from which we had driven a body of the enemy. He was assailed on the 27th by a squadron of the First Michigan Cavalry, who scouted at desirable points in the neighborhood.
Under verbal orders from Major-General McClellan and yourself I crossed nine companies of my regiment with the four guns of the battery and a battalion of the First Michigan Cavalry over the Shenandoah, and late in the afternoon marched through Pleasant Valley, and about dark proceeded along the banks of the river to reconnoiter, as the trains on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were threatened; but our progress being impeded by an unfordable creek, which had risen several feet, we bivouacked for the night.
On the following morning we marched to Lovettsville, and along the route were grected with enthusiastic demonstrations of joy and manifestations of Union feeling. Before reaching Lovettsville, which we did at noon, the enemy, after a sharp skirmish, fled towards Waterford and subsequently to Leesburg.
We captured 6 prisoners, including the mail-carrier, with his mail. The others were of the Bedford and Loudoun cavalry.
The majority of the inhabitants and many from the surrounding country hailed our presence with gladness, and willingly took the oath of allegiance and claimed the protection of our Government. I learned that the party who had shelled the train on the day previous consisted of about 300 Mississippians with 2 guns.
Finding that the enemy intended making demonstrations against us, I sent a detachment of infantry and one gun to take position on Short Mountain to protect our flank, and also ordered Lieutenant-Colonel De Korponay from his position on Loudoun Heights with the remaining companies of the Twenty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, under privilege of relief granted by yourself. My scouts daily drove in the enemy's pickets and encountered parties of the rebels, invariably putting them to flight. Collisions with the outposts of the enemy were frequent, in some of which several of our adversaries were killed. We were keeping in check a force of 4,000 rebels, who threatened us from Leesburg, and it became necessary that we should the place determinedly, as they had expressed a determination to attempt a repetition of their attacks upon the cars on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and by a hold dash cross the river in boats to destroy a portion of the road and several viaducts, to cripple thereby the main line of our operations. Our presence here materially intercepted the supply communications of the enemy.
On March 3 a strong rebel force advanced upon us with the intention of attacking and outflanking us. To their surprise they found us in line of battle. They changed their original intentions and retired to Hillsborough.
On the 4th our scouts reported about 1,000 of the enemy with artillery and 200 or 300 cavalry at Coatesford, 6 miles from us, and General Smith's brigade, 3,000 strong, at Gum Spring. Active reconnaissances were prosecuted, and the enemy had not the temerity to give us battle.
Two deserters from the Eighteenth Mississippi came into our lines on March 5. A general expression of loyalty had transpired in the county, and the majority of the people were desirous of being protected from the dominion of rebel soldierly.
On the morning of the 7th I learned that there were about 1,000 infantry, some artillery, and between 200 and 300 cavalry at Waterford, who had determined to make an attempt to destroy the railroad during the day, then burn Wheatland and Waterford. Afterwards they, together