and, if too hard pressed, to fall back upon me. Averell mistook my orders this morning, which did not contemplate his whole force going to Markham, but only a scouting party, as it is more important to us just now to gain information than gain glory by thrashing Stuart. I have found a good guide, and have sent two squadrons, by Barbee's, to Sandy Hook, on the Chester Gap and Flint Hill road. To Culpeper, by the road they take, it is only 11 miles from here. Averell sends me world he had two guns and 300 prisoners of Stuart's at one time, and then lost them. I expect he has had a hard fight, and as they can so easily throw infantry upon him through the gap, and the country is bad, I have advised him to be very careful. I begin to think Stuart is taking these gaps to lead us off the scent.
P. S. - It would be well to push some infantry here, that I may go on toward Sandy Hook road with my whole force. Please hurry up Sharps' carbine ammunition; Averell is calling for it.
PIEDMONT, November 4, 1862 - 5.45 p. m.
GENERAL: Colonel Colburn's dispatch from Ashby's Gap received. I send a staff officer for orders, as directed.
Averell's command is, I fear, a good deal crippled, from his report. He does not give me his killed and wounded, but tells me one of his squadrons was overwhelmed by superior numbers. I have now two squadrons on the road to Chester Gap, and shall soon hear from them. From what Averell says, I am satisfied no one but Stuart has been in Manassas Gap. Averell talks of pursuing him, but I shall halt him until your orders are received, and strengthen me at Chester Gap.
From what I hear, general, I would advise to push the infantry forward as fast as possible, as the enemy have a good start.
I am, general, very respectfully,
PIEDMONT, November 5,  - 6.15 a. m.
COLONEL: Your dispatch of last night is received. A prisoner, captured at Linden, says he belongs to the Tenth Virginia, of Hampton's brigade; that his brigade came to-day from the other side of Paris. His regiment having the advance, and crossing the mountains, came down to Linden about dark. Thirty of his regiment were ordered down to the front, the remainder going to Linded Station, about 1 1/4 miles from Linden. The remainder of the brigade went in the direction of the Manassas Gap. He reports infantry on the railroad between Markham and the gap. This shows Hampton's brigade took the road under the mountain from Paris. It would be well for Couch to send a division down that road to-day to occupy Linden, as that would prevent any flank movement through the gap, and from this place there is no road that turns off from here to Linden. A citizen from Culpeper states that he saw Longstreet at that place with his command, and that he passed through Chester Gap. This was some days ago. Colonel Gregg thinks the two guns abandoned by Stuart may be near Bloomfield, as