the enemy were posted, I ordered Captain Sharra to drive them away, which he did in the most effectual and gallant manner, charging a much larger force, and driving them whenever they stood. The fighting was of the most desperate nature, our men using their sabers, and the enemy, in several instances, clubbing our men with their carbines. While the fight was going on, it was reported to me that the enemy had possession of the ford, the Sixth Ohio not having crossed to hold it. On hearing this, I ordered our men to fall back, and, after a few moments' consultation with Captain Sharra, decided to force a passage; but upon reaching the ford, found they had also left, not wishing to stand another charge.
After seeing the command all over and on the road home, I started with 12 men for Aquia Creek, to examine the railroad to that point, which we found in tolerable condition, excepting the bridges over the Potomac and Accokeed Creeks, which we burned. At Accokeek Creek we captured the enemy's picket, of 4 men, our surprise having been so effectually accomplished that not one of the pickets was aware of our entering Fredericksburg. The enemy's loss was considerable, but it is impossible to state the exact number. I know of 3 being killed, several wounded, and 39 prisoners. Our loss, 1 killed and 4 missing. We also captured two wagon loads of gray cloth, about to be sent south. The enemy's forces considered of five companies of the Fifteenth Virginia [Battalion] and three companies of the Ninth Virginia.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, general, your most obedient servant,
Captain and Aide-de-Camp.
Major General FRANZ SIGEL,
Commanding Eleventh Army Corps.
HDQRS. DEFENSES WASHINGTON SOUTH OF THE POTOMAC,
Arlington, Va., November 13, 1862.
Respectfully forwarded. A very gallant affair. The burning of the bridges was they unnecessary.
S. P. HEINZELMAN,
Numbers 2. Proceedings of Confederate Court of Inquiry.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
Numbers 9. January 24, 1863.
I. Proceedings of a court of inquiry, convened in the town of Fredericksburg, at the clerk's office, on the morning of Monday, 12th of January, 1863, by virtue of the following Special Order:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
Numbers 4. January 4, 1863.
* * * * * * *
VIII. A court of inquiry, to consist of Colonel Williams C. Wickham, Fourth Virginia Cavalry; Major Waller, Ninth Virginia Cavalry, and Captain G. B. Cuthbert, Second