War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0133 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS IN LOUDOUN COUNTY, ETC.

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to him at that place at 8 p. m. After being deputed by General Pleasonton to convey his thanks to the officers and men of my command for the good services they had rendered, he directed me to report to General Doubleday.

In reporting the operations of the brigade, I beg to add my own thanks to the officers and men under my command for the prompt manner in which they discharged the duties devolving upon them.

To Captain Ford, assistant quartermaster, and Captain Williams, of the Fifty-sixth Regiment, my acting aide-de-camp, and to Adjutant Chur, of the Fifty-sixth Regiment, acting assistant adjutant-general, my thanks are especially due for the manner in which they conveyed and attended to the execution of my orders.*

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. W. HOFMANN,

Lieutenant Colonel Fifty-sixth Regiment Pa. Vols., Commanding Second Brigadier

Captain HALSTEAD,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Doubleday's Division.

Numbers 5.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Horace B. Sargent, First Massachusetts Cavalry, of reconnaissance to, and skirmish at, Snicker's Gap.

HDQRS. CAVALRY ESCORT, FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

Snickersville, Va., November 3, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the result of a reconnaissance made by me this day, by command of Brigadier-General Sykes, over the belt of wooded country bordering on the pike leading from this place to the Shenandoah. My orders were, first, to determine the number and the position of any hostile force on this side of the river, in this direction; second, to determine the exact position of the Shenandoah; and, third, if able to reach it, to ascertain, without crossing the river, the rebel force and position on the other side. I left General Sykes' headquarters, after receiving very full and careful instructions from him, with a command, consisting of 46 mounted men of the First Massachusetts Cavalry, 219 of the Seventh Infantry, and a part of the Sixth and Fourteenth Infantry (United States troops); number not yet reported to me.

After sending a lieutenant and 12 men to feel of the wood to the right, I attempted to thread the wood on the left side of the pike road (which was at first open) with the cavalry as skirmishers, but was soon compelled to move by file, having infantry skirmishers in advance. After moving about a mile and debouching upon the road, I met a considerable force of cavalry, variously estimated at from 50 to 100 men, who commenced firing upon the infantry skirmishers in the wood, on the right of the road, who returned the fire. After a few shots, I moved my cavalry upon them at a trot, exchanging fire, until I saw a horseman enter the Shenandoah, when I sent a dozen men to the right, to act as dismounted skirmishers, and charged with the remainder until the rebel horseman entered the river, when I poured an incessant fire upon them. A severe fire of small arms opened upon us from every window of a house on the opposite bank and from the shore, which killed a captain and wounded 3 men of my cavalry force, and a severe fire of shell from one or two

* A list of casualties, omitted, shows loss of 5 killed and 23 wounded.