In the mean time Major Delony had swept all the picket posts on the Telegraph road, capturing every man who was there [about 20 in number], with 2 wagons, and had joined me near the town. Having heard that 2,500 cavalry were on the march from Alexandria and about to cross at Selectman's Ford, 1 1/2 miles from Occoquan, I hastened to the village and dispatched Captain Clark, with 40 sharpshooters from his regiment and from the Phillips Legion [chiefly from the latter], to hold the ford until I could bring the wagons across the river. To accomplish this there was but one small boat, and the approaches to the river were very bad. While engaged in bringing over the wagons, the enemy appeared in some forces coming down to the river. My sharpshooters soon drove them back, and the work of ferrying the wagons over continued. The enemy again attempted to cut off the men engaged in this work, but were again driven back in confusion.
In the mean time the largest force of the enemy were endeavoring to force a passage at Selectman's Ford, which, had they succeeded, would have put them in my rear. Knowing this, I thought it prudent to take off the wagons already brought over and to withdraw. Sending these to the rear with Colonel Black, I ordered Colonel Martin to call in his men and to follow as a rear guard, while Captain Clark was instructed to hold the ford for one hour longer. All these movements were promptly carried out, and Captain Clark held his ground resolutely. As soon as he withdrew the enemy followed him, but he charged them gallantly and drove them back across the river. He then followed me skirmishing with the enemy for 2 miles and holding him in check until the wagons were well on the way. Passing Greenwood Church, I struck out for Cole's store, and encamped that night at Tacket's Fork, on Cedar Run.
The next day's march brought me safely home without the loss of a man. I brought back about 150 prisoners, besides 7 paroled, 20 wagons with valuable stores in them, 30 stand of infantry arms, and 1 stand of colors. The latter I beg to forward with this report. I may mention that I captured every man on the picket line [41 in number] from Kanky's to Occoquan, 8 miles. One lieutenant is among the prisoners, and in the town I took John Underwood, a noted Abolitionist and traitor.
I take great pleasure in commending the conduct of my officers and men. I could desire nothing better on their part, and I feel justified in expressing my pride and confidence in them. Captain [T. G.] Barker, Captain [R.] Lowndes, volunteer aides-de-camp, and Lieutenant [T. P.] Hampton, aide-de-camp, were with me and assisted me materially.
I am, major, very respectfully, yours,
Major [NORMAN R.] FITZHUGH,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION, December 22, 1862.
Respectfully forwarded. General Hampton has again made a brilliant dash into the enemy's communications, as detailed within, and I cordially commend his conduct and that of his command to the favorable notice of the commanding general.
J. E. B. STUART,