a scout made by a portion of my regiment on yesterday:

With 20 men from each of Companies B, D, E, G, H, and K, we left camp at 9 o'clock a.m., myself, Major Gordon, Adjutant Henry, and Dr. O'Hagan, of the field and staff, and Captains Whitaker, Folk, and Wood, Lieutenants Shaw, Andrews, Bryan, Roane, Gaines, and Ellis. Lieutenant-Colonel Baker was left in charge of the camp.

At a point some half mile to the left of Hockhurst's Mill we were joined by Captains Crumpler, Barringer, Lieutenants Cowles, Greer, and Foard, and about 20 men (a part of those who had been on picket duty and were just relieved.)

From this point we moved by a small path through thick pines and oak woods to near where the Dranesville road crosses the railroad, then followed said road to a lane nearly opposite and to the right of the dwelling of Lewis Johnston. This new direction was traveled until we reached an old brick mill. Upon this road were tracks of quite a numerous body of cavalry, by some days or two old. At the mill we turned about to the right, and at the house of Edward Johnston were informed that a body of about 150 cavalry had passed about an hour or two before. We here saw the tracks, and followed them for about a mile. They then turned directly to the left, and in a direction of where we were told the enemy was in force of from 5,000 to 10,000. Their camp is supposed to be not far from a place known as the Old Court-House. Supposing that they had gone to their camp, I deemed it best to proceed in direction of Vienna, and it was fortunate that we did. A few hundred yards from Vienna a road entering the one we were on indicated that the enemy had just passed, and that we were immediately in his rear. A moment after my advance guard reported him in sight.

The column was marching by twos. I at once formed fours, expecting to be upon him almost instantly. We passed Vienna at the trot. The enemy soon turned about to the right upon the narrow road leading in the direction of my pickets and to Hockhurst's Mill. The head of the column soon came in sight of the enemy's rear guard in a deep cut in the road. He had not seen us. The advance guard of 6 or 8 men was ordered to fire, with a view to disconcert him, and I at once charged his column with 120 men. Those of the six companies first enumerated, Captains Crumpler's and Barringer's companies, were held in reserve.

Upon the discharge of the advance guard the enemy fled, and in an instant or two, notwithstanding the narrowness of the road and the start he had, my men, most gallantly led by Major- Gordon, came upon his heels. Within 300 yards 1 man was killed, 2 or 3 wounded, and several taken prisoners. The enemy kept the road upon which we