JULY 26, 1862.- Reconnaissance toward Orange Court-House, Va.
Report of Brigadier General Samuel W. Crawford, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES,
Near Culpeper Court-House, Va., July 27, 1862 - 2.45 a. m.
GENERAL: Yesterday morning I ordered a scout of 100 mounted men to proceed via Colvin's Tavern and the forks of the Crooked and Robertson Rivers directly south to Barnett's Ford, to cross the river at that point, drive in the enemy's pickets, and proceed as far as practicable toward Orange Court-House. The commanding officer of this force was apprised of the advance of our troops from Fredericksburg. The following report has been made:
On Orange Court-House Road, Va., July 26, 1862 - 8.40 p. m.
GENERAL: I followed the road laid down in my instructions, and drove the enemy's pickets in at Barnett's Ford and pursued them for 1 mile, and captured a team with eight barrels of flour, which I was forced to destroy. Our advance from Fredericksburg is said to be 4 miles from Orange Court-House, On the turnpike. General Jackson is at Orange Court-House, with two brigades of infantry and 1,500 cavalry. We are now 8 miles from Culpeper. Inclosed are Richmond papers of July 24 and 25, which were captured 2 miles from Orange Court-House.
JOHN W. KESTER,
Captain, Commanding Scout.
Another scout, sent to Somerville Ford, which is not named upon our maps, but which is midway between Raccoon Ford and Rapidan Ford, crossed the river and proceeded 1 1/2 miles, seeing nothing of the enemy. A signal gun was fired at midnight in the direction of the Rapidan. I have given Major Houston all the information at our command. Do you desire to know the result of all our scouts?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. W. CRAWFORD,
Major General I. MCDOWELL,
Commanding Third Army Corps.
JULY 28, 1862.- Reconnaissance from Culpeper to Raccoon Ford, Va.
Report of Captain William S. Cogswell, Fifth Connecticut Infantry.
CAMP NEAR CULPEPER, VA.,
July 28, 1862.
GENERAL: I respectfully submit the following report of a scout made yesterday for the purpose of ascertaining the number and condition of the roads leading to Raccoon Ford:
There are two principal roads leading from Culpeper to the ford, the first, going to the west of Pony Mountain, Is the more direct of the two and the one usually traveled by the inhabitants. It is a very rough and in rainy weather a very muddy road. After a hard storm it would be impassable for artillery for some days. Near Pony Mountain there is a branch road leading to Mitchell's Ford, which is 5 miles above the Raccoon Ford. About 6 miles from Culpeper this road makes a turn to the right, and after running in the new direction for about 3 miles