ground and the dense growth of timber would permit, without finding the enemy. We then advanced with a full battalion front to the left, where a heavy firing of musketry was going on. Before we emerged from the woods the firing ceased. We soon gained an open field, in the direction of the enemy, where we halted and awaited orders, which were received from you, to charge into a wood in our front and take the enemy's battery, which was believed to be only a short distance from us. This order was instantly obeyed, and the Twelfth Regiment dashed into the woods. We scoured the thickets in every direction without finding the battery, but discovered dead bodies off the rebel troops lying in every direction, besides a number of wounded, who were properly taken care of and sent to the rear. We continued the pursuit for a considerable distance without meeting the enemy, but on every side there were evidences of a precipitate flight-arms, ammunition, clothing, and provisions being strewed around in every direction.
By your orders we were recalled, and returned by way of a road we had crossed before charging into the woods. Here we discovered the location of the enemy's battery by the piles of cannon balls, shells, and munitions of war. There was one gun-carriage destroyed by the pioneers of war. There was one gun-carriage destroyed by the pioneers of my regiment, which was found damaged from the effects of our shot and shell.
The conduct of the officers and men, under the difficult circumstances in which they were placed, in searching a dense forest for a hidden foe, was eminently satisfactory. I desire to mention particularly the services rendered by Quartermaster E. D. Reid, who acted as my adjutant on the occasion. None of the field officers were on duty except myself, and but three captains out of nine. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, the subaltern officers and the men conducted themselves with spirit and bravery, and obeyed with alacrity the orders given them.
I am gratified to have only one casualty to report. Private William R. Fox, of Company K, was shot in the right thigh during the first part of our advance into the woods. The wound is not serious. He made a narrow escape. A port-monnaie in his pocket was bored through, and a $2.50 gold piece in it was bent nearly double.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
JOHN H. TAGGART,
Colonel, Commanding Twelfth Regiment P. R. C.
Brigadier General E. O. C. ORD,
Commanding Third Brigade, McCall's Division, P. R. C.
No. 9. Report of Captain Hezekiah Easton, Battery A, First Pennsylvania Reserve Artillery.
CAMP PEIRPOINT, December 21, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from Brigadier-General McCall, commanding this division, I reported to you on the morning of the 20th of this month, at 6 o'clock a.m., and from thence proceeded with my battery, Company A, First Pennsylvania Artillery, in connection with your brigade, to a point on the Leesburg turnpike near Dranesville. No appearance of the enemy was visible until we reached Thornton's house, near the junction of the Alexandria and Leesburg turnpike, when a heavy fire of artillery and musketry