War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0699 Chapter XXXIII. RECONNAISSANCE TOWARD WARRENTON, VA.

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minutes, when the cavalry again moved on and I followed. I had hardly gotten my leading carriage over the brow of the hill before I was again halted. In this manner I was compelled to halt my battery not less than ten times in going down a hill so steep that many ordinary mounted batteries would have locked their wheels in daylight. In alternately halting and moving forward, a few yards at a time, we consumed over two hours in getting 1 mile over a road so firm and smooth that I could have passed over the whole distance at a rapid trot. At this point, I discovered that the cavalry were breaking by single file, and at a distance of more than the length of a horse between the one that preceded and the one that followed. The obstruction was a small mud-hole, through which my battery passed without the slightest check. I passed over with the last cavalryman, and finding the road practicable for artillery, I ordered my first lieutenant to send forward a detachment of cannoneers to act as guides, and started off a rapid pace to try and keep the fast receding column in view, but did not succeed in overtaking them until I came to the crossing of the Potomac Creek, near General Sykes' headquarters. Here I found the last battalion just crossing, and applied to the major commanding for a guide, but without success.

Following the cavalry as they passed out of the stream, I soon found myself in a path on the side of the hill [impracticable for artillery], and was compelled to turn back and seek out the road. This delayed me so long that, before I could place the head of my column on the road, the last cavalryman had disappeared over the brow of the hill. I at once rode forward to General Sykes' headquarters, but could hear or see nothing to indicate the road taken by General Averell. General Sykes told me that he had heard cavalry passing for a long time, but could give me no information as to the route they had taken. I then moved forward to the camp of the Third Infantry, and was informed by several officers that the cavalry had been passing for over two hours; that the head of the column came past at a walk; that very soon they began to come at a trot, with the files opened out, and that for nearly or quite two hours they were passing at a gallop, by threes, twos, and singly. Not being able to get any information in regard to the roads here, I moved forward to the headquarters of General Warren, who had been over the road that day. He told me it was very intricate, and that he thought it would be impossible for a stranger to find his way in the night, and kindly sent his orderly to guide me to the cavalry pickets. General Warren told me [as I had heard before] that the cavalry had been passing his camp at a gallop for over two hours. So far from my battery not being able to keep up with cavalry moving at a walk over roads as they were that night, I could, if necessary, have traveled nine-tenths of the distance at a round trot, had the first portion of the road been unobstructed, and had I known or had a guide furnished for the remainder.

In connection with the foregoing, I beg leave to state that, on the 11th instant, I marched with the First Cavalry Brigade, under command of General Averell, on the road toward headquarters of the Army of the Potomac and Falmouth. After crossing Potomac Creek and most of the bottom land, my battery was brought to a halt by the cavalry in front. After consuming over an hour in alternate halting and moving forward a few steps at a time, I rode forward, and found the cause of the delay was the road was so smooth and hard that cavalry horses could not be led up the hill with their riders dismounted, and they had been compelled to lead off singly by a path along the side of the hill