Report of Brigadier General John R. Kenly, U. S. Army, commanding Maryland Brigade.
Williamsport, November 3, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to forward, for your consideration, the inclosed papers, relating to the capture of 6 rebels by my orders on the 29th ultimo, viz:
Numbers 1. My official report of the capture to Lieutenant Colonel O. D. Greene, chief of staff and assistant adjutant-general, Sixth Army Corps.
Numbers 2. Major C. H. Russell's report to me of the capture, inclosing Lieutenant Henry McMachan's report to him.
Numbers 3. An abstract of the statements made by the prisoners after their capture.
Numbers 4. A letter from brig. General Wade Hampton, of the rebel army, in relation to the capture.
Numbers 5. My answer to the letter referred to as Numbers 4.
Numbers 6. A letter from Brigadier General Wade Hampton, on the same subject.
Numbers 7. My answer to the letter referred to as Numbers 6.
Numbers 8. The report of Lieutenant Smith, First North Carolina Cavalry, of the rebel army, to General Hampton, of the capture of the 6 men of his picket.
I beg leave to report that, after my refusal to surrender the prisoners, Captain Cowles, of the rebel army, who handed me in person the letter marked Numbers 6, said that he was directed by General Hampton to request me, in case of my refusal to deliver up the prisoners, to forward the matter for the consideration of your headquarters, which I accordingly do. I still hold the prisoners.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN R. KENLY,
Brigadier-General, Maryland Brigadier, Commanding at Williamsport.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Army of the Potomac, Washington.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
Williamsport, Va., October 29, 1862.
I have the honor to report that Brigadier-General Averell, commanding First Brigade of Cavalry, arrived at my post at this 1.30 p. m. After making known to me his object, and upon consultation, it was determined to attempt the capture of the enemy's pickets on the opposite side of the river. I ordered Major C. H. Russell, commanding squadron First Maryland Cavalry, to have it done, and it was handsomely effected by Lieutenant McMachan, of his command, with 15 men. About one hour and a half after the order was given Major Russell, I was informed that a flag of truce was on the Virginia shore. I sent for Captain Mobley, Seventh Maryland Regiment, provost-marshal of this town, and instructed him to receive the flag on that shore. It was, however, crossing the river when he reached the river bank. He received the flag on this shore, and gave to the officer in charge a letter to L. T. Brien, esq., from his wife. The officer notified Captain Mobley that the flag of truce did not cover operations off from the turnpike, and only on it to the party with the flag; and this he was instructed to say by General Hampton. After the flag, with its party, had crossed the river, Lieutenant