yond their position, to strike their rear by a flank movement to the right, while your disposable cavalry, after picketing the cross-roads near Dickey's, might move near the river, and attack them in front or on the left. Should you not arrive at Dickey's in time to make this movement and leave the ground on you return before nightfall, it must not be undertaken, as I do not wish any part of your command to remain out over night..
The forage will be procured at Gunnell's or at some other rank secessionist's in the neighborhood of Dickey's. direct your quartermaster to confine the selection of forage to corn and hay. Captain Hall will have charge of the wagon train. The regiment intended to move forward from Dickey's [if you think proper, Jackson's] might ride in the wagons as far a Dickey's, and then be fresh for the forward movement.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. A. McCALL,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Brigadier General E. O. C. ORD,
Commanding Third Brigade..
Numbers 3. Report of Colonel Thomas L. Kane, First Pennsylvania Reserve Rifles.
HDQRS. KANE RIFLE Regiment, FIRST PA. RES. RIFLES, Camp Peirpoint, December 21, 1861.
GENERAL: Acknowledging the honor of your orders of December 21, I think I may limit my report to an explanation of my conduct at the commencement of the action before your own welcome appearance upon the scene to push on the fight and inspirit and direct the brave by your personal example and exertions.
We were not quite through with scouring the woods south of Crepin's, under your first orders, when your aide-de-camp brought the order to return to Dranesville. A party who sought me privately in the absence of the guide [Mr. Hanna] had informed me of suspicious circumstances, which I desired to report to you. I therefore marched to Dranesville very rapidly. It was from the first high ground north of the turnpike fork that I first saw men in motion south and southeast of the village, where there seemed to be no reason to look for the presence of our own forces. Soon after a Confederate flag was displayed, and as we opened in sight a few shots were fired. Others of the enemy also at the same time appeared in view from the edge of the woods on our extreme left. Being fortunately familiar with the ground, I saw at once the importance of occupying the hill on which the brick house stands, which was occupied in October as the headquarters of General McCall, and reaching it before the enemy. My men, obeying the double-quick with spirit, were formed there in line of battle by the time the enemy's guns opened from the road. As soon as I conveniently could I sent my adjutant to you and our brave commander. I believe, sir, you were both good enough to approve of my course in taking this position. The enemy's opinion of its value was shown by the effort to turn it afterwards. You saw the rest. The Bucktails will not forget you.
Of my own officers and the men I love I am too pound to say more than that they all, without an exception, did their duty; but it is my.
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