pickets up the Centerville road 1 1/2 miles, also down the Fairfax road toward Payne's Church, and also towards Fairfax. We were vigilant that night, but were unmolested.
About 8 o'clock next morning received a verbal order from General Kearny, by his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Barnard, to throw forward scouts in rear of Centerville, and am happy to say that I soon found a corporal and 3 men ready and villing to undertake this apparently dangerous enterprise. In about an hour afterwards I received an order to send forward towards Centerville one company. I immediately ordered Company B, Captain Van Sickell, to push forward, and in accordance with our general's instructions had a communication kept up with me, and through me with General Kearny, by Captain Van Sickell sending back a man every three-fourths of a mile that he advanced. Between 12 and 1 o'clock the general ordered me to advance with our regiment to Centerville, which I did, Captain Van Sickell and Lieutenant Tantum, with Company B, having reached that place before we did, and some hours ahead of any other troops. Permit me to say here that our regiment was the last to leave Centerville at the Bull Run retreat, and a part of it the first to enter it on the retreat of the enemy. We staid all night, and the next morning were ordered to return to Fairfax Court-House.
In conclusion, permit me to say that General Kearny deserves a great deal of credit by this bold push towards the enemy's lines, and by the energy and bravery thus displayed caused the enemy to leave in great haste, leaving many valuables behind them.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel First Regiment New Jersey Volunteers.
A. T. A. TORBERT, Colonel First New Jersey Volunteers.
No. 4. Report of Major David Hatfield, First New Jersey Infantry.
FIRST REGIMENT NEW JERSEY VOLUNTEERS,
Camp Seminary, Va., March 17, 1862.
SIR: On Sunday morning, March 9, I was ordered by General Kearny to take two companies and proceed to Farr's Cross-Roads by the old Braddock road, and there wait for re-enforcements from Fairfax Station. I arrived at the Cross-Roads about noon. My command consisted of Companies B and E. At the cross-roads we discerned the enemy's cavalry on a hill near the court-house, but having positive orders to remain at the Cross-Roads, I did not feel at liberty to pursue them. However, I sent out a small detachment, under command of Lieutenant Tantum, in order to get as near the enemy as possible under cover of the pines, so as to watch their movements. By so doing we found that the enemy was moving back and forth from the Court-House to the old Braddock road, a distance of about 1 mile.
At 4 o'clock the Fourth New Jersey, under Colonel Simpson, came up, when we marched to the Court-House. The two companies under my command were deployed as skirmishers. When near the Court-House, by order of General Kearny, we marched on at double-quick, and I may also add that the enemy did the same, only in an opposite direction.