War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0029 Chapter XXXIII. CAPTURE OF UNION PICKETS NEAR DUMFRIES,VA.

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14 pistols, and 13 carbines. Colonel Karge has ordered the arms of the men who have returned to be charged to them, which I have approved. I have the honor to ask that Second Lieutenant Jacob H. Hoffman be at once dismissed the service for the disgraceful neglect of duty on an outpost, by which he and his party were surprised.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. D. BAYARD,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel E. R. PLATT,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, December 5, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded.

I have already recommended the dishonorable dismissal of the officer implicated, believing that this summary punishment of officers is the only way of insuring the proper performance of guard duty outside of the camp guards.

W. B. FRANKLIN,

Major-General, Commanding Left Wing.

No. 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Karge, First New Jersey, Cavalry.

BROOKE'S STATION, VA., December 4, 1862.

GENERAL: In relation to the recent surprise of my pickets, placed in the rear of the Army of the Potomac, on the road leading to Dumfries, or thereabouts, I have the honor to make the following report:

On the 2nd instant, Captain Lucas, in command of Company F, First New Jersey Cavalry, sent Lieutenant Hoffman with 14 men on the outpost, himself remaining with 10 men in the reserve. Lieutenant Hoffman, according to the statement of 5 escaped soldiers, who were under his immediate command, after having placed badly his vedettes, and allowed his men to lay aside their arms, went, at about 6 p.m., according to the custom of many of our patriotic officers, to provide for his belly, in a neighboring house, leaving his command to the care of Providence. It is further stated that the inmate of this house is a young and attractive female, whose husband is a captain in the rebel army, and who was seen by one of our posts returning to her house on horseback about 4 p.m., just about the time when our vedettes were relieving one another. As our vedettes and outposts were attacked both in front and rear at the same time, it is pretty evident that it was done through a premeditated plan, the clew of which was furnished by the culpable negligence of the officer in command of the outpost. The result was, that of 14 men the whole were either captured or scattered without firing a shot. Among the former is the worthy lieutenant, who certainly has not neglected his duty as a gallant man, so far as the fair sex is concerned. Furthermore, I beg leave to state that my orders and instructions in regard to outpost duties were explicit, and of the strictest kind; yet, in spite of this, I regret to say that this disgraceful incident has happened, causing not