War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0223 Chapter XXXI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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able force. Our cavalry has been quite successful to-day. It has repossessed itself of Barnesville and Sugar Loaf Mountain, and has taken 18 prisoners, 3 of them officers. Two cavalry regiments will join us tomorrow, and will be sent to strengthen our right. Report more frequently-every hour when near the telegraph station-what is the result of the reconnaissance toward Ridgeville. Allow no one to pass by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad or the National road without your knowledge. Come to your telegraph station at once. General McClellan will go to the office here immediately upon your doing so, and will talk with you over the wires.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

R. B. MARCY,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING,

Brookville, Md., September 9, 1862-10.15 p. m.

Major-General HALLECK and

Major-General McCLELLAN:

The following dispatch is just received from Colonel Devin:

GOSHEN, 9th-8 p. m.

Major-General BURNSIDE:

Lieutenant Easton, of this regiment, left camp at 10 a. m. to-day, with 4 men obtain information in the neighborhood of Damascus. He has just returned, and reports having met and driven in their pickets, 2 1/2 miles from Hyattstown, on the road to Damascus. He wounded 1 of their men, and chased the others into the reserve at the foot of the hill leading to Hyattstown. The reserve seemed to number about a company. The people there represented the enemy to be in force, with cavalry at Ridgeville, on the National road, and that their pickets are 2 miles this side of that place, on the road from Damascus. If such is the case, Captain Cutts and Captain Van Buren, who went out on that road at 4 p. m., will meet them. The last I heard from Captain Cutts he was at Damascus, and was about starting for Ridgeville. I send another troop to Damascus to cover him.

Very respectfully,

THOS. C. DEVIN.

A. E. BURNSIDE.

HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., SECOND ARMY CORPS,

Camp near Rockville, Md., September 9, 1862.

Brigadier General ALPHEUS S. WILLIAMS,

Commanding Second Corps:

GENERAL: I deem it my duty to submit to you, and to urge upon your attention, the following report of the condition of the First Brigade, First Division, of the army corps under Major-General Banks:

Since the engagement at Cedar Mountain, on the 9th of August, and in which my brigade was well nigh destroyed, the service required has been of such a character as to threaten, in its reduced and shattered condition, the very existence of its organization.

No time or opportunity has been allowed, from the necessities of the service, either to rest the men or to reorganize the companies and regiments, which have lost field and staff and company officers, both commissioned and non-commissioned, and I am now in command of a brigade which, consisting nominally of four regiments, numbers at this moment, in the rank drawn up in the advance line to meet the enemy, but 629 effective men.

Every day adds to the report of the medical officers of these regiments, and they unanimously show that it is owing to the nature of the