War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0503 Chapter XIV. RECONNAISSANCE TO OCCOQUAN, VA.

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Guyandotte those men lived who composed the so-called Black Stripped Company. As these men had fled to the other side of the Guyandotte I could not taken them up in their houses, and it appears to me that this can only be done by a small detachment of light cavalry who arrive before the news of their march has reached the country. I have sent a list of those men who are reported most dangerous to Brigadier General J. D. Cox; also some prisoners.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. SIBER,

Colonel Thirty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer.

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

FEBRUARY 3, 1862.-Reconnaissance to Occoquan Village, Va.

Report of Colonel Stephen G. Champlin, Third Michigan Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS PICKET GUARD, February 4, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the reconnoitering party sent out early yesterday morning returned about 3 p.m. The party was commanded by Captain Lowing, and consisted of Lieutenant Brennan and 34 men from Company I, and Lieutenant Ryan and 44 men from Company H. They took the road leading by Millstead and went as far as Burker's, intending to push up as far as Burke's Station and then pass over to Brimstone Hill, returning by way of old Ox road; but the storm was so severe that the captain did not think it advisable to continue farther, so turned off to the left, and passing the house of Williamson, went down to the river side opposite Occoquan Village. The river side was reached through a ravine through which the road passes..

Arriving on the shore of the river, the road turns sharply to the north, while a precipitous rocky bluff of near 100 feet high rises immediately behind, leaving only room for the roadway. Upon nearing the river Lieutenant Brennan and 10 men were thrown forward to reconnoiter. He saw but few men in the streets of the village on his arrival, and those seen appeared to be squads of unarmed recruits drilling. The scouting party was soon discovered by the enemy and the alarm given, when armed men rushed out of the houses and opened a fire upon the party. Captain Lowing then came up and ordered the fire to be returned. Three rounds were fired, when the men, being too much exposed and having accomplished the object of their mission, were ordered to retire, and returned by way of Pohick Curch.

The falling snow prevented objects from being distinctly seen. Four of the enemy were seen to fall, however, and were carried off by their comrades. Great confusion seemed to prevail. The enemy were evidently taken by surprise. Owing to the difficulty of getting the men under cover Captain Lowing did not deploy his men, but brought them through the ravine in sections of eight men abreast, delivered his fire in this order, retiring from the right and left to the rear, thus exposing the head of the column, the balance being hid in the ravine through which they approached the river. The men delivered their fire deliberately and filled to the rear without confusion, acting with coolness and courage throughout.

A camp of the enemy was seen below Occoquan and on the south