mixed command of infantry and cavalry to those neighborhoods, but could find out nothing more.
Early in the afternoon of the 27th instant, Sergeant Gansy, of the First Connecticut Cavalry, brought in a prisoner of the-Regiment north Carolina Cavalry, and reported that he had taken him on the road leading from Dr. Ford's place to Chopawamsic farm, south of Chopawamsic Creek. The sergeant further reported that he had found on that road the tracks of several hundred cavalry, with some pieces of artillery, marching toward Dumfries.
From the prisoner I learned that two days before a cavalry brigade, with artillery, under General Lee, had marched from the neighborhood of Fredericksburg; that they crossed the river the next morning early, and proceeded in a northern direction,"to have some fun at Dumfries," as his officers remarked. I sent the said sergeant with 20 cavalry to follow up the enemy, and reported to General Schurz and to you, and begged to be allowed to march with 1,000 men of my brigade, some cavalry, and two pieces of artillery to Purcell Mill and to Keyes' farm, as from that point (about 4 or 5 miles west from Dumfries) I was able easily to assist our forces at Dumfries, or to pursue the enemy, if the latter had already retired, and to surprise his camp at night, as all that neighborhood is covered with woods.
Two hundred men of each of the five regiments of my command, viz, Seventy-fourth Pennsylvania, Sixty-first Ohio, Sixty-eighth New York, One hundred and fifty-seventh New York, and the Eighty-Second Illinois Volunteers, were ready to march at 3 p.m., but it was between 6 and 7 in the evening before I received the order to march (copy Numbers 1.), and then with orders to wait for a section of Hill's battery and 50 men of the Sixth Ohio Cavalry. The latter detachment did not arrive until after 8 p.m.; thus five hours were lost before I left this post.
I received the information from the headquarters of the corps that colonel Di Cesnola was ordered, with his cavalry brigade, to Garrisonville (the left wing of the camp), in order to patrol to Stafford Springs and Stafford Store. I directed Captain Harris, of the First West Virginia Cavalry, commanding the detachment of cavalry at this post, to inform Colonel Di Cesnola that I would march to Keyes' farm, and expected to be there at 1 o'clock that night, and, in case the enemy had already left the neighborhood of Dumfries, that I would continue my march on their line of retreat toward Trent's Church (about 11 or 12 miles from Dumfries, on the forest road); that I thought it best for him to march with his whole force to Stafford Springs and Trent's Church, and try to drive the enemy's cavalry toward my infantry, or to stop their march until I could come up.
Between 8 and 9 o'clock in the evening, I sent Captain Barret, with 50 men of the Sixth Ohio Cavalry, with orders to proceed toward Dumfries on the Telegraph road, and to enter the place, if possible, and report to the officer in command there my movements, and to rejoin my command at Keyes' farm.
Fifty men of the First West Virginia Cavalry, under Lieutenant Seltzer, formed the advance of my detachment. Twenty men of the First Connecticut Cavalry were left in my rear, on the Purcell Mill road, with orders to patrol the roads from Dr. Ford's place to Chopawamsic farm and Aquia, and to place vedettes on the cross-roads, to show during the night the line of march to officers, orderlies, and re-enforcements.
I arrived at Keyes' farm with my forces about 1.30 a.m. Captured there two horses, with accouterments, swords, and carbines (the men had taken to the woods), and learned from the inhabitants that between 6 and