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,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Colonel E. SCHRIVER,

Chief of Staff, Third Army Corps, Warrenton.


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.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Colonel RUGGLES,

Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.

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