my entire command, for the purpose of obtaining forage for my jaded horses. In the afternoon I was dispatched to headquarters with orders. Lieutenant Alexander, with 15 men, was ordered to accompany you to Centerville, which he did, entering that strongly fortified place with you in advance of any other Unio troops. Subsequently Captain Jones received orders to follow you with the remainder of the squadron, and did so without loss of time. An extended reconnaissance was then made towards Bull Run by Lieutenant Alexander, who learned that the rebel forces were but a few hours in advance. That night the squadron returned to Payne's Church to await further orders.
On Tuesday morning I received orders from you to take a position beyond Sangster's Station, for the purpose of holding the railroad to that point. At 4 p.m. I returned to Payne's Church, and before my men could dismount was ordered to march to Manassas and occupy that point, relieving the Third New Jersey Regiment. After a tedious march of five hours, without forage for the tired and hungry horses, I arrived at Manassas at 9 p.m., to find myself with 100 men far in advance of the army occupying the rebel stronghold, while on every side was found evidence showing that the enemy had taken a hasty departure but a few hours previously. Our camp was alarmed once during the night by the approach of several horsemen, who fled at the fire of the sentry. We were surprised shortly after daylight on Wednesday by the arrival within our lines of several contrabands, and when we left at 4 p.m. to return 30 negroes had sought our protection, some of them having walked 25 miles the previous night.
On Wednesday afternoon I reported to you at Fairfax Court-House, and was again quartered at Payne's Church. On Thursday you kindly permitted my command to rest, a relaxation from duty being absolutely required by the horses in the squadron . On Friday I was ordered to report with my squadron to my regiment at Fairfax Court-House, and was thus relieved from duty with your brigade.
In concluding this report I beg to return you my sincere thanks for the kindness and attention which my command universally received at your hands, and I beg to assure you that it is a matter of deep regret with both officers and men of the squadron that they were not permitted to serve longer under your immediate command. In conclusion, I take this opportunity to return my thanks to the officers and men of the squadron for the energy and alacrity displayed in performing the arduous duties required of them. I also forward herewith at your request the names of the men who so sustained Lieutenant Hidden in his brilliant charge at Sangster's Station on the 9th instant: Corporal E. Lewis, Company H, since promoted to be sergeant; Privates Charles P. Ives, Company H; Robert C. Clark, Company H; Albert H. Van Saun, Company A; Michael O'Neil, Company H; James Lynch, Company H; Cornelius Riley, Company H; Hugh McSauley, Company H; Herman Cameroon, Company H; John Cameroon, Company H; Martin Murry, Company H; John Bogert, Company H; William Simonson, Company A; Chester C. Clark, Company A; John Nugent, Company A; John R. Wilson, Company A; Henry Higgins, Company A.
Private Wilson alone captured three prisoners, compelling them to lay down their arms and accompany him from the field.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
J. K. STEARNS,
Captain, Commanding Squadron.