Colonel J. E. JOHNSON:
SIR: Mr. Dillard sent me word this morning to stay here and watch. Four of the Yankee gunboats came up about an hour ago. They discovered me and shot at me. They have no troops on board except a few marines. They have landed on the Stafford side of the river. I killed one of the officers, who was about to shoot at me.
J. A. TOOLE,
At Dickison's Farm, 7 miles below Fredericksburg.
Numbers 6. Report of Lieutenant Colonel W. H. F. Lee, Ninth Virginia Cavalry.
Spottsylvania, Va., April 20, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to forward a report of the recent engagement between the force under my command and the enemy's cavalry, near Falmouth, on Thursday and Friday, 17th and 18th instant:
At 10 o'clock on Thursday morning my scouts reported the cavalry of the enemy approaching by the Warrenton road. I at once re-enforced my picket in front by ordering Lieutenant Peirce, Lancaster Cavalry, to report with his company to Captain Swan, commanding pickets. I also sent Captain Hatchett, Lunenburg Dragoons, with his company, on the Sackett's Mill road. These companies held the enemy in check, retreating slowly, until 4 p. m. The enemy's force was a full regiment and my force four companies of cavalry. I had but few men in camp, owing to the long line of picket that I was obliged to keep up.
Finding that the enemy was too strong, I determined to fall back toward Falmouth. I took a position at Greeve's [Grove] Chapel, about 1 mile from Falmouth, where I was supported by four companies of infantry of the Fortieth Virginia Volunteers, under Major Taliaferro, and a squadron of cavalry, under Captain B. B. Douglas. Agreeably to orders I determined not to yield my ground except to superior forces. Major Taliaferro was posted in front with his infantry, and erected a barricade across the road. The cavalry was posted on the right and left and in rear. We remained in position until 1 o'clock Friday morning, when the pickets reported the enemy coming down the Warrenton road at full gallop. We waited in silence until they came within 20 yards of the barricade, when the infantry poured a deadly fire into and repulsed them. Within ten minutes they returned to the charge with a loud yell, and were again repulsed by a destructive volley and driven back. They seemed to be satisfied after the second charge and did not renew the attack.
When it was light enough to make examination 4 dead bodies and several wounded were found; 7 or 8 dead horses in one place. I learn from good authority that the enemy acknowledge in the morning skirmish 3 killed and 7 wounded; among them a lieutenant, whose horse and equipments we have. In the conflict at night they confess to 30 killed.
I testify with pride and gratification to the steady gallantry of my officers and men.
Major Taliaferro merits unqualified commendation for his coolness and gallantry on the occasion. To the unflinching courage and steady,