War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0430 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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my attempt to secure the bridge by surprise, I advanced at sunrise with my whole command prepared to fight, but with the exception of a few pickets, saw none of the enemy until my arrival at the river.

I am unable at this time to give you any reliable information on the points suggested in my instructions. I send this by the commandant of the squadron ordered to Aquia Creek per my instructions of yesterday. To-morrow I will send the entire train there with a battalion of cavalry.

I have no reason to believe Colonel Bayard was intentionally misled by our guide, for there is abundant evidence of his having suffered greatly in consequence of his Union sentiments.

I regret to add that our valuable scout (Britton) was severely wounded in the leg.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain R. CHANDLER,

A. A. G., Hdqrs. King's Division, Catlett's Station, Va.

Numbers 3. Report of Colonel George D. Bayard, First Pennsylvania Cavalry.


April 19, 1862.

SIR: According to instructions from the general commanding, at 2 a. m. yesterday morning I started from camp for the purpose of getting in rear of the infantry which was reported in our front and of securing the possession of the bridge over the river from Falmouth. I took with me for that purpose seven companies of the Harris Light Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Kilpatrick commanding, and four companies of my own regiment. Pursuant to directions from the general I pushed forward as rapidly as possible and soon reached the vicinity of the enemy. To Lieutenant Colonel Owen Jones, First Pennsylvania Cavalry, with four companies - F, E, K, and M - of the same regiment, I assigned the duty of seizing the bridge, rushing across it, cutting down the heavy gates which were reported on the opposite side, and throwing out pickets in advance, purposing to cross myself with the Second Battalion of the Harris Light Cavalry, leaving to Lieutenant-Colonel Kilpatrick, with the remaining battalion of his regiment, the duty of holding Falmouth. As soon as I learned that we had come upon the pickets of the enemy I ordered Colonel Jones forward at full gallop. He went up the hill in front rapidly, and when he reached the top was met with a heavy fire of infantry from all sides. The night was dark and the hill on both sides of the road covered with brush, yet the colonel pushed on under this fire until he found barricades across the road. The enemy still kept pouring in their fire until the companies became disorganized and confused and finally broke. Companies K and E - the first commanded by Captain Williams and the latter by Captain French - fled back to camp without having either horse or man injured. Captain M. L. French, though deserted by his company, still remained on the field, with Sergt. Jesse Fry, of his company, and behaved as became an officer. The greater portion of Companies F and M were rallied in rear by Colonel Jones.