HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, December 24, 1862.
GENERAL: I take great pleasure in expressing my gratification at the conduct and result of General Wade Hampton's expeditions to Dumfries on the 11th instant, and to Occoquan on the 18th instant. The plan and execution of these expeditions were bold and admirable, and the results most satisfactory. Please express to General Hampton my high sense of his service, my just appreciation of the conduct of the officers and men of his command, and my congratulations on his complete success without the loss of a man.
I have the honors to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Major General J. E. B. STUART,
Commanding Cavalry Division.
No. 3. Report of Brigadier General Wade Hampton, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS HAMPTON'S CAVALRY BRIGADE, Culpeper County, Va., December 15, 1862.
MAJOR: On the 10th instant, with detachments from the First South Carolina Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel [J. D.] Twiggs; Second South Carolina, under Colonel Butler; First North Carolina, under Lieutenant-Colonel [James B.] Gordon, the Jeff. Davis Legion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, and the Cobb Legion, under Captain [Jerry E.] Ritch [in all 520 men], I proceeded toward the Potomac River. My object was first to take Dumfries, with such stores as were there, and then to sweep the Telegraph road up to Occoquan.
On the morning of the 12th, having divided the command, giving to Colonel Butler the First North Carolina, Second South Carolina, and the Cobb Legion, and to Lieutenant-Colonel Martin the First South Carolina and the Jeff. Davis Legion, we moved on the town at daylight, having marched 16 miles that morning to accomplish it. There was only a small force of the enemy there, and so complete was their surprise that every man was captured after a few shots had been fired. Colonel Butler entered the town from the north side, while Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, who had made a detour, held his men in reserve.
There was no loss on our side. We captured 50-odd prisoners, with 1 lieutenant and 24 sutlers' wagons. Of these, I destroyed 2 in the town, as we had no means of bringing them off, and the others we brought away with us. Five, however, broke down, so that but 17 arrived safely. As soon as the town was entered I had the telegraph office taken, and we brought off the operator, with his battery.
Having succeeded in the main part of my expedition, I at once made arrangements to attempt the capture of the troops on the Telegraph road and at Occoquan. No alarm had been given to them, and their dispersion and capture would have been easy; but I found that Sigel's corps was on the march, and as we were compelled to retire for 5 miles by the same road on which he would approach the town, I deemed it most prudent to get my wagons and prisoners off at once. I therefore moved