War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0411 Chapter XXIV. MIDDLEBURG AND WHITE PLAINS, VA.

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their presence by their pickets beyond, who fled upon our approach. The cavalry were of Colonel Stuart's and Captain White's commands.

I took possession of the town and pursued the cavalry, who fled precipitately to a woods nearly 2 miles distant, some of my rifles bearing upon them as they started. They at first evinced a design to make a stand just beyond the town, and evidently intended maneuvering to get a pursuing force on the flank with their infantry. We threw a few well-directed shells among them in the woods, when they again fled. No enemy are now in sight. I am occupying a good position here, and will encamp for the night.

I have been informed credibly that General Stuart is at or near The Plains, with a force of about 3,000 men, and it is rumored that about 2,000 are at or near Piedmont. As I now shall probably encounter superior forces, and having horses and men provided, I hope that you will send my the two pieces of cannon belonging to my battery. You will observe the necessity of this to enable me to cope with greater numbers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. W. GEARY,

Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols., Commanding

Lieutenant G. B. DRAKE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS ADVANCE BRIGADE,

White Plains, Va., March 30, 1862.

GENERAL: In obedience to orders to march to this point on the Manassas Railroad, I reached here yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock with my whole command, having left Middleburg the same morning at 7 o'clock. The latter place was reconnoitered for some considerable distance in circuit, but no enemy could be found, the rout upon our occupation of the town having effectually driven them toward the mountains. Upon reaching this place I found no troops, and that there had been none for several days, the last having been White's cavalry, who I am informed communicate such of our movements as they can learn to rebel officers below here. I have encamped at the base of a hill, and hold the strongest position in view.

Owing to the great inclemency of the weather, having rained and sleeted from late in the afternoon all night, it continues so this morning, rendering it impossible to reconnoiter with any satisfactory result. As soon as sufficiently clear I will make a tour of examination and report at once thereupon. At present the atmosphere is foggy, the clouds lowering, and the trees and ground covered with ice and snow half an inch thick.

I have received no official documents from headquarters for several days. Major Atwood handed me a memoranda of instructions taken from communications he destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of the enemy.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. W. GEARY,

Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols., Commanding

Brigadier-General ABERCROMBIE,

Commanding Second Brigade.