of march toward Barbee's Cross-Roads, where it arrived late in the night of the 4th. General D. H. Hill was holding the gap at Linden at this time with some infantry and artillery, with which I left a detachment of the Philips Legion Cavalry. I learned that Colonel Rosser had moved from his position at Markham that evening, the enemy having advanced upon him with such a force as to compel him to withdraw, without, however, any serious loss. In this engagement Captain Henry's battery, of the Stuart Horse Artillery, behaved with the most signal gallantry.
On the morning of the 5th, I determined to give battle to the enemy's cavalry, should he advance, at Barbee' Cross-Roads. Dispositions were made accordingly, Lee's brigade being on our right and Hampton's on the left. The crest of the hill immediately north of the town was occupied by our artillery and sharpshooters, with a view to rake the enemy's column as it moved up the road; but the main position for defense was just at the cross roads, where the main body was held in reserve.
Toward 9 a. m. the enemy advanced, and a fierce engagement of artillery and sharpshooters ensued, lasting for some hours. The enemy at length approached under cover of ravines and woods, and my command held the position near the cross-roads, where our artillery had complete control of the approaches. At this juncture I received information that the enemy was in Warrenton. This information, together with the delay and lack of vigor in the enemy's attack at this point, led me to believe that this was only a demonstration to divert my attention from his move on Warrenton. I accordingly gave orders to Hampton and Rosser to withdraw, the former by the Flint Hill road, the latter by the Orleans road, as the withdrawal of both by the same route would have been next to impossible. In withdrawing, there was a sharp conflict between the First North Carolina Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, and the enemy on the left, that regiment suffering a good deal. Many interesting particulars of this engagement will be found in the accompanying report of Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, as well as the casualties attending his command.* Other reports have not been furnished. The enemy made no pursuit.
Upon arriving at Orleans, 7 miles distant, it was ascertained that the report of the occupation of Warrenton by the enemy was a mistake. The enemy had attacked the place, but had been gallantly repulsed by a portion of the Second North Carolina Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel [W. H.] Payne, of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry. Lee's brigade bivouacked that night in the neighborhood of Orleans.
On the next morning, November 6, I sent a portion of the command, under Colonel Rosser, to occupy Warrenton, and crossed the Rappahannock at Waterloo Bridge. Rosser, having reached Warrenton, found that the enemy was advancing on his rear as well as front, and was therefore compelled to leave the place. Meeting the enemy in his path, he skillfully eluded him, bringing off his little band, without loss, to the south side of the Rappahannock.
Leaving Hampton's brigade to cover the front of Sperryville, with his advance posts at Gaines' Cross-Roads and Amissville, I moved with Lee's brigade to Jeffersonton, keeping outposts on the Rappahannock. Our cavalry kept in constant contact with the enemy, not a day passing without a conflict. In one of these, near Gaines' Cross-Roads, a portion of Hampton's command behaved with great gallantry, and routed the enemy. In this engagement Major [W. G.] Delony, of the Cobb Legion, was wounded.
* Report of casualties not found.