War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0333 Chapter XXIV. RECONNAISSANCE TO GAINESVILLE,VA.

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on his cavalry 3 miles beyond that place. The enemy's scouts have not been there for the last four days. They burned the depot and a considerable quantity of wheat; also the railroad bridge at the Gap. Nothing heard here from General Banks' column.

Yours, truly,

I. B. RICHARDSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Captain TAYLOR,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 2. Report of Brigadier General Oliver O. Howard, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS HOWARD'S BRIGADE, Near Manassas, March 20, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that I took all the cavalry of the three squadrons present and one of the regiments (Colonel Miller's) Railroad. I proceeded carefully to Gainesville, a distance of 9 miles beyond Manassas Junction and 11 miles from this camp. We found that the enemy had burned up tents and other camp equipage at different points. At Gainesville the depot is burned. It contained some 300 or 400 bushels of oats. We had it from pretty good authority that the bridges at Thoroughfare and across the Shenandoah River had been burned. The pickets of the enemy are beyond New Baltimore, on the Warrenton turnpike, and no scouts have been at Gainesville for four days. I sent back Colonel Miller with one squadron to Manassas Junction directly by the railroad, and with one squadron to Manassas Junction directly by the railroad, and with the rest of the cavalry proceeded by the Warrenton turnpike to the vicinity of Bull Run, and thence by an easterly course back to this camp.

I feel assured from my scouting yesterday and to-day that there is no sign of the enemy having been north of the Manassas Gap Railroad for the last four days, and that General Jackson did not retreat by this railroad.

General Stuart passed through Gainesville on his retreat. His horses are said to be in bad condition. We found dead horses all along our route. I ought to have said that I know there are no pickets of the enemy within 3 miles of and beyond Gainesville. The roads are very muddy, and yet Colonel Miller, of the Eighty-first Pennsylvania, has made a march of 22 miles with his regiment. The Farnsworth Cavalry always do well. It has been raining moderately the whole day.

Very respectfully,

O. O. HOWARD,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain NORVELL,

Assistant Adjutant-General Division.