War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0455 Chapter XXIV. RECONNAISSANCE, ETC.

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him 8 prisoners. We had remained in the village forty-five minutes when I turned the column, which, in view of all the circumstances, was as long a time as was prudent. We searched their headquarters, but found nothing of any great consequence except clothing, which we could not carry off.

Lieutenant Spurling brought away a fine double-barreled gun, and some of the soldiers also brought guns away with them.

After Captain Taylor had arrived with the prisoners we resumed our march back toward the river, feeling safe from any attack of the enemy, as we were near the railroad, and could tear up the track at any time if the cars should approach us with infantry. Went about 4 miles and fed our horses, and then returned to the Rappahannock, thinking it not safe to stop this side for the night, as the enemy could reach us by railroad, but could not cross the ford except with their cavalry, which we did not fear. We arrived at the ford about 6 or half past and commenced to cross, but found the water about 7 inches higher than the night before. We crossed with great difficulty in about two hours' time, and came very near losing two horses and their riders. Also some horses were obliged to swim; others were taken off their legs by the swift current.

Before we crossed the river we thought of camping on the opposite side for the night, but it being stormy and dark, and the men very wet and cold from the rain and fording, we concluded to travel home 12 miles farther, where we arrived about 11 o'clock p.m., thirty-one hours after having left, and having traveled near 60 miles.

Much credit is due to Captain Taylor and Lieutenant Vaughn for the ability shown in the discharge of their duties during the day, and more especially on entering the town. Captain Taylor was appointed to his command from the Regular Army, a fine officer, and knew well his duty. His company acted as skirmishers during the day, and on reaching the town proceeded to flank it. Lieutenant Vaughn, of the same company, who was assigned the left, had reached his point on the left about 50 yards from where the enemy had formed a line of battle, and Captain Taylor, who had much farther to go on the right, would have arrived in five minutes' time and charged them if they had waited; but on discovering Captain Taylor coming from the right they broke their column and dispersed, with Captain Taylor and Lieutenant Vaughn in full pursuit. They succeed in capturing the prisoners before described. A majority of our officers and all our soldiers deserve much credit for discharging their duty so faithfully.

Our route from Warrenton to the river was on the line of the railroad most of the way, leaving it 2 miles below us on arriving at the river. The rebels destroyed the railroad bridge on their retreat from Manassas. The road is in good running order beyond the river clear to Culpeper Court-House, and also to Rapidan and Orange Court-House, which is 15 miles from Culpeper Court-House, and so on to Gordonsville, which is 10 miles from Orange Court-House, making the whole distance to Gordonsville 49 miles; distance from Culpeper Court-House to Fredericksburg 34 miles. On this side of the Rappahannock River there is a road from the railroad station to Falmounth, 28 miles. Falmounth is on the opposite side of the river and 7 miles from Fredericksburg. I did not consider it necessary to make a sketch of our route, as it was very direct and easily described.


Major, Commanding Expedition.

Brigadier-General HARTSUFF,

Headquarters Second Brigade, Warrenton Junction.