HEADQUARTERS ADVANCE BRIGADE,
White Plains, Va., March 31, 1862.
GENERAL: Yesterday afternoon I examined the line of the railroad from this point to Salem, and also to Thoroughfare. The road to Salem is in good running order. The telegraph wire has been pulled down and cut in two or three places and two poles have been cut away. The insulators all remain, and this slight damage can be repaired in a few hours. The road to Thoroughfare is also in good order, the only break being a burnt bridge about 1 1/2 miles this side of the town. It was 40 feet long, in two spans 20 feet each, resting on a stone pier in the center. This pier still stands undisturbed, and the bolts of the bridge are undestroyed. Near it, on the side of the road, are about 50 new rails, and at Thoroughfare between 200 and 300 more. A great stench is noticeable in Thoroughfare, arising from the smoldering remains of a large quantity of meat destroyed by fire by the rebels to prevent it falling into our hands. Since our occupation of this place the rebels have evacuated Warrenton. White's cavalry has retired to Warrenton Springs.
I will continue my investigations to-day and report. All is now quiet, and no enemy in sight.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. W. GEARY,
Colonel Twenty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols., Commanding
Brigadier-General ABERCROMBIE, Commanding Second Brigade.
MARCH 28-31, 1862. - Operations on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, Va., including affairs at Bealeton and Rappahannock Stations.
Numbers 1. - Brigadier General Oliver O. Howard, U. S. Army.
Numbers 2. - Lieutenant Marshall H. Rundell, Battery G, First New York Light Artillery.
Numbers 3. - Brigadier General James E. B. Stuart, C. S. Army.
Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General Oliver O. Howard, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS CAMP WARRENTON JUNCTION,
March 29, 1862.
COLONEL: Having received orders from the headquarters of this Army Corps, dated March 28, 1862, to take command of a reconnoitering force, composed of three regiments of my brigade and one of General Meagher's, and all of the cavalry here present, I have the honor to report that I marched from camp at the appointed time yesterday morning. I organized my force with a large advance guard; thoroughly covered my front and flank by skirmishers. At about 2 miles' distance from this place the scouts of the enemy appeared a mile ahead. As we pressed on they discharged their carbines at my scouts and retired. My scouts and skirmishers returned the fire. Being beyond effective range no harm was done on either side. As soon as the Parrott guns under Lieutenant Rundell reached a fair position I