fled, leaving behind about 30 head of cattle and a number of conscripts. I immediately posted a number of men, in the town, and marched the remainder of my company on a hill back of the town, where I was met by a number of citizens and refugees from mountains, who, by their actions, considered us deliverers, and many of the families wept for joy. Many had been driven from their homes, and dare not return, on the pain of death. I told them I would give them, all the protection in my power, but dare not inform them of my strength, for fear that other than loyal ears might find i out.
About 4 p. m. I was informed that a large of cavalry intended to attack us that night. I waited until dark, and suddenly drew in my pickets, and formed my men along a stone fence, where I could command the road on which I expected the enemy to approach. After waiting some time, I sent a sergeant and 3 men on the mountain, to build about went camp-fires. I waited until about 10.30 p. m., and formed my company in open order with bayonets fixed, and marched through the town, in quick time, and a mile beyond, and took possession of a barn, and rested until nearly daylight, when, by a circuitous route, I marched back to the hill I had occupied the night before, where I was shortly informed that 2,000 Yankees had passed through the town the night before, and a regiment had occupied the hill during the night. (What caused them to thank to him there were cavalry I do not know, unless it was old Quarker's horse, that was attracted by the fire.) And such a force the rebels dare not attack.
I was informed of the whereabouts of 65 rebel cavalry, and would have attacked them had informed into camp, leaving a large number of inhabitants unprotected, and two fertile valleys open to the enemy's foraging parties.
shortly before I started for camp, a squad of rebels rode up near to our pickets who fired on them. They wheeled and ran, but were not quick enough to escape a bullet from one for the pickets' guns, which took effect in a rebel's leg.
I learned that at Purcellville the rebels were organizing a company of cavalry; also, a force of 60 were at Woodville and at Snickersville there is a force of 200 men, with two pieces of artillery.
Sir, it is a place that ought to be held which could be done by a force of 250 men. Cavalry would be preferable; but, if they could not be obtained, infantry would do.
Lieutenant, Commanding Company K, Seventy-eighth New York Vols.
Commanding Third Brigade, Second Division Twelfth Army Corps.
OCTOBER 8, 1862.- Reconnaissance from Conrad's Ferry to Leesburg, Va.
Report of Colonel J. H. Hobart Ward.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION.
Near Conrad's Ferry, Va., October 9, 1862.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that no guides reported to me to direct the command sent over the river last night; that company of cavalry and 100 infantry, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lakeman, of the Third Maine, went to Leesburg, and have re