Brigade followed to Ashby's Gap. The infantry brigade was recalled to its proper division this evening. On reaching Ashby's Gap the enemy opened a 10-pounder Parrott from the mountain side, and showed some force, which afterward retreated through the gap. Averell occupied Piedmont and took some prisoners.
On the 4th, Averell mover toward Markham, and soon engaged a force there. The skirmishing was kept up during the day, and in the afternoon, at his request, he was re-enforced by the Eighth Pennsylvania and Sixth Cavalry, under Colonel Gregg. The enemy fell back from Markham through Manassas Gap, and also toward Barbee's Cross-Roads. As no detailed report has been received from General Averell, I cannot state his losses during the time his brigade was with me.
On November 5, I moved, with the Second Brigade and Pennington's battery, through Markham, toward Barbee' Cross-Roads, Aversll's brigade remaining at Markham, to cover Manassas Gap, by the orders of the major-general commanding. On approaching Barbee's Cross-Roads, the enemy opened with a couple of guns from an eminence commanding the road, and displayed a large force of cavalry on the left of the road, toward Chester Gap. I replied with a section of Pennington's battery, and immediately sent the Eighth Pennsylvania and Sixth Cavalry, under Colonel Gragg, to our left, to occupy some woods to the front and turn their flank, a section, under Pennington, taking a position to the front and right of the road, supported by the Eighth New York Cavalry, under Colonel Davis, while the Eighth Illinois and Third Indiana Cavalry, under Colonel Farnsworth, moved up the road to the front. Gregg, with great skill and activity, soon outflanked the rebel lines and caused them to withdraw their guns. They attempted to charge him, but did not succeed. Farnsworth moved rapidly up the road, receiving several rounds of canister, but driving the enemy before him, until he came to a barricade, beyond which the enemy covered their retreat. By this time I had advanced two sections of artillery to the position held by the rebels, where they first opened, and I soon discovered that Colonel Davis, of the Eighth New York Cavalry, had a much superior force to his own to contend with, and that they were about to charge him, in a column of squadrons. I ordered the Third Indiana to re-enforce Davis, and opened a fire on the enemy's squadrons. Before, however, much was effected, Davis saw his situation and dismounted one of his squadrons behind a stone wall, while he gallantly led the remainder of his regiment against the enemy, to meet their charge. The result was very successful. The carbines of the dismounted squadron gave a galling flank and front fire, while the attack of the Eighth New York routed the enemy and sent them flying in all directions. Thirty-seven of the rebel dead were left on this filed, and more than that number of arms, horses, and prisoners were captured. This part of their command retreated toward Chester Gap, and that from Barbee's Cross-Roads took the Warrenton road.
On this occasion the Second Brigade had contended with two rebel brigades (Hampton's and Lee's), the whole commanded by Stuart, and had driven them in confusion from all their positions with a severe loss. My own loss was 5 killed and 8 wounded.
On November 6, finding that the enemy was in force in Chester Gap and beyond (Jackson's corps holding that position), and Averell having joined me, I moved in the direction of Orleans, intending to proceed to Springville and Little Washington by that route. I halted for the night near Waterloo, where my advance was fired upon by the enemy.