War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0518 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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of his command. I doubt if it has left Paw Paw. I should like some written action of future movements, especially with reference to my supply trains.

It takes over an hour to pass four wagons over the river, including getting in and off boats. I may appear over-anxious on this point, but its importance I regard as paramount. I find the Twelfth Massachusetts and Twelfth Indiana and First Maryland without tents. They are pretty comfortably placed in barns and public buildings here.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. S. WILLIAMS,.

Brigadier-General.

Major COPELAND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Charlestown.

MARCH 5, 1862.-Skirmish near Pohick Church, Va.

REPORTS.

No. 1.-Colonel Alexander Hays, Sixty-third Pennsylvania Infantry.

No. 2.-Lieutenant Colonel A. S. M. Morgan, Sixty-third Pennsylvania Infantry.

No. 1. Report of Colonel Alexander Hays, Sixty-third Pennsylvania Infantry.

CAMP JOHNSTON, NEAR FORT LYON, VA.,

March 8, 1862.

GENERAL: In obedience to instructions from you I have the honor to transmit the following statement of circumstances connected with the skirmish which occurred on the 4th [5th] instant near Pohick Church between a party of the Sixty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers and a scouting party of the rebels:

Having reason to believe that the scouts of the enemy were in the habit of approaching our line of pickets, I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan to take a sufficient force and advance a short distance beyond our lines. He left my quarters at 3 o'clock a.m. with a force of 50 men and three commissioned officers. Two hours afterwards I was aroused by volleys of musketry and cheers. I at once hurried forward a company which I had reserve at Pohick Church. When I arrived at our picket line I found Colonel Morgan's party retiring, with the loss of 1 captain, 1 first lieutenant, and 1 private, killed, and 1 private wounded. I herewith transmit a statement, made by Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, which will explain the affair in detail.

Lamentable as the result has been-most to me, as the commanding officer of the regiment-I have the satisfaction of knowing that the rank and file of my regiment stood nobly to their work. The surprise was sudden, and after the first volley the enemy retreated, covered by darkness and a knowledge of the country, which enabled them to get beyond the bayonets of our men. The death of the two officers reported is more attributable to their own want of caution, in direct violation of my orders, than to any fault of their commanding officer.

Respectfully submitted.

ALEXANDER HAYS,

Colonel Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Brigadier-General HEINTZELMAN,

Commanding Third Brigade, Army of the Potomac.