On this report I learn from Captain Gilmore, First Virginia Cavalry, that his company went down the river 7 miles below the Mouth of East River, leaving camp about 8 o'clock and reaching the end of his 7 miles at 11 o'clock, being accompanied by one wagon to gather forage. Got 10 bushels corn and a few sheaves of oats, and fed his horses and let them graze from an hour. he then returned to the house above the mill, 6 miles from camp. Let his company, except 6 men guarding the wagon, press on to camp.
While at the house mentioned above 3 or 4 of our infantry called to be brought over the river, saying that they were pursued. Sent a man over with a canoe, and saw them brought over, and then returned to camp. Captain Gilmore is satisfied that the only cavalry seen on this side the river was his own. As to cavalry force on the other side of the river, it is reported that there is a force somewhere about the Salt Wells, 12 miles from our camp. This, however, is only a report from the Second Virginia Cavalry, derived from some woman down the river.
E. P. SCAMMON,
Colonel, Commanding First Provisional Brigade.
The above has been examined by me and is my report.
G. W. GILMORE,
Captain, First Virginia.
CAMP AT EAST RIVER, May 14, 1862.
Colonel E. P. SCAMMON:
In pursuance of your orders I beg leave to offer the following report of the affair which occurred yesterday down New River. I went about 10 miles down in search of forage, but found none. I hard of a force of rebels below, at the Salt Works. Not wishing to have a collision with them without orders, I ordered my force-a detail of 50 men- to counter-march and return to camp. We had arrived within 4 miles of camp when I heard firing on the opposite side of the river. Hastening up, I found 4 of the infantry of the brigade closely pursued by the rebels. The men called to us that they were cut off from retreat unless we could help them. I told them to go down the river to the mill, where there was a canoe, in which they could cross, and I sent 6 men to protect them with their fire from any enemy who might attack them. They succeeded in getting safely over. The guards who had been sent to protect them down came back and reported that there was cavalry coming up the river. I supposed they were some of Captain Gilmore's men, but the men persisting in their belief, I sent more men to see them. These returned, and reported that they had seen the force behind dismount, and some of them had gone over the mountain, probably to intercept us. At this some teamsters, who heard the reply, started, with the negroes who were along, all without arms, in number 25, in full run for camp. Many of my men, supposing something had happened, that I had ordered a retreat, fell in with the wagoners and came back. I remained with a small force until I found the cause of the alarm to be Captain Gilmore's men, who, hearing the firing, supposed a fight was on hand, and had dismounted his men to reconnoiter.
I am, very respectfully,
Captain Company E, Second Virginia Cavalry.