in that neighborhood. While en route I made a slight call at General Grover's headquarters, who informed me that I would be able to obtain what information I required by stopping at Poolesville. I proceeded at once to that village, and found out all the information had been derived from negroes, and, upon questioning those negroes, they said they had not seen any rebel cavalry, but said others had told them. Upon seeing the others, they told the same stormy. I proceeded to the woods, which is a large tract, known as White Plains. It is very heavy timber, and, being very open, and not a place to conceal man or beast, I scouted the woods for four hours, and became satisfied there was not, and, in my opinion, had not been, any cavalry encamped therein.
About noon Lieutenant Allen, of Company M, became unwell, and started for Rockville, with 3 privates, to return to camp. Soon after, I proceeded on my return to camp, arriving at 11 o'clock p. m.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. SMITH,
First Lieutenant, Scott's Nine Hundred.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, November 3, 1862-1.30 p. m.
Major General FITZ JOHN PORTER,
Commanding Fifth Corps:
I send you herewith a copy of a dispatch just received from Pleasonton.* Please send a copy to Couch at once, and inform him that Burnside's command, of four divisions, is on the march, via Bloomfield and Union, upon Upperville. Pleasonton already has one brigade of infantry, and the head of Burnside's command will probably be with him by 3 p. m. When Couch reaches the vicinity of Smith's Shop, he should communicate with Pleasonton before proceeding farther, and obtain from him a cavalry force to reconnoiter his front. If he finds a force that he can probably handle, tell him to attack at once. Let him communicate with headquarters, by Bloomfield, to the point where the Mount Gilead road intersects the Snickersville and Aldie pike.
Please push the examination of the Ridge road to Ashby's Gap, and hold your corps in readiness to move to that point or to Upperville, as may be directed, leaving in that case the smallest force that you may deem adequate to hold Snicker's Gap against a small force of the enemy.
We are at the cross-roads I pointed out this morning, but will soon leave for Bloomfield. Major Kirkland will remain here until I know more definitely what the condition of things is.
By order of General George B. McClellan:
A. V. COLBURN,
ROCK'S FERRY GAP, Outposts, November 3, -6.30 a. m.
General D. BUTTERFIELD,
Commander of Division:
GENERAL: Everything is very quiet here; none of the enemy have been seen by us near here. The force which attacked the Fourteenth Indiana was Loudoun County Home Guards Cavalry. The smoke from
*See p. 113.