War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0413 Chapter XXIV. BEALETON AND RAPPAHANNOCK STATIONS.

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had him open fire on about a company of the enemy just in the edge of some woods. They fled toward our left. This operation was repeated constantly during the march. Sometimes one squadron and sometimes as many as three squadrons appeared and disappeared on our front and flanks. We constantly pressed forward toward the Rappahannock, driving the cavalry before us till within 3 miles of that river. Here a force of infantry was reported advancing at double-quick. I formed in order of battle; ordered the advance guard forward into a good position. I soon ascertained that the remnant of the enemy's infantry on this side of the river was running for a train of cars nearer to me than themselves. As soon as possible Lieutenant Rundell fired in the direction of the train.

As soon as this train had passed the Rappahannock bridge I heard a heavy explosion, much like the blasting of stone. My command was brought forward as fast as possible to a point half a mile this side the river. I then discovered quite a large force on a high ridge. Immediately the Parrott guns were brought into action on a high plat of ground near the railroad. Then the enemy opened upon me with two or three Parrott guns. I moved the battery to a better position and closer range toward my right and front, supporting it by cavalry, and at the same time took possession, by the Fifth New Hampshire Regiment, of a field work which the enemy had left a short time before. I had now ascertained that the entire force opposed was across the river, a battery and apparently infantry on the heights to the left of the railroad, a body of cavalry and a large body of infantry to the right of the railroad. I then ordered up Captain Hazzard's battery to a position near the field works before mentioned. The captain brought it up at a trot, instantly came into action as each piece got upon the ground, and fired in rapid succession upon the cavalry force to our front. He continued firing there till the enemy's cavalry had entirely disappeared in the woods beyond their position. I then sent his battery, supported by the Fifth New Hampshire, to a new position, to shell out some infantry still farther to the right. He fired a few rounds and the enemy disappeared. I kept a strong show of force near the river bank till dark, and then moved back beyond effective cannon-range and bivouacked, picketing strongly at the fords.

At sunrise this morning I put my command in motion for this place, while I made a careful reconnaissance along the river bank with a cavalry guard and sent Major Connor along the railroad to bring me a report of the bridges and depots burned. His guard of infantry fired a few shots into a small body of soldiers apparently endeavoring to remove some hay from the depot opposite him at the burnt bridge. I send a sketch of the works near the burnt bridge, also a map of the railroad, found by a private of the Eighty-first Pennsylvania Regiment. I found quite a large collection of cattle on the abandoned land in that vicinity, and have driven in about 230 head. Some of them may belong to Mr. Bowen, who has taken the oath of allegiance. He claims about 60 head. For these and some forage I receipted to him. The enemy burned what culverts he could and depots and store-houses and the stacks of forage on our route. I found the Rappahannock bridge a burning mass when I reached it. I think the enemy fired about twenty-five rounds from his battery. Lieutenant Rundell fired fifty-one rounds from his section of Parrott guns and Captain Hazzard forty-three rounds. I inclose a report of Lieutenant Rundell. Three prisoners were taken and have been turned over to the provost-marshal. The Fifth New Hampshire Regiment, the Sixty-first New York Regiment,