after I had dispatched this information, I received a communication from him, stating that return march would commence about the same hour.
The troops marched back in the same order in which they had halted, the regular infantry forming the rear of the column of that arm; the cavalry, with two pieces of artillery, bringing up the rear, and its rear guard commanded by Lieutenant Ash. The enemy opened his artillery upon us as the march began, and, with his cavalry skirmishers, followed us to Shepherdstown. Two and a half miles from that place two of his regiments of cavalry charged the rear guard of ours, which, at 40 paces, fired upon them, emptying many saddles of the first platoon, throwing the head of the column into some confusion, and bringing it to a temporary halt. Our cavalry then moved from the road into the fields, and Hazlett's artillery, in battery, on the road, opened upon the enemy's column as it charged over the crest of the, and drove it back in disorder. Their loss at this encontur is ukonown to me. Their artillery now replied, first direction fire at our guns, and wounding a gunner seriously; then with solid shot, at our columns of cavalry and the infantry of the rear, but without effect. Here their artillery fire ceased, but their ccavalry followed us into Shepherdstown, and made a show of charging, but were rapidly driven back by Lieutenant Ash.
We were not again molested by them, and had crossed the river by 11 p. m.
I regret to be obliged to report the loss of 1 man killed, 9 wounded (2 mortally, who have since died), and 3 missing. A list of them is appended. * The loss of the enemy, so far as positively know, was 4 killed (1 captain, 1 liutenant, and 2 privates) and 3 wounded. From the number of Enfield rifles found scatted upon the ground where their infantry was posted, in the wood near Kearneysville, the number of wounded there must have been 12 or 15. The above-named loss must have been more than doubled at the attempted cavalry charge. We have 8 prisoners, a list of whom is appended. *
It gratifield me highly to notice the admirable bearing of all the troops, some of whom have only recently entered the service. I wish particulary toi ackowledge the assistance I received from Major Lovell, commanding the brigade of regulars; Major Curtis, commanding the cavalry; Captain McClellan, my assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant Ash, Commanding detachment of Fifth U. S. Cavalry, and Lieutenant Hazlett, commanding the artillery.
I have already reported the accomplishment by Major Curtis of the difficult and dangerous duty of advancing, with a small detachment of his cavalry, to Smithfield, and desire likewise to notice the active, enterprising, and energetic conduct of Lieutenants Hazlett and Ash. My warm acknowledgments are due to the office of my staff, Captain Carswell McClellan, assistant adjutant-general, and my two volunteer aides, Captain Hopkins, aide to General Briggs, and Mr. H. H. Humphreys, for the zealous and intelligent discharge of the duties imposed upon them.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Reconaissance.
Lieutenant Colonel FRED. T. LOCKE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifth Army Corps.