War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0694 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD. AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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made the road to the ferry very warm. As it was impossible to cross here, I withdrew my men around the bend of the road, out of fire.

The enemy had been busy up to the time I arrived at the spot in ferrying over the river a Government train and some sutlers' wagons. The presence of my command saved the wagons, which had not yet been crossed, consisting of 9 Government wagons and 3 sutlers' wagons, making 12 in all.

Not knowing the country, and depending on a guide [Mr. Stiles] furnished the command at Alexandria by General Slough, I lost some time, unavoidably, in finding out Snyder's Ford. I would say here that the guide [Mr. Stiles], by his own carelessness in going ahead of the command without any permission-whatever, was captured by the enemy at the river. Leaving part of my command on the ferry road, I moved with the rest of the command up to Snyder's Ford, drove in the enemy's pickets stationed there, and tried to cut off his rear.

On account of not knowing the country and roads, and my regiment being so new, never having been drilled, and having had their arms only three or four days before we left Washington, I could not effect as much as I might have done with older men; besides, there is not a carbine in the regiment, and consequently in a wooded country I was obliged to move carefully. I scouted the country in all directions some 5 or 6 miles, and my advance guard ran into the enemy's rear guard, at about dark, on the road from Occoquan toward Dumfries. The enemy were then retreating at a gallop. As soon as it was quite dark, I deemed it advisable to recross the river and go into camp, starting out 600 men at daylight the next morning to Maple Valley, Wolf Run Shoals Ford, and in the direction of Brentsville. The country was thoroughly scoured, but could find nothing of the enemy. The enemy burned one of the Government wagons in the town of Occoquan, and but for the delay consequent on losing my guide, I would have been able to save more of them.

In reference to the number and part of our cavalry [Tenth New York] captured, I know nothing about them from observation, but it was reported to me that the picket was taken at or near the Neabsco Creek, half way between Occoquan and Dumfries, and that it consisted of a lieutenant and 30 men of the Tenth New York Cavalry. It was also reported to me that 5 men of the Second Pennsylvania Cavalry were captured at the ferry.

The officers and men of this command behaved very well; in fact, better than could have been expected. In all that I did I consulted with Colonel Rush, of the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry, who happened to be with me with 100 of his men.

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


Colonel Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Eleventh Army Corps.

No. 2. Reports of General Robert E. Lee, C. S. Army.

FREDERICKSBURG, VA., December 21, 1862.

General Hampton, who was sent to the rear of enemy, penetrated Occoquan; reports Slocum at Fairfax, Geary at Manassas, and a large