The next morning about sunrise eight contraband slaves came in from Manassas, and reported to you that the rebels were sending away their guns and other property, and were about leaving their fortifications. You thought their representations such as to cause a more thorough questioning, and directed me to conduct it. I did so, putting down the result in a letter to you, which you dispatched immediately to General Franklin. Directly after this your ordered the brigade to move forward towards Sangster's Station, 7 miles up the railroad, and within 3 miles of Bull Run. The Third New Jersey was directed to take the advance along the railroad, the Second New Jersey en echelon at proper distance to support the Third, the Fourth New Jersey similarly disposed to support the Second, two companies of the First New Jersey to flank the railroad by the Braddock road to the north, and the remaining companies of the First to hold Burke's Station. In this way the advance was cautiously made far as Fairfax Station, a distance of 4 miles.
Reaching this place, the brigade, by your direction, was again advanced farther forward cautiously, the different regiments occupied the same relative position, but the Third moving more directly on Sangster's Station; the Second taking position on the right of the railroad about a mile beyond Fairfax Station, at the lead-colored house, on an eminence; the Fourth at the little church at Fairfax Station to guard the road leading to Fairfax; the First Regiment remaining as before at Burke's Station and the Braddock Corners. At this time the rebel cavalry could be very plainly seen with my glass about 1 1/2 miles off to the northwest, posted behind a fence in front of a woods.
Up to this period I had by your direction accompanied you in the field. Leaving me to go forward to join the Third in the advance, you directed me to take command of the Second and Fourth and give orders according to the exigencies as they might occur. Soon after I heard the advance engaged with the enemy, and receiving an order from you through Assistant Adjutant-General Wilson to push forward the Second to the burned railroad bridge to sustain the Third, the Fourth to take the place of the Second, and the First that of the Fourth, the two companies of the First still remaining at the Braddock Corners. I made the changes accordingly, and then rode forward to report to you at Sangster's Station. Here I found you writing a dispatch to General Franklin, informing him of the brilliant charge which had just been made by a small detachment of Captain Stearns' company of Lincoln Cavalry, which formed your escort, against a large body of the rebels, said to be 150 strong, by which they were totally routed and 14 made prisoners, among them a Lieutenant Stewart, late from West Point. You immediately ordered me to join my regiment, and with it two companies of the First New Jersey under Major Hatfield, which had been posted at the Braddock road, midway between Fairfax Station and Fairfax Court-House, and a company of the Lincoln Cavalry, under Captain Stearns, to take Fairfax Court-House. I promptly returned to my command, found it eager for the work, and ordering at the Braddock road Major Hatfield and command of two companies of the First and Captain Stearns to join me I dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, Fourth Mew Jersey Volunteers, with two companies of the Fourth New Jersey and Captain Stearns' company of cavalry, to make a detour to the left, to cut off the enemy in his retreat from Fairfax Court-House by the Centerville road. The enemy's pickets were seen between us and the town, and it was supposed they were backed up by a large force in the neighborhood.
Waiting till the proper time to make the dispositions come out simultaneously at Fairfax Court-House, I took immediate command of the