War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0405 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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ing they were within about 3 miles of Centreville (as he supposes, 2 miles east and 1 north). They were challenged by a picket. He was sent forward to answer the challenge. The picket pretended to belong to the First Pennsylvania Cavalry till he advanced to them, when they surrounded him and took him prisoner. He subsequently made his escape from his guard, and after wandering all night has just returned to camp. From the report that a force of the enemy attacked trains between Centreville and Fairfax Court-House last night I have some apprehension that the remainder of the party may have been taken. The sergeant reports that the guide who was with them led them by the Centreville road, but I suspect a curiosity to approach the scene of the late battle had much to do with their leaving the assigned route. I will examine the matter carefully.

Rumors this morning have been current that the enemy's cavalry moved in the night to Herndon Station, and I have parties out in that direction to-day investigating the reports and reconnoitering.

As bearing upon this question, and as some testimony on the subject of the enemy's purposes, I send the following for what it is worth:

Mrs. Butler, an intelligent and apparently candid woman, about thirty years of age, resides on Bull Run, near Blackburn's Ford. (See General McDowell's topographical map of Eastern Virginia.) She states that on Wednesday last, being alone, her husband having gone to Washington through fear of the rebels, she went to a neighbor's house, occupied by a person named Benson, but belonging to one named Roberts; that about noon General Stuart, of the rebel army, with his aides, stopped at that house, when dinner was prepared for them. She was present during the meal. The people of the house manifesting secession sympathies, the party conversed freely, were in excellent spirits, and quite jovial. In this free conversation General Stuart remarked to his companions that he felt quite sure they should succeed in crossing the Potomac, for they had reliable information that two ways were open to them, neither being guarded by United States forces. One was a ford somewhere below Dranesville, the other was by way of Aldie, to Poolesville. He also casually remarked that their force was larger than they had in the Seven-days' fight before Richmond. The names of a number of rebel officers were mentioned as being present with the army. She remembers the following: A. P. Hill, Whiting, Jackson, Robinson (Robertson), of Ashby's cavalry, and Lee.

I have no means of verifying any of her statements, but deem them of a sufficiently noteworthy character to be forwarded to you. She is taking her children into Washington, proposing to join her husband and go North.

Very respectfully,

J. D. COX,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major-General HALLECK, Commanding U. S. Army.

Numbers 48. Reports of Colonel E. Parker Scammon, Twenty-third Ohio Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of action at Bull Run Bridge.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, KANAWHA DIVISION,

Washington, August 28, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to orders from the general commanding the army, and received through Colonel Haupt, I went on the morning of