Large numbers of my horses are rendered useless by the disease raging among them. My whole command has not more than 1,200 effective horses. General McClellan ordered up Colonel Price's brigade to join me, but I have heard nothing from him. Will you hurry him up? Colonel Karge has about 600 men stationed where the road to Freeman's Ford comes into the road to this place.
If you send any infantry to Bealeton, I will order my brigade train to stay there. Otherwise I shall order it up here, as Warrenton is too far for it to be stationed.
As I reported to General Reynolds, I have limited my scouting to Sulphur Springs, the Maine cavalry being there.
Will you be so kind as to send me a New York and Washington paper? I have not seen one since I left the latter place.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. D. BAYARD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding U. S. Forces.
General JOHN G. PARKE.
Report of Brigadier General A. Sanders Piatt, U. S. Army, of reconnaissance to Manassas Gap, and skirmish.
PIEDMONT, VA., November 7, 1862 - 12.25 a. m.
GENERAL: Your dispatch by signal just received. In compliance therewith, I have to state that, in accordance with the orders received from you, through General Whipple, to make reconnaissance of Manassas Gap, I marched through the gap on the evening of the 5th as far as the cavalry had advanced. We reached that point after dark. The cavalry being in doubt as to the real strength of the enemy, and not being acquainted with the road myself, I deemed it prudent to wait till morning.
On the following morning the cavalry were ordered to join General Averell, and did so. I threw out skirmishers on each side, and, without cavalry, moved forward. In this way we proceeded to the northwest end of the gap, when my advance skirmishers were fired upon by artillery. I immediately placed a section on a commanding point, on the left-hand side of the road, commanding the position occupied by the enemy's artillery, and on the right-hand side another section, commanding the main position of the enemy. Both sections were supported by infantry. I placed one regiment in the center, on the road, so as to be available on either side, or to be rallied upon, if necessary. The infantry were all kept out of sight of the enemy. The artillery of the enemy was soon silenced, and they were forced to retire from their position. Not yet satisfied as to their real strength, I ordered up a skirmishing party on the mountain, to drive in their vedettes, which they did, capturing two cavalry horses. I immediately changed the section on the left of the road, placing it in a commanding position on the right. I ordered up the One hundred and twenty-fourth New York to move on the right, so as to flank their position, and the One hundred and twenty second on the left, for the same purpose, while the Eighty-sixth New York moved up the center, in front. The One hundred and twenty-second, owing to the inequality of the ground, and not fully understanding the order, failed to come up in time. Finding this, I threw them on the right to support the artillery. After a few well-directed shots,