War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0038 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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Major Pelham and the officers and men under his command. The brigade of Brigadier General W. H. F. Lee is doing gallant service on the Lower Rappahannock, and no opportunity to strike the enemy will be allowed to pass.

J. E. B. STUART,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, December 5, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant and Inspector General for the information of the Department. Four gunboats of the enemy had been lying for several days opposite Port Royal, and I desired to drive them out of the river without drawing their fire upon the town. A distant point, therefore, had to be selected to dislodge them, on which account I fear the boats did not suffer as much as I intended they should.

R. E. LEE,

General.

DECEMBER 11, 1862.-Skirmish at Darkesville, W. Va.

Report of Lieutenant Richard G. Prendergast, First New York Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY PICKET, Hammond's House, Va., December 11, 1862.

SIR: I have to report that, in obedience to your orders, I proceeded this morning, with 15 men of Company B, to Martinsburg, which I found unoccupied, but learned there that the enemy's cavalry were picketing the road to Winchester, and that they might be easily surprised. I therefore advanced with my command on that road, and at about 4 miles distance from Martinsburg met the advanced picket, who fell back on their reserve, consisting of three companies of the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, which formed across the road and fired on my advance. I at once charged them, broke their army, wounded several, and captured 13 prisoners, with horses, arms, and equipments. The remainder fled to darkesville, firing as they retreated, and promptly pursued by my command. On the Winchester side of the town they rallied and again formed, when I again charged and dispersed them, recapturing one of my men, who had been taken in the first melee. I pursued them to the base of Bunker Hill, when, seeing that they were supported by the rest of that regiment, drawn up on the crest of the hill, I halted, and returned unpursued, by Martinsburg, here.

My only casualty is the slight wounding of one horse. Two of the prisoners are wounded with the saber, one very seriously. The men, without a single exception, fought splendidly, and to Second Lieutenant Lewis, who accompanied me, I am much indebted for valuable aid.

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

R. G. PRENDERGAST,

First Lieutenant Company M, First New York Cavalry.

Captain R. H. O. HERTZOG,

Commanding Cavalry Picket.