War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0105 Chapter XXIV. RECONNAISSANCE TOWARD ORANGE C. H., VA.

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advance approached the Court-House it was supposed to have come from the direction of Warrenton, crossing the Rappahannock at Raccoon Ford and making a detour to the left to take Robertson in rear. General Gibbon, satisfied of the presence of a large force in his front, and having but a small column with him, followed out his instructions by retracing his steps to Fredericksburg. On the return the enemy's cavalry pursued our men for 8 or 10 miles and endeavored to harass the rear guard, but were in every instance checked and driven back by the cavalry and sharpshooters. The only man hurt on our side was a private of the Third Indiana Cavalry, who was thrown from his horse. I am assured that every officer and man of the command behaved as well as could be wished.

I shall have the honor of transmitting General Gibbon's official report to headquarters as soon as it is received.

The column is now within a few miles of Fredericksburg and will be in camp this afternoon.

Very respectfully,

RUFUS KING,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Colonel E. SCHRIVER,

Chief of Staff, Third Army Corps, Warrenton.

FREDERICKSBURG, VA.,

July 27, 1862 - 12.30 p. m.

General Gibbon has returned, and reports substantially what I telegraphed to the general commanding yesterday. The enemy desisted from pursuit after following the column 10 miles. We met with no casualties. I will transmit General Gibbon's report to-morrow. He estimates the force of the enemy between Orange Court-House, Gordonsville, and Liberty Mills at 25,000 or 30,000.

RUFUS KING,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Colonel RUGGLES,

Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.

Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General John Gibbon, U. S. Army, commanding brigade.

HEADQUARTERS GIBBON'S BRIGADE,

Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va., July 28, 1862.

SIR: Pursuant to instructions from General King, I left here on the afternoon of the 24th to make a reconnaissance in the direction of Orange Court-House, for the purpose of ascertaining in what force the enemy occupied that place. My command consisted of 60 riflemen, three regiments of infantry, a battery of artillery, and one squadron of cavalry. One regiment was left on the morning of the 25th to guard the junction of the Orange Court-House and Culpeper Court-House plank roads, with orders to follow on after being relieved by a regiment from here, but not to wait for that relief later than 11 a. m. Another