War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0710 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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[CHAP. XXXIII.

HDQRS. CAVALRY Brigadier, DEFENSES OF WASHINGTON,

January 1, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor, in accordance with instructions from headquarters, to make the following statement:

On December 16, in compliance with orders, I sent Major Stagg, with 156 men, to the neighborhood of Wolf Run Shoals, to establish a line of pickets from that point to Manassas Junction.

On the following morning I recalled from Lewinsville all of the Second Pennsylvania Cavalry. As soon as they returned to camp I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Brinton to proceed with all the available force of his command and all those at Accotink, except one battalion (to be left there), to the vicinity of the Occoquan, for the purpose of covering the front of forces lying in that direction. Colonel Brinton established his line of pickets as per map forwarded to you, showing the different posts and patrols. He connected with Major Stagg's previously established, thus completing the line from the village of Occoquan to Manassas Junction, where the line connected with the pickets of Colonel Wyndham's command, extending from Manassas Junction through Centreville and Chantilly to Frying Pan, there connecting with Major Taggart, stationed at Dranesville.

I am certain, sir, there was no want of proper care and watchfulness on the part of the officers and men on duty on that part of the line where the enemy appeared. Major Stagg was constantly patrolling to the front, and Colonel Brinton, two or three days before, had made a circuit from Occoquan village, keeping 7 miles south of Occoquan Creek, to near Brensville, returning by way of Wolf Run Shoals.

A detachment of the Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry was intrusted with the picket line from Occoquan Village to Neabsco Creek, from which point to Dumfries, I am told, the line was guarded. This detachment of the Seventeenth patrolled from Occoquan village to a point about 3 miles south of Mills' Ford. This arrangement was continued until the night of the 27th, when the pickets of the Seventeenth were driven in by a small force of cavalry, which came into the village of Occoquan, and returned, after receiving a volley from this side of the creek. It was in search of this party that Captain Chauncey came upon the main force the next day (Sunday),and information was forwarded as rapidly as possible after the men had fought back to the ford.

Colonel Brinton was not expected to do anything but cover the front of the forces lying between Fairfax and Occoquan, which he did by his line from that village to Manassas via Wolf Run Shoals, continually patrolling and scouting.

I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, yours,

R. BUTLER PRICE,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Major HUNT,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Defenses of Washington.

Numbers 3. Report of Captain Charles Chauncey, Second Pennsylvania Cavalry.

DECEMBER 31, 1862.

COLONEL: On the evening of the 27th, a report arrived in camp that the enemy's cavalry had come into Occoquan, and had driven the Sev-